When Dr. Jabina Ramde opened Eye Lite Optometry in downtown Los Altos, she had just two staff members and one exam room. Twenty years later, Ramde’s practice has grown to include three other optometrists, five support staff and three exam rooms in an office with approximately twice the square footage.
Ramde said something that hasn’t changed over time, however, is the way she and her staff treat their patients. From day one, Ramde said Eye Lite’s goal has been to make personal connections with patients and provide them with quality service.
“I wanted to be able to offer something that was truly patient-based ... where our clients didn’t feel rushed or like they were just a number,” she said. “They are a person – and we know exactly what they need, which doesn’t happen at a high-volume practice.”
That’s one of the primary reasons Ramde said she opened Eye Lite, which celebrated its 20th anniversary Sept. 15.
When Ramde arrived in Los Altos in 1999, she felt an instant connection.
“It had that community feel,” she said. “We have that eclectic mixture of small mom-and-pop shops, and I just had a really good feeling.”
Ramde’s focus on providing quality care has made communication and collaboration a necessity among members of the Eye Lite team, according to Dr. Audrey Chu, who joined the practice two years ago.
“Everyone works as a team, and the staff works together and listens to what the patient needs and desires,” Chu said.
Dr. Emily Yuen, who has been with Eye Lite for seven years, echoed Chu’s sentiment.
“It’s always about the patients first,” she said. “Of course, we need to do well as a business, but in the forefront and the background of our minds is always patient care.”
Eye Lite’s four optometrists all share a common passion and appreciation for the opportunity to help patients “not only see, but feel great about themselves almost instantaneously,” Ramde said.
Yuen said she grew up with dreams of becoming a businesswoman in New York City but eventually discovered a greater interest and passion in optometry.
“No corner office, no skyscraper view, but I am quite happy with what I do,” Yuen said. “If you’re happy with your job, it translates to your patients, and I think people feel that.”
The fourth optometrist, Dr. Andrea Dong, joined Eye Lite 12 years ago. She started wearing glasses in third grade and spent a lot of time at the optometrist as a child, which got her thinking at a young age about a career in the field.
Some of Eye Lite's patients come in complaining of what’s becoming a more common problem in Silicon Valley – computer vision syndrome (CVS) – which Yuen said is caused by excessive eye strain from staring at computer screens for too long. CVS doesn’t just occur in tech workers, either.
“I was working just yesterday with a 12-year-old,” Yuen said in a recent interview with the Town Crier, “and you could tell her parents were frustrated because she was constantly looking at her screen.”
In an effort to adjust to the changes in eyesight caused by excessive screen viewing, Ramde said Eye Lite updates its technology frequently and the optometrists stay versed on a variety of conditions to provide recommendations for products and lifestyle changes.
Reflecting on 20 years in business, Ramde attributed much of Eye Lite’s success to her patients and the Los Altos community as a whole.
“Without them choosing to come to our door, without them referring their friends and family, we wouldn’t be here,” she said.
Eye Lite Optometry is located at 286 State St., Los Altos. For more information, call 948-6910 or visit eyeliteoptometry.net.