Tag Archive: Dr. Elaine Happ

Winter in Minnesota

Winter in Minnesota | MN Winter Weather and Eye Wear Challenges

Finally we have a winter with snow! Isn’t that why we choose to make our home in Minnesota? Many people cannot understand why anyone in their right mind would chose to endure subzero temperatures, icy sidewalks and roads, and the oppressive darkness of the winter months over the milder conditions of southern living. Those people have never experienced the beauty of waking up to a world covered in ice crystals reflecting the light of the rising sun or a soft, white blanket of snow that cushions the harsh sounds of the city and covers the browns and grays of the dormant flora.

They have also never experienced the thrill of traveling downhill on a highly polished pair of skis or a snowboard at speeds that would get you a hefty fine if you were traveling down the interstate. Nor have they driven their snowmobile or truck across a frozen lake to a tiny shed, drilled a hole through 18 inches of ice, dropped in a line and pulled out the catch of the day. Or bundled up the kids until they could barely move and help them build a massive snowman, or better yet, a snow fort where you stock pile snowballs for target practice.

While there are many good reasons we choose to stay in Minnesota in the winter, there are also some challenges that we face. One of those challenges is how to best care for our eyes and experience good vision when extreme temperatures cause humidity to drop, eyes to feel dry and glasses to fog up.

Uptown Eye Care - MN Winter

“Dr Happ” hangin’ loose on her official Uptown Eye Care snowboard

Dry Itchy Eyes in Winter

It is very common for eyes to feel scratchy and dry, or to tear excessively when consistently exposed to the drying heat we use to defrost ourselves after enjoying our time in the snow. Using a good quality, preservative-free artificial tear can provide immediate relief from the discomforts of dry eyes (see our post on Dry Eye Disease (DED)).

“These can be used as often as needed throughout the day” says optometrist Dr. Elaine Happ. “But if this doesn’t seem to eliminate your discomforts, then, as an accredited dry eye center, we can assist you in finding a therapy that will work for you.”

Anti Fog for Glasses

Keeping eye glasses from fogging up and impeding vision is another problem that the eye doctors at Uptown Eye Care can help you with. “We now have a new lens available made with a patented technology that prevents fog from forming on the lenses.” states Dr Happ. “ You just treat the lens with the antifog activator once a week. This new technology has been much more efficient and longer lasting than the old antifog liquids on the market.”

Daily Contact Lenses

Another fantastic option for keeping clear vision in the winter are daily contact lenses. Daily contact lenses are designed to be worn for one day, then disposed of at the end of the day. A fresh pair is put in each day resulting in the highest level of comfort possible.

“I have several patients that normally wear glasses, but will always get a supply of daily disposable contacts for use on snowmobile trips. It is much more comfortable when wearing helmets or other eye protection and has the added benefit of not fogging up” says Dr Happ. “And, with daily disposable contacts you don’t need to use contact lens solutions for overnight storage. You just throw them away and put in a new pair in the morning.”

Contact Uptown Eye Care

If you are experiencing challenges to maintaining clear and comfortable vision this winter, call or email us at Uptown Eye Care. We are ready to help you make the most of this beautiful Minnesota winter.

Uptown Eye Care
560 Cedar Street
Monticello, MN 55362
Directions (http://maps NULL.google NULL.com/maps/place?q=Uptown+Eyecare+Monticello,+MN&hl=en&cid=934498907954239871)

Phone: 763-271-2020
Fax: 763-271-2030
uptown@uptowneyecare.com (uptown null@null uptowneyecare NULL.com)

Glaucoma, The Silent Thief of Sight

Are You At Risk for The Silent Thief of Sight?

Glaucoma, The Silent Thief of Sight

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

It can come with no warning and no noticeable symptoms. It is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States. “IT” is Glaucoma, the Silent Thief of Sight, according to Dr. Elaine Happ, Therapeutic Optometrist.

“January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month and we encourage all people, especially those at higher risk for this disease, to familiarize themselves with the potential symptoms and need for regular eye examinations” Dr. Happ said. “A regular eye examination is especially critical since a person with early-stage Glaucoma may not notice any symptoms at all.”

