Doctors & Staff

Phillips Eye Institute and Minneapolis Eye Surgery

The mission of an eye institute is to prolong and protect the vision of local citizens by conducting and performing research into treating and preventing diseases that affect the eye or vision–this is the Phillips Eye Institute.

phillips eye institute

Phillips Eye Institute and eye surgery in Minneapolis

Claris Eye Care & Surgery is one of Minneapolis’s largest providers of vision and eye care services and we are committed to treating the eye care needs of patients of all ages. We are a unique ophthalmic specialty center that offers a united mission to help our patients address health concerns related to their eyes. Our uniquely placed offices- right next door to the Phillips Eye Institute- and our extensive services are all incorporated into a patient-focused care experience.

The Phillips Eye Institute

Dr. Carlson performs all eye surgery procedures exclusively at the highly specialized Phillips Eye Institute in Minnesota. From around the corner to around the world people come to the Phillips Eye Institute for an array of services, from diagnostic tests and vision rehabilitation to laser eye treatments and specialized laser eye surgery using the latest technology like the femtosecond laser.

Phillips Eye Institute, the product of a creative vision of many people put together, was designed to function as a freestanding eye specialty center associated with Mount Sinai Medical Center. Developed by and for ophthalmologists. The dream of this unique facility was realized in large part thanks to Jay Phillips who was the main benefactor of Mount Sinai Hospital and a strong supporter of Mount Sinai’s Division of Ophthalmology. It is because of his generous philanthropic support that The Phillips Eye Institute bears his name. Continue Reading…

Claris Helps Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Eyes


Did you know that diabetes is also a disorder of the eye? It’s true. In addition diabetic eyes also known as diabetic retinopathy often has no early warning signs. Don’t wait for symptoms. Reduce your risk with Claris Eye Care & Surgery. Be sure to come into Claris to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

diabetic eyes

Claris Eye Care and Surgery Diabetic Eye Exams

Diabetes, (which is a disorder of metabolism), results in excessively high levels of glucose in the blood. Most frequently the very earliest sign of diabetes is actually reflected by a change in vision that is caused by the elevated blood sugar affecting your metabolism which is called diabetic eyes. Fortunately, this is a completely treatable condition, IF you come into Claris for an eye exam! Eye exams can also find some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, that have no symptoms. It’s important to find these diseases early on, when they’re easier to treat. Continue Reading…

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Where to go in Minneapolis: Cataract Surgery at Claris


Cataract Surgery at Claris Eye Care & Surgery

When you want to know where to go in Minneapolis for the best possible eye care, state of the art equipment, years of experience and surgery for cataracts the choice is clear- Claris. Claris Eye Care & Surgery is the number one recommended Minneapolis cataracts specialists.

According to recent statistics, more than 20 million adults in the U.S. have developed cataracts, making it the number one cause of poor vision in the country. Cataracts are specifically the leading cause of vision loss among adults age 60 and older, making everyday activities increasingly difficult- as if they aren’t already difficult enough!

It can be difficult to hear that you have cataracts and hard to know what to expect. Claris will walk you through every step of the way so you can rest assured that you are in good hands. At the Claris Eye Care & Surgery in Minneapolis, we are using the most up to date technology and provide helpful information about cataracts, including: consultations, treatment and cataract surgery. Continue Reading…

Laser Eye Surgery With Claris

laser eye surgery

Laser Eye Surgery with Claris Eye Care & Surgery

A number of years ago, laser eye surgery used to seem like a last resort- something most people worried about and put off and therefore neglected. However, nowadays there is no stigma attached to needing laser eye surgery.  The advent of more efficient and modern techniques and technology have brought with them major clarity and the ability to work with laser precision.

Reflecting the growing popularity of laser eye surgery meant that even the language used for laser eye surgery had to change, as the term “surgery” is usually a little intimidating.  Surgeries are now called “Corrective Procedures” and among these remedies are treatments like LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL and many more, all under the umbrella of what is now called “laser vision correction.”

The dynamic field of laser eye surgery has brought Claris Eye Care & Surgery to the forefront of specialized medicine.  Our specialties are lasik, botox, glaucoma, cataracts, laser treatment, general eye care and so much more. We pay attention to every detail and clearly, at Claris, the most important detail is you. Continue Reading…

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Minneapolis, Fend off Crow’s Feet with SkinMedica® and Botox


Say Goodbye to Crow’s Feet

The wrinkles in the outer corners of the eyes can flatteringly be called “laugh lines” or “character lines,” but it’s their other name – crow’s feet – that seems to better describe them. While their resemblance to the real thing is uncanny, those pesky wrinkles may have actually been named after an embroidery stitch in the form of a filled triangle.

