(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
SIKESTON -- One might say optometry is in Bryan Wood's blood.
After all, he is a fifth-generation optometrist. He's also been putting glasses together since he was just 5.
"I was definitely born into the business," Wood said.
However, he is the first of his family to branch out and start his own practice, Clearview Eyecare. The store opened in early November.
"I wanted more freedom," he said. "At most jobs, you get no say so. You just write the prescription and then go back to your hole. I like to get involved."
And Wood, with experience as a manager and in all positions within eye care, liked all the duties and wanted to do it all. "Most of the time the eye doctors aren't making your glasses," he said. "I've done it all, and I'm doing it all here."
His biggest vision is to make Clearview Eyecare "a convenient location to get everything done."
Wood said the on-site lab is one of the biggest draws at his new business. There, he can have a set of glasses -- even bifocals -- ready within one hour. "I saw an opportunity that wasn't being filled for getting glasses in an hour, at a reasonable price," he said. "We're the only place in Sikeston that offers that."
In the month the store has been opened, there have been a few "really desperate" people who needed that quick turnaround, Wood said. Those needing glasses can also bring in prescriptions from other optometrists, he noted.
Another feature of the new store is a digital retinal camera. It produces an image of the back of one's eye, which takes the place of having to dilate a patient's eyes.
The technology also helps Wood to diagnose other illnesses. Just recently, he saw a patient who was "destined for a stroke within hours," Wood said. "It's a lifesaving tool somedays."
On another occasion, Wood diagnosed a patient with diabetes, who was immediately admitted to the hospital.
Wood also spoke of the wide variety of frames offered, for every age and pocketbook.
"We've definitely got some of the least expensive ones you can find," Wood said. "In addition to that, we've got some of the newest, latest styles of frames."
Designer lines include Ralph Lauren, Nike, Stetson, John Deere and Sean John. There are also Disney frames for children and infants.
Contact lenses are also offered.
Clearview Eyecare should be on most insurance plans by January, Wood noted.
Also on staff are two experienced opticians, Betty Staggs and Krista Shands.
Originally from Southern Illinois, Wood moved here 12 years ago. He's worked at Wal-Mart in Sikeston, Cape Girardeau and Dexter.
He graduated from optometry school at Southeast Missouri State University in 2000. Then, he attended the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Ill., where he earned his doctorate degree in 2006.
Clearview Eyecare is located at 249 North Main in Sikeston, behind Walgreens. Walk-ins and appointments are welcome; hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The phone number is 472-
4242, and e-mail is ClearviewEyecareSikeston@gmail.com.