Dr. Happ added that while the early stage symptoms may not be noticeable, persons with more advanced Glaucoma may notice blurred vision, the presence of halos around lights, loss of peripheral vision and difficulty focusing on objects.

“Glaucoma affects an estimated 4 million Americans,” Dr. Happ said. Some people are more at risk than others. Those at higher risk include:

  • People over the age of 60
  • African-Americans over age 40
  • People with diabetes
  • Individuals that have experienced a serious eye injury
  • Anyone with a family history of glaucoma

“While there is no cure for Glaucoma, early detection and treatment can slow or prevent further vision loss,” Dr. Happ said. “First and foremost in the process is a comprehensive eye health exam by your family eye doctor.” If you are concerned about your risk for Glaucoma, The Silent Thief of Sight, please don’t hesitate to Schedule An Appointment with us.

Dr. Happ owns and practices at Uptown Eye Care located at 560 Cedar Street in Monticello, MN and is a member of Vision Source, the nation’s number one network of private practice optometrists. Founded in 1991, The Vision Source network includes more than 3,000 offices in all 50 states and in Canada.


Varilux S Series Lenses

Varilux S Series Lenses – Achieving Limitless Vision

Flawless vision should be simple, but for those who need to wear progressive lenses there can be some obstacles to achieving it.

Experiences with standard progressive lenses

  • “I feel wary when going down stairs.”
  • “When moving my head I feel that everything moves, yet nothing should move.”
  • “I see objects distorted. Straight lines look crooked.”
  • “I always have to adjust my head or posture to target what I am looking at.”
  • “It takes time to focus clearly from far to near and edge to edge.”

Those limits may appear when you try progressive lenses for the first time, in specific situations.
They can also appear when your prescription is changing.

If you are concerned that it may be difficult to adapt to progressive lenses, we would like to introduce you to the new Varilux S series progressive lenses. Varilux S series delivers much more than main premium progressive lenses on the market, it delivers unlimited vision.

Unlimited Vision with Varilux S Series Lenses

Varilux S Series are the solution to these concerns:

  • “I feel wary when going down stairs.” – Image rendering is getting perfect, you can trust what you see.
  • “When moving my head I feel that everything moves, yet nothing should move.” – The image is stabilized.
  • “I see objects distorted. Straight lines look crooked.” – Images are truer. Straight lines look straight.
  • “I always have to adjust my head or posture to target what I am looking at.” – You don’t need to adjust, you can see everything without systematically searching for the right position.
  • “It takes time to focus clearly from far to near and edge to edge.” – It provides you with reflex vision for the first time.

“We have had great feedback from our patients that have tried the new Varilux lenses” says LaRae, optical manager at Uptown Eye Care. “It is so satisfying to be able to offer these premium digital progressive lenses because they give those who wear them the vision they thought they would never again experience.”

“I find very few people want to compromise when it comes to their vision” according to Dr. Elaine Happ, optometrist/owner of Uptown Eye Care. “I am confident when prescribing the new Varilux S series lenses that they won’t have to settle.”

If you have questions or concerns about a need for progressive lenses please let us help you. Our opticians and optometrists are fully qualified to care for your needs. Contact Us today to request an appointment.

Dr. Elaine Happ Featured in Vision Monday

Dr. Elaine Happ Featured in Vision Monday

Uptown Eye Care’s Dr. Elaine Happ was featured in Vision Monday this month as one of the Optometric Business Innovators of 2012. Vision Monday is the optical industry’s leading news website, covering all things eye care and vision care related, including eyewear, lenses, technology and management. Vision Monday and the Review of Optometric Business teamed up in the process of selecting and presenting this year’s innovators. Both organizations solicited input from their readers and also formed a Professional Advisory Panel. The selections were made by recommendations from both groups based on the candidate’s innovation in the following areas: Marketing, Digital Media, Business Management, Optical Dispensing, The Patient Experience, Influencers and Contact Lens Dispensing.