Interestingly, a Crow’s Foot stitch is often used in tailoring to strengthen a garment at a point of strain. Unfortunately, crow’s feet wrinkles signal that the fragile, thin skin around our eyes has lost strength. They reflect hours, days and years of regular strain – the inevitable signs of aging. Continue Reading…

A Vision for You: Best Doctor Dr. Keith Carlson in Minneapolis

best doctor

Dr. Carlson of Claris Eye Care & Surgery in Minneapolis

Whether on the lookout for a doctor in Minneapolis for laser vision correction such as LASIK or PRK, cataract treatment, or other laser eye surgery, Dr. Keith Carlson is the best doctor out there! Dr. Carlson is considered one of the best ophthalmic physicians in the nation receiving a variety of honors including being listed by Best Doctors* and selected as a “Top Doc” by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine for a third year.

The Claris Vision

A visionary is described as someone being marked by foresight and imagination. Being tapped into the trends of modern medicine, Dr. Carlson felt that many aspects of patient care were being lost, and he had a vision for a new and improved quality eye care practice. Claris Eye Care & Surgery, owned and operated by Dr. Keith Carlson, was established in 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was created to bring a renewed focus on patient needs and care. Continue Reading…

Claris: Home to one of the Best Botox Doctors in Minneapolis

Why should you call Claris to become Botox beautiful today?Why should you call Claris to become Botox beautiful today? Because Claris Eye Care & Surgery is home to Dr. Carlson, one of the best Botox doctors in Minneapolis! Oh, and we also happen to have FREE BOTOX while supplies last for those of you whose crow’s feet are just begging for a little BOTOX!

botox doctors

Claris Beautiful with Botox

Wouldn’t you like to know how to look years younger, quickly, easily and now even for free?!

The Minneapolis flowers are soon to bloom reminding us that spring is about regeneration. For facial rejuvenation purposes, Botox is used to safely, simply, and effectively improve the appearance of frown lines, forehead creases, and crows feet. Now you can let Claris show you how to put your best face forward with the surprisingly simple, safe and effective use of Botox cosmetic. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Botox is the #1 requested non-surgical procedure in the United States. Using Botox is like having a non- surgical face lift that will give you a more youthful and pleasant appearance.

Botox Basics

Botox cosmetic is the latest advancement in botulinum toxin therapy.  It has been approved by the FDA for use in neurological disorders for over 30 years!  Botox works by relaxing the underlying muscles so they don’t contract- thereby preventing wrinkles from appearing. Botox blocks nerve impulses to tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines. The overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled after treatment while the rest of untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion.

By relaxing the underlying muscles of these areas botox reduces the wrinkles. Botox is not a poison and cannot cause an infection.  It does not have a systemic effect.  It is not permanent. Our dynamic facial expressions are creating wrinkles on a daily basis from repeated use of facial muscles. Facial wrinkles and creases begin to appear as the underlying collagen and elastin fibers begin to break down and wear out. This is part of the natural aging process… but it can also result from the harsh weather and climate conditions of Minneapolis, excessive squinting, frowning, smoking and smiling.

Medicinal Botox in Minneapolis

Botox is also actually used as a prescription and medical treatment for far more significant conditions! Since 1989, Botox injections have been the principle treatment for a muscle disorder called Blepharospasm.  Blepharospasm causes involuntary spasms of the muscles around your eye, which can result in uncontrollable and excessive blinking, eye twitching, or the closing of your eyelids.  Botox therapy has been the treatment of choice and used to aid in the correction of muscle problems that cause Blepharospasm.  It is injected into the muscles, where it binds to nerve endings and inhibits the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Ach). This leads to decreased muscular contractions.

Spring Into Action

Take charge of your beauty, health and well- being. Add a more youthful look to put a spring in your step and take advantage of the best place for Botox in Minneapolis!

Claris is one of the few offices that offers the Brilliant Distinctions Program which is a huge benefit to our patients– you can earn points each time you get Botox Cosmetic (and several other treatments), redeem your points for big savings on future cosmetics procedures and skin care products. Or, make a difference in someone else’s life by donating your points to Dress For Success or the Make- A- Wish Foundation.

Isn’t it great to know you have a choice? Put your eye care in the capable hands of an experienced Claris physician. Contact Claris today and find out how cosmetic or medical Botox can improve your quality of life.

Remember to call NOW while supplies last and take advantage of FREE Botox for your Crows Feet If you have questions or would like to schedule a treatment, please contact us at 612.775.8009 or by email at


Raise Your Vision Awareness: Understanding Macular Degeneration

Affecting an estimated 11 million people in the US alone, macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults over 50, so February is dedicated to raising awareness about this serious vision problem – what it is, what causes it, and what treatments are available.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the result of damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina (the retina is located at the back of the eye). This highly sensitive spot is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that are responsible for clear, sharp central vision enabling us to see things straight ahead. As damage occurs, you may experience a blank spot, blurriness, or distorted vision in the center of your visual field.

