Monthly Archives: July 2012

Giving Back: Eye Screening in Minneapolis

We all realize the significance of taking good care of our youth- today’s children are tomorrows leaders correct? But setting our children on the right path won’t make a difference, if they can’t see the way!

When my little sister was in grade school, she “got into trouble” often and was doing really poorly in pretty much all of her subjects- even gym! Until finally, one bright educator asked my mother when my sister had had her eyesight tested last. Thus leading to the discovery that the poor kid couldn’t see the chalkboard, let alone the words in her books!

Approximately 25 percent of children have vision problems significant enough to affect their daily activities – in and out of the classroom. Children are not always aware that they have a vision problem and consequently don’t alert an adult who can get them help. Claris is an independent clinic that gives back to its community and is willing to go the extra mile to provide the very best in care…literally.

Routine vision screenings at schools would be an efficient and economical method for detecting vision issues in school-aged children. However competing priorities and demands on budgets leave no money to provide such services. Because of this, Claris is a supporter of the Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) Community Initiative, which  “strives to remove vision problems as a major roadblock to learning by providing regular vision screenings and subsequent treatment services to Minneapolis school children in kindergarten, first, third, fifth and sixth grades”. Claris contributes a portion of its clinic time to seeing patients in this program.

Claris also provides some free and reduced rate eye screenings in Minneapolis at specially organized outreach events (this includes participating in the Jubilee Celebration in Apple Valley Minnesota annually since the fall of 2009).

Giving back to the community clearly isn’t only about eye-care… As a continue effort, Claris Eye Care & Surgery collects toys and books, which are graciously donated by Claris patients, for children attending Time for Tots preschool in south Minneapolis.  Dr. Carlson and Rachel also visit the school monthly to read specially selected books!

If you are interested in supporting an independent clinic that gives back to its community and truly cares about its patients and will go the extra mile to provide the very best in care and clinical experience, then the choice is clear

For more information on giving back to the community please visit:

Popular Eye Care Procedures

We’ve all had friends and family members who have had to undergo some sort of eye care procedure- sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity. Either way, it’s an unfamiliar experience and therefore scary.

popular eye care procedures

When my brother needed LASEK, he had no idea where to start and was worried about how to ascertain the best possible surgeon. And when my dad was diagnosed with cataracts, he was bounced around to several over-crowded, unfriendly, disorganized offices with doctors who rushed the office visit and seriously freaked him out!

The team at Claris Eye Care & Surgery have decades of cumulative experience, working with thousands of patients. But, most importantly, they know what it means for you as a patient to entrust them with your health. They really take the time to help you identify and understand your options and put your mind at ease. Dr. Carlson performs all procedures exclusively at the Phillips Eye Institute which specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and care of eye disorders and diseases.

The following is a list of some of the most popular eye care procedures performed at Claris:

Laser Vision Correction: Widely known as “LASIK &/or LASEK” these types of vision correction both use a custom wavefront laser to shape and correct the cornea. Using Wavescan which is at the forefront in digital technology, imperfections in your eyes are measured 25 times more precisely than standard methods, then software translates the information into a set of CustomVue® treatment instructions for the laser. These digital treatment instructions are then transferred to the laser achieving precise and accurate results.

Treating Cataracts: Cataract surgery is done as an outpatient with sedation and local anesthesia.  A small incision is made in the cornea.  Through this incision, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an acrylic intraocular lens.

Multifocal: Getting older kinda stinks, I know, no way around that. Almost everyone over 50 loses their ability to read comfortably without glasses. During cataract surgery after the clouded natural lens is removed, it can now be replaced with an advanced, artificial Multifocal Lens.  This unique implantable lens significantly improves vision after cataract surgery (and corrects a condition called presbyopia) giving you the ability to improve your vision in a full range of distances, from near to far enabling you to read a book, work on the computer, drive a car, day or night, and enjoy an active lifestyle with an increased freedom from glasses.

Treating Glaucoma: Glaucoma is commonly the result of elevated pressure within the eye.  This is caused by blockage in the tubes that allow fluid to flow out of the eye. Treating glaucoma requires opening these tubes and there are a few options to achieve this: the use of eye drop medication, opening the blocked tubes using a special laser  (this procedure has a 90% success rate in lowering eye pressure, and when medication and laser surgery do not work, a surgical opening can be made in the white of the eye (sclera) to achieve lower eye pressure.

Treating Eyelids: No, it’s not only for big movie stars like George Clooney-eyelid surgery is actually frequently necessary for functional reasons as well as to maintain the overall health of the eye. Blepharoplasty is surgery for the removal of redundant skin on the upper lid (considered medical) and for the removal of fat and excess skin on the lower lid (considered cosmetic).  Surgical correction for out-turning and in-turning lids is known as an Ectropion/Entropion procedure (an incision is made at the side of the lower lid; Lower lid tissue is sutured to the lateral rim of the eye. This restores the lower lid to its original location and tightens its laxity) Blepharoplasty/Entropion/Ectropion procedures are outpatient procedures performed in the operating room at the Phillips Eye Institute and are followed by several post operative visits at Claris. For small skin lesions on the eyelid, Claris typically removes them under microscope control at the Diagnostic and Treatment area of the Phillips Eye Institute.

Treating Macular Degeneration: There are several possible options for the treatment of AMD. #1 Supplements proven to be effective are vitamins C, E and beta-carotene, as well as zinc and copper. #2 A direct laser treatment of wet macular degeneration is used to stop leakage of blood or other fluids into the macula.  This acts like a “spot weld” of the leaking blood vessels, sealing them permanently. #3 An injection of medications can be made into the eyeball to directly stop the growth of leaking blood vessels. This procedure is done by a retinal specialist in close working relationship with Claris Eye Care & Surgery.

Diabetic Check: An exam using drops in the eye to make the black part of the eye (pupil) larger, allows Dr. Carlson to better see the back of the eye for potential problems.  In some cases, an argon laser is used to close off leaking blood vessels, helping to stop the flow of blood that can cause impaired vision.

Complete Eye Exams: Claris evaluates the health of your eyes by testing for glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration.  Once they have confirmed the health of your eyes, they can check your need for a new eye glass prescription.

Botox® Cosmetic: We can’t all be worry-free, but at least we can look like it right? Cosmetic Botox is the #1 requested non-surgical procedure in the United States. Botox acts to separate nerve impulses from muscle actions.  This action lessens muscle contractions in the area of treatment and, thereby, diminishes wrinkles.  Botox is not a poison and cannot cause an infection.  It does not have a systemic effect.  It is not permanent.

LATISSE®: A solution that is only available as a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis – used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker.

Dermal Fillers: While we’re on the subject of “looking” good, last but certainly not least, is my personal favorite fountain of youth-Dermal fillers help replace the hyaluronic acid your skin has lost, adding volume to smooth away facial wrinkles and folds producing a smooth, natural-looking result. Discussing your treatment goals, and taking photos showing the facial areas are done before the medication is injected into the mid-to-deep dermis area. “Does it hurt ?” is a frequent question I get when I disclose my foray into trendy treatments. My answer: “ Well, it doesn’t tickle”.

As with any major or minor procedures, there are significant benefits and risks associated with surgeries.  Dr. Carlson and his team welcome your visit to discuss these and to determine which is right for you.

If you have questions about any of the procedures listed above or would like to schedule a treatment, please contact us at 612.775.8009 or by email at