Dr. Elaine Happ

Dr. Elaine Happ

Dr. Happ was chosen as one of five innovators from across the country in the category of Optical Dispensing. Uptown Eye Care was recognized for its growth and expansion throughout its 22 years of practice, its use of the latest technology, and quality of service. Dr. Happ was also commended for giving back and her mission to Guatemala.




→ Download the full Optometric Business Innovators 2012: Top Docs In Practice Management cover story here: http://www.visionmonday.com/CMSDocuments/2012/6/cover_story_VM061812.pdf (http://www NULL.visionmonday NULL.com/CMSDocuments/2012/6/cover_story_VM061812 NULL.pdf)

→ See the Vision Monday Optical Dispensing website feature here: http://www.visionmonday.com/ViewContent/tabid/211/Parent_content_id/34956/content_id/34970/Default.aspx (http://www NULL.visionmonday NULL.com/ViewContent/tabid/211/Parent_content_id/34956/content_id/34970/Default NULL.aspx)


Uptown Eye Care’s Dr. Elaine Happ featured in Vision Monday as one of the Optometric Business Innovators of 2012 in Optical Dispensing (OD).

Eye Care Services

Uptown Eye Care serves patients of all ages, with our eye care services designed to meet the needs of our patients from infancy through maturity. We provide total eye health care, from evaluating the developing vision in a young child to diagnosing and caring for the needs of the aging visual system.

Dr. Mary Gregory

Dr. Mary Gregory

Dr. Mary Gregory specializes in the needs of our young patients. During a child’s first twelve years 80% of all learning comes through vision, yet vision problems affect 1 in 20 preschoolers and 1 in 4 school age children. Dr. Gregory is an InfantSee provider.  InfantSEE (http://www NULL.infantsee NULL.org/)® is a public health program designed to ensure that eye and vision care becomes an integral part of infant wellness care to improve a child’s quality of life. Under this program, member optometrists will provide a comprehensive infant eye assessment within the first year of life as a no cost public health service. Dr. Gregory will test for visual acuity, excessive or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, evaluate eye alignment, and examine eye teaming ability.  The health of your baby’s eyes will be assessed as well. Although problems are not common, it is important to identify children who have specific risk factors at this stage. Vision development and eye health problems can be more easily corrected if treatment is begun early.  For more information go to:  www.uptowneyecare.com/services/infantsee

Dr. Gregory recommends that children have a complete eye exam between 9-12 months, at 3 or 4 years old and when entering kindergarten and first grade to ensure they do not struggle or fall behind in their ability to learn and read. For more information on vision and learning go to:  www.uptowneyecare.com/services/your-childs-vision

Dr. Elaine Happ

Dr. Elaine Happ

Dr. Elaine Happ specializes in treating the condition known as Dry Eye Disease. Uptown Eye Care is an Accredited Dry Eye Center, dedicated to providing the highest quality of dry eye care using advanced ophthalmic diagnostic techniques and treatments. Dr. Happ has developed a diagnosis and treatment protocol that provides relief from the discomfort and damage that results from dry eye disease. For more information on Dry Eye Disease go to:  www.uptowneyecare.com/dry-eye-disease-ded

Dr. Happ has years of experience in diagnosing and managing patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration and other age-related diseases. She cares for patients’ low vision needs and provides pre and post-operative care for those having refractive or cataract surgery, as well.

Our office also provides emergency eye care services for eye infections and eye injuries and removal of foreign objects. If you have an emergency please call our office at 763-271-2020. State of the art microscopes allow us to examine the front surface of the eye and facial areas around the eye for infection or injury. After assessing the extent of the injury or infection a treatment plan will be formulated and explained to you.

Feel free to Contact Us with any questions about our eye care services, your eye health, or to schedule an appointment for you or your family.

Eye Care Services

A Vision Center for Dry Eye Therapy

There are different causes of Dry Eye Disease, and, not surprisingly, there are different ways to treat Dry Eye Disease.

Individualized Treatment for Dry Eye Disease

dry eye disease

Dry Eye Disease

Dr. Elaine Happ, OD owns a vision center center for Dry Eye Therapy.  Uptown Eye Care offers comprehensive treatment for dry eye disease. “I have developed a treatment protocol that takes into account that each individual will respond differently to treatment.”