Progression of the disease varies, and though macular degeneration doesn’t lead to total blindness, loss of central vision can severely impair your ability to do even everyday activities like read, write, drive, cook, and clearly see faces.

Types of AMD

  • Dry AMD, or atrophic AMD, refers the breakdown (or atrophy) of the macula. It comprises 90% of AMD cases.
  • Wet AMD affects far fewer people. Damage is caused by the membrane under the retina thickening then breaking, disrupting the oxygen supply to the macula and causing the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels.

What causes macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is often simply the result of aging, though some people are more at risk than others. It is more common among Caucasians, and family history of AMD increases risk. Research has found links between certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, and increased risk of AMD.

Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Is laser eye surgery an option for stopping or reversing macular degeneration?

Unfortunately, there is currently no specific treatment for dry AMD. Progression can be slowed from intermediate-stage dry AMD to advanced stage by taking a specific, high-dose vitamin and mineral supplement.

Wet macular degeneration can be treated with laser eye surgery as a means to stop blood or other fluids from leaking into the macula. Wet AMD can also be treated with medication that is injected into the eye.

Will laser eye surgery be a permanent solution for wet AMD?

The laser-treated blood vessels will be permanently sealed; however, this does not prevent new spots from beginning to leak.

Minneapolis Leaders in Vision Correction and Laser Eye Surgery

Eyes are your windows to the world, but time can slowly take a toll on your vision. If you aren’t vigilant or don’t take your eye health seriously, you run the risk of developing both permanent damage to your eyes and vision loss.

Minneapolis is home to Claris Eye Care & Surgery, an ophthalmic office dedicated to helping patients have the best vision possible. Dr. Carlson and the Claris ophthalmic team are highly knowledgeable and experienced in treating people suffering from AMD and other vision problems, including:

Dr. Carlson and the Claris team can help you understand AMD and your treatment options. Treatment is a process of regular office visits to monitor your vision and addressing changes, and between visits, you can test your central vision at home using the Amsler grid – any blurriness or distortion in the lines can indicate a progression in your AMD. With AMD and all eye health issues, being proactive is important.

Twenty years of experience in laser eye surgery and other vision correction procedures make Claris and Dr. Carlson the best choice in Minneapolis for your eye health and vision care. If you have any questions or concerns about your vision – from macular degeneration to cataracts or LASIK laser eye surgery, feel free to call the Claris office at 612.775.8009 or email at

Laser Eye Surgery in Minneapolis: Seeing things clearly with Claris

Thanks to the extraordinary success rate with laser eye surgery at Claris Eye Care & Surgery, a multitude of patients report seeing things more clearly than they have at any other time in their lives. Dr. Carlson is a prominent and sought after eye surgeon and has proven to be the best possible choice for laser eye surgery in Minneapolis.

Laser eye surgery refers to any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in the field of laser eye surgery- also called laser vision correction or “refractive” laser eye surgery. Due to it’s popularity more eye care specialists are relying on the efficacy and accuracy of this cutting edge technology.

Some of the vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. The three most mainstream types of laser eye surgeries are called LASIKLASEK, and PRK.

LASIK: LASIK is short for “laser in-situ keratomileusis”. This kind of laser eye surgery is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. How it differs from other surgeries is in the flap that is made in the outer layer of the cornea so that the underlying tissue can be accessed.

PRK: PRK is short for “photorefractive keratectomy”. This kind of laser eye surgery is also used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism – mild to moderate cases. During PRK surgery, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This particular laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath a flap of the cornea, like in LASIK eye surgery.

LASEK: LASEK is short for “laser epithelial keratomileusis”, and is a variant of PRK. Once again, it is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Epithelial cells are loosened using an alcohol solution. A laser is used to reshape the cornea, then the cells are replaced and secured with a soft contact lens while it heals.

At the Claris Eye Care & Surgery in Minnesota, LASIK, PRK and LASEK is performed with the addition of computer imaging called WaveScan or “wavefront technology” which creates a detailed image of the cornea and guide for surgical treatment.

Dr. Carlson utilizes the VISX STAR S4 IR laser- representing the most advanced laser technology platform available today. By integrating data collected by the WaveScan® Wavefront system, the STAR S4 IR utilizes exclusive VISX technology to deliver precision custom laser surgery. The WaveScan® based digital technology identifies and measures imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than standard methods. The powerful WaveScan® software then translates the information into a set of CustomVue® treatment instructions for the laser, driving a new level of precision and accuracy.

Where your surgery is performed is just as important as the quality of the technology used. Dr. Carlson performs all procedures exclusively at the highly specialized Phillips Eye Institute in Minnesota. People from a five-state region come to the Phillips Eye Institute for an array of services, from diagnostic tests and vision rehabilitation to laser eye treatments and specialized eye surgery.

When it comes to improving your vision -and see everything in life more clearly!, Dr Carlson is your best possible choice for laser eye surgery in Minneapolis.