When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
Dr. Howard Short and Dr. Chris Ullrich, the ophthalmologists at Advanced Sight Center, stay at the forefront of their field—drawing on modern technologies such as digital retinal photography, optical coherence tomography, and specular microscopy. The doctors' ongoing education helps keep their skills sharp when they’re performing LASIK procedures or checking for typos on Snellen eye charts. Both Advanced Sight Center locations include an ambulatory surgical center as well as a wide selection of frames from Elle, Esprit, and other popular brands.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Sean P. Mulqueeny has honed his skills as an optometrist even while leading clinical research as the director of the Dry Eye Institute of St. Louis. Together with a group of talented doctors, Dr. Mulqueeny goes above and beyond simple eyewear fitting, treating every aspect of ocular health.
Specializing in the treatment of dry eye, the team also looks for signs of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. For patients looking to break free from their glasses, Mulqueeny Eye Centers offers multiple types of vision correction such as LASIK, PRK, NearVision CK, and refractive lens implants.
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight—a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
Dr. Melissa Lewis wards off blurry vision at 20/20 Optical St Louis, where she performs thorough eye exams and emergency care services. With proper prescriptions in hand, Dr. Lewis's patients can peruse the shop's stock of more than 400 frames from brands including Michael Kors and Tommy Bahama. 20/20's helpful staff is on-hand to ensure that frames fit faces properly and that contact lenses don't fuse to eyeballs.
Tower Optical is the stylish spawn of St. Louis's longest-running ophthalmologic practice, Clinical Ophthalmology. The eye-shield shrine is the retail section of Clinical and home to a horde of designer brands, including Vera Wang ($250+), Brooks Bros. ($150+), Coach ($250+), and J. Lo's own line of optical orb protectors ($165+). Break down the brightness while becoming the envy of neo-hipster friends with a pair of authentic Rayban wayfarers. If you're feeling self-conscious about your eyes' square-shaped irises, invest in a pair of mirrored eyewear, which strategically deflect the evil eye from frenemies while allowing true friends to check their teeth.