On your initial visit for a dry eye evaluation we will do thorough testing to determine the severity of your condition. Based on your test results we will know if you have mild, moderate or severe dry eye disease. We will then discuss treatment options that will give you the best results. The options could include artificial tear therapy, Omega-3 supplements, punctal plugs, anti-inflammatory drops or prescription strength artificial tears.

We schedule a follow up visit approximately 30 days after we implement the original treatment plan where we can again use the TearLab to see if you are getting positive results with our chosen treatment plan. If necessary, we adjust the therapy to maximize your results.

If you suffer from red, burning or itching eyes or if you get a sandy or gritty feeling, excessive tearing and are sensitive to light you may have dry eye disease. If you have had refractive surgery, or spend long hours in front of a computer or suffer from allergies the symptoms of dry eye disease can be intensified.

Don’t put up with the discomfort of dry eyes. Call our vision center or Contact Us and schedule a dry eye evaluation with Dr. Happ.

A Vision Center for Dry Eye Therapy

We often hear the question, “what is the most under-diagnosed eye disease?”

While people routinely describe their symptoms of dry eyes to their eye doctor, Dry Eye Disease is one of the most under-diagnosed ocular diseases.

Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye Disease is quite common, especially in older adults and particularly in women. Yet, the symptoms of stinging, burning, tearing, blurred vision and tired eyes are often mistaken for allergies or attributed to environmental conditions. While these conditions may aggravate dry eyes, the cause stems from the body’s inability to produce sufficient tears to properly lubricate and nourish the eye. The root of the problem could be that an inadequate amount of tears are being produced and the tears evaporate too quickly from the surface of the eye. It is also possible that it is the quality of the tears is unbalanced.

Only your eye doctor can determine the nature of your dry eye disease. Optometrist Dr. Elaine Happ does this by evaluating the osmolarity of your tear film using the TearLab Osmolarity Test.
According to Dr. Happ,” It is important to have an accurate diagnosis of Dry Eye Disease since proper treatment can keep your eyes healthy, comfortable and prevent your vision from being affected.”

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms contact us immediately so we can test you and diagnose the problem so that we can stop your discomfort and better yet keep your eyes healthy.

FAQ’s About AMD

FAQ’s About AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

An estimated 10 million Americans show evidence of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a progressive eye condition that can destroy “straight-ahead” vision, according to Uptown Eye Care’s Dr. Elaine Happ, Therapeutic Optometrist.

AMD Awareness

AMD Awareness

“February is AMD Awareness Month and we encourage all people, especially those at higher risk for this disease, to familiarize themselves with the potential symptoms and need for regular eye examinations” Dr. Elaine Happ said. “To help people better understand this disease, we’ve prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions about AMD. ”


Q: What is AMD?
A: AMD stands for Age-related Macular Degeneration, a disease that breaks down the macula – the light-sensitive portion of the retina that allows you to see fine detail. It blurs the straight-ahead vision required for activities such as reading or driving


Q: What causes AMD?
A: The causes of AMD are still unknown. One form of AMD (Dry) may be caused by aging and thinning of the macular tissues, pigment deposits in the macula, or a combination of the two. The other form of AMD (Wet), results when new blood vessels grow beneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This leakage causes retinal cells to die and creates blind spots in central vision.


Q: Who is at risk for AMD?
A: Risk factors for AMD include:  Smoking, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, and Family History of AMD. Also, Caucasians and females are more prone to AMD.


Q: What are the symptoms of AMD?
A: Early symptoms of AMD included blurred vision or dark spots in the center of vision. The symptoms can appear painlessly and gradually, making early detection and treatment essential.


Q: How can AMD be detected?
A: Early-stage AMD can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam that includes a visual acuity test and dilated eye exam. If AMD is detected, further tests may be required.


Q: Can AMD be cured?
A: There is no cure or AMD at this time. There are, however, certain treatments that can slow or minimize vision loss, and, in some cases, even improve vision.


