Two local doctors of optometry are ready to serve their local community for all its eye care needs with the opening of Delaware Eyes. Dr. Carrie McMahon and Dr. Andrea DiNovo officially opened the new practice, located at 115 N. Sandusky St., late last year but chose to wait until the weather improved to hold their ceremonial opening.
On May 6, Delaware Eyes will host an open house in conjunction with the First Friday festivities downtown. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 3:45 p.m., with the open house following until 6 p.m. The open house will include a tour of the house, prize drawings, and t-shirts from Homestretch Apparel.
Delaware Eyes offers a full scope of services: comprehensive exams, contact lenses, glasses, and emergency care for patients of all ages, including infants. Both McMahon and DiNovo volunteer in the InfantSEE program, which is supported by the American Optometric Association. Through the program, free evaluations are offered for babies between 6 and 12 months old.
McMahon and DiNovo met at The Ohio State University while obtaining their doctorate degrees before heading on to individual careers after school. DiNovo, a graduate of Buckeye Valley High School, and McMahon, a longtime resident of Delaware, recently decided to link up to create a practice where they could influence every aspect of the business.
“The time was right in our careers to kind of go on an adventure and call our own shots and just come back to the community and provide services in the area where we live and that we love,” McMahon told The Gazette.
Establishing a practice in Delaware was “always the vision we held,” McMahon said, adding that they want to be a part of supporting other local businesses as well. “We’re all about fostering the growth of our local community,” she said.
McMahon and DiNovo were looking for a “unique environment” in which they could provide those services, and they found exactly what they hoped to uncover in the former residential home on North Sandusky Street.
“When we saw the space, we just fell in love with it because we love being involved with Main Street Delaware and being a part of that walkable community … Finding this beautiful home that we could restore to its former glory, we thought we could make this work and make something special and different,” McMahon said.
The decision to restore the building in keeping with its original purpose of being a residential dwelling was made in hopes of creating an environment where patients feel as though they are, indeed, at home, rather than a “sterile doctor’s office,” she said. With the weather now beginning to turn, McMahon hopes people will even take advantage of their front porch while waiting.
Now the owners of their own practice for the first time, the duo is excited to be able to craft the care they provide in line with how they envision the community will benefit the most. Primarily, McMahon said that means taking a thorough approach to each person’s needs, however much time that may require.
McMahon said of the benefits of owning the practice, “Just being able to care for patients in the way that we want. I’ve worked in retail optometry at times, and I’ve also been involved with private practices. Just having that home environment where we’re going to give that personalized care, we’re going to take as much time as our patients need.
“It’s not just numbers, getting them in there and getting them out the door. Our goal is to provide that personalized, tailored care because you can get things on the internet, you can get things at a discount chain and things like that, but we really want to offer, as we say, exceptional eye care and unique eyewear. We get to call the shots.”
McMahon noted it’s important to understand that while there are obvious conditions that necessitate a visit with an optometrist, everyone can benefit from getting an eye exam regardless of their current level of vision. She added that ocular conditions can sometimes be related to systemic overall health conditions that can be identified, perhaps for the first time, during exams, even if it isn’t correlating to bad vision during the early stages of the condition.
“It’s important for people to know that even though their vision is ok, we want people to be in the habit of coming in for annual eye checkups just to make sure everything is healthy,” McMahon said.
In particular, McMahon said eye strain as a result of high usage of devices such as computers and phones is a concern at a time when people are spending increasingly extended periods of their day staring at screens.
“We offer evaluations for that to make sure everyone is focusing properly,” she said. “Sometimes, that’s glasses, sometimes it’s contact lenses. Sometimes it’s simply talking to people about the amount of time they’re on their screens and the proper setup of how their computer and things are situated.”
Delaware Eyes is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.delawareeyesoh.com.