Ever Changing Optics

The question everyone gets asked at some point during their day to day routine is “what do you do for a living?” I am very proud to be able to say that my title is a Dual-Certified Optician, which means not only did I specialize in everything eyewear, but also contacts lens.

It’s styling the patient who comes in wanting to try something out of their comfort zone just to find a frame that fits like a glove, adds a sense of empowerment, and a touch of sass that makes me love my job.

It’s about doing a repair on a mangled frame from the 80’s that you know you probably shouldn’t repair because it’s on it’s last leg. All the while you are sweating, going slowly, talking to the frame, thinking ‘don’t break, don’t break, don’t break.” Worried about ending this person’s entire identity for the last 40 years, but then you nail the repair. That satisfaction of knowing you brought this well loved frame back to life and hand it to the patient with tears in her eyes. Then comes the hug and I start to cry.

Once I had my college degree I wanted to take a different direction with my studies. Optical was never on my radar, yet optometry has always fascinated me. I was able to graduate with the Presidential Award of Achievement and became dual certified. I had a wonderful teacher and became great friends with two other students that started the same day as me. Together we held each other up and made sure we held each other accountable. In the past four years, I have never looked back at what my life was like prior to optical.

When it comes to optics, the days may go by quick, but there is always something new to learn. Through the countless repairs, ordering, educating patients on materials, and figuring out what works best for each individual person it is like solving a mystery or working a puzzle every single day. I can not wait to get back to seeing new frames at places like Vision Expo and trunk shows! I am excited for what the future holds for me in the world of optics.

Lauren Millhollin, ABOC, NCLE

Article written by Lauren Millhollin, ABOC, NCLE

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