Q: How is AMD treated?
A: There are several treatment options that your eye doctor may consider, including:
* Vitamins. Research suggests that certain vitamin supplements taken in combination may reduce vision loss in some stages of AMD
* Laser Surgery (Wet AMD)
* Injections (Wet AMD)


“While there is no cure for AMD, early detection and treatment can slow or minimize vision loss, and, in some cases even improve vision.” Dr. Elaine Happ said. “There are also devices that can help people suffering from AMD-related vision loss achieve improvement in their functional vision for performing daily routines.”


For more on AMD and its symptoms, risk factors and preventative tips see Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

Dr. Elaine Happ owns and practices at Uptown Eye Care located at 560 Cedar Street in Monticello, MN and is a member of Vision Source, the nation’s number one network of private practice optometrists. Founded in 1991, The Vision Source network includes more than 2,300 offices in all 50 states and in Canada.

Dry Eye Disease (DED)

TearLab – Dry Eye (http://vimeo NULL.com/33514550) from Uptown Eye Care (http://vimeo NULL.com/user8323343).

Healthy eyes have a constant layer of tears, or “tear film” that keeps them nourished and protected. An unbalanced tear film will be manifest in ocular discomfort and damage to the surface of your eyes. This condition is known as Dry Eye Disease. The best way to measure the extent of this imbalance is to have your eye doctor measure your tear film osmolarity, according to Dr. Elaine Happ.

“Using the results of tear osmolarity testing, we implement a treatment program using Omega 3 supplements and tear replacement drops “ says Dr. Happ. “Depending on the severity of the condition, we may also recommend punctal plugs, anti-inflammatory drops or prescription strength artificial tears.”

Some factors that contribute to Dry Eye Disease are ones we cannot control, like aging and gender (women are more likely to suffer from DED). Some medications and radiation therapies can contribute to the condition. Other factors known to affect the health of our tear film are intense visual concentration, such as TV watching and computer use, a diet low in vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids, exposure to dry and windy environments, smoking, and having refractive surgery, such as LASIK.

Dr. Elaine Happ specializes in diagnosing and treating Dry Eye Disease and Uptown Eye Care is registered as an Accredited Dry Eye Center.

TearLab LogoAccredited TearLab Dry Eye Center

Dr. Elaine Happ had responded to a Review of Optometry survey about having a business plan and budget for your practice. Her response was well received by the magazine’s editorial staff, who said it was rare to find an office that actually had such a detailed strategy for the upcoming year. The editor then asked if she could do a story on Uptown Eye Care and their 2012 strategy.

Women In Optometry - Uptown Eye Care

Women In Optometry - November 2011 - Uptown Eye Care Feature

In the interview Dr. Happ told Review of Optometry that Uptown Eye Care had conducted their first planning and budgeting meeting the past year, setting tangible goals and deadlines for 2011. These included: creating pediatric patient gift bags, setting a donation limit, expanding the staff section of website, rewriting the procedure manual, setting plans for staff education, and breaking down the office financials. Their second annual planning meeting was to be conducted soon, which would push the successes of 2011 forward with new marketing tactics and digital strategy implementation for 2012. These techniques included goals of: revising the clinic’s website, producing informational videos showcasing available technology, entering into social media networking, and optimizing the website to generate more organic search results and targeted leads. To help achieve these goals Uptown Eye Care hired media and marketing company OxRun, www.oxrun.com (http://www NULL.oxrun NULL.com/), to facilitate these new initiatives and keep the office on target to achieve its strategic goals.

Beyond expansion strategy, the article introduces readers to Dr. Gregory and Dr. Happ, office manager Melonie Carlson, and the aesthetically pleasing park-like atmosphere of the practice.

You may find a digital copy of the Women in Optometry Magazine – November 2011 issue HERE. Uptown Eye Care is featured on page 8 of the magazine, entitled, “After Years of Organic Growth, Doctors Chart More Defined Course”.

Women in Optometry is a supplement to the Review of Optometry Magazine (http://www NULL.revoptom NULL.com/), a production of Jobson Medical Information LLC.

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