As a large family with seven people who are either visually impaired or at least wearing strong glasses, and having lived in the area for over fourteen years, we’ve had quite a bit of experience with area ophthalmologists, optometrists, and low vision specialists. Here’s what we have learned about the specialists we have seen the most. I’m not including addresses and phone numbers, or website links, because those can change. All of these doctors and practices can be found easily by web searches.
Mason Family Eye Care
Drs. Glen and Chad Linsley are a father and son team on the square in Mason. The office is small and homey, and everybody there is super friendly. Although they do not advertise as low vision specialists, both of them have some training and experience in this area, and we feel very comfortable taking even our blind kids there for refraction checkups. Dr. Glen in particular was able to do an amazing job with Kender, getting a prescription for him that was the first ever to work, so that we could tell Kender was seeing better and he was willingly leaving the glasses on. They take VSP and have a small glasses store, although we still get some of our glasses online for lower prices. We’ve been working with this practice for several years now, and only wish we had switched sooner.
Associated Retinal Consultants
Dr. Michael Trese is the world’s leading expert on Familial Exudative VitreoRetinopathy (FEVR), the genetic condition affecting the sight of five in our family. He and his colleagues, Drs. Drenser and Capone, see patients from around the world, and are worth the wait, both to get an appointment and when you get to the office. Bring something to do, and get a sitter for any kids that don’t need to be there; things move slowly, and sometimes we’ve been in the office for up to four hours for routine appointments. Again, it’s worth it. Everybody in our family with FEVR currently gets a wide angle fluorescein angiogram of the retina every six months (under anesthesia for younger kids), plus we drive out for emergency visits if anybody notices a significant change in their vision.
Dr. Karen Luparello
I have to put this here before I go much farther, because I beg everybody who asks not to ever hire this woman as an ophthalmologist. I knew when Jarod was just a baby that we had something genetic going on. His eyes were just too similar to my third child’s to be a coincidence. For two years, seeing Dr. Luparello every four to six months, I pushed and pushed for her to look deeper, find the connection, tell me what was going on. Instead, she told me that Jarod had lazy eye and told us to patch his good eye to force him to use the “weak” one. He screamed and cried the entire time the patch was on, you could tell it wasn’t doing any good because he was too busy crying to actually look at anything. So she had us effectively blind the good eye with eyedrops. He still fussed, but maybe a little less.
Once Kender was born, obviously very blind, and diagnosed with FEVR, Dr. Trese examined all our other children. In Jarod’s “weak” eye, he found a retinal fold that was almost completely covering the lens capsule. This fold meant that Jarod literally could not see out of that eye, no matter how hard he tried. When we were patching him and giving him eyedrops, it was like putting a blindfold on him. No wonder he cried! It’s one of my biggest regrets as a parent, that I did that to my child.
Dr. Luparello looked in my boy’s eyes for over two years and never once picked up on this. She couldn’t even see his retina clearly! I would never again trust my children’s vision to her care.
Lansing Ophthalmology (LO Eye)
These folks are pretty good general ophthalmologists. If you have something really rare, like we do, you’re going to need a better specialist, but these folks can take care of your more common eye conditions, including diabetic eyes and macular degeneration. We occasionally have them perform minor procedures as recommended by Dr. Trese, like YAG laser treatments to remove scar tissue. To the best of my knowledge, they no longer have a pediatric ophthalmologist, and their recommendation for one is going to be Dr. Luparello (see above) because she used to work there.
Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan
We have seen Dr. Archer in this Ann Arbor office several times. He is the one who first suspected FEVR in Kender and sent us to Dr. Trese, and he is our preferred pediatric ophthalmologist for things that fall outside Dr. Trese’s expertise. I highly recommend this practice to anybody looking for a general pediatric ophthalmologist. They are good at diagnostics, and also at recognizing when something needs to be referred to a specialist. Well worth the drive from Lansing, or from other surrounding areas.
Eye Care Associates of Haslett
We worked with Dr. Pairolero for many years, and really only switched to Drs. Linsley because we tired of the drive. Dr. Pairolero is a very competent low vision specialist, and I would readily recommend him to anybody who needs a formal low vision evaluation, or just a step up from your typical optometrist. The staff are friendly and efficient, and they carry Miraflex frames for babies as well as a wide selection of frames for the whole family, with prices comparable to other brick-and-mortar offices.