“I want to have a more personal relationship with my patients.”
Born and raised in Eunice, Louisiana, Mia Guillory, O.D. had varied interests and hobbies like tap dancing, ballet, cheerleading and playing the piano. But mostly, she just wanted to hang out with friends.
“I guess I just liked being around people,” Dr. Guillory explains. “Combine that with a desire to help others and that’s how I realized that I wanted to work in healthcare.”
Her journey began in earnest after high school, when she went south to New Orleans and was accepted into LSU Health Science Center’s Nursing program. While in the program, Dr. Guillory discovered that she wanted something more.
After graduating from nursing school in 2000, she went on to finish her pre-requisite courses at the University of New Orleans. While there, she worked as a nurse at Ochsner Clinic. She went on to Memphis, Tennessee to attend Southern College of Optometry. It was there that Dr. Guillory realized that a career in Optometry was what she was looking for all along.
“I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field,” Dr. Guillory explains. “I just needed to find the occupation that could also provide me with a better balance of work life and home life. That’s what Optometry gave me.”
In 2007, Dr. Guillory met her future husband in Baton Rouge through a mutual friend. Later, the two moved to Carbondale, Illinois where her husband joined Southern Illinois University as a professor of Kinesiology then on to Knoxville, when he was named a professor at the University of Tennessee. “That’s how we ended up in Knoxville and we love it here. There are plenty of things to do and the people are so friendly,” Dr. Guillory explains.
Soon Dr. Guillory became part of the EyeCare Optical team and was immediately impressed by the level of care that is provided.
“One of the things I love about EyeCare Optical is that we have a wide range of testing capabilities as part of Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun. We can give our patients a thorough medical eye exam and spend the time to get to know the patient on a more personal level. Additionally, we can refer our patients to specialists, such as cataract or retina, without the patient having to change practices.
Eye disease management is an ever-evolving science, and Dr. Guillory wants to stay on the forefront of offering the most up-to-date care for diagnosis and treatment options.
A recent upward trend in the diagnosis of dry eyes among East Tennesseans is something that Dr. Guillory is seeing in her patients as well. “I am very interested in the treatment of dry eyes, a sometimes painful eye condition,” she says. “Nowadays, with the use of digital devices like computers and smartphones, people are using their up-close vision much more, which puts a strain on the eyes. Often, that leads to dry eyes, which in some cases, can be very uncomfortable. At EyeCare Optical, we can offer many different treatment options and most are covered by insurance.”
Another condition of particular interest to Dr. Guillory involves children with nearsightedness. As the digital world becomes more accessible to our younger generation, the act of reading and staring at computers and smartphones can put a strain on their eyes.
“With nearsighted children, the extra strain from digital devices can, in some cases, cause the eye to become elongated and result in even more nearsightedness,” Dr. Guillory explains. “Now, in some extreme instances, though, that elongation can result in pulling on the retina which can lead to a tear or detachment. It is critically important for children, especially those with nearsightedness, to have an eye exam with an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist each year to monitor this and all eye conditions.”
Dr. Guillory is excited to be in Knoxville and continuing EyeCare Optical’s unique brand of quality eye care in Hardin Valley. “I want to have a more personal relationship with my patients. If you really listen to them and take the time to understand their concerns, they will walk out of the practice seeing and feeling better,” she states.
Dr. Mia Guillory offers comprehensive eye examinations, performs diagnosis and treatment for a variety of eye diseases, and helps fit patients with contact lenses.