How to Choose the Right Eye Doctor for You

Tips on finding the Best Eye Doctor for Your Needs

Choosing an Optometrist in Burnsville is a challenging task because there are many excellent eye clinics from which to choose.

In this article, we will show you what to look for when deciding on an optometrist for your family and also list the top 10 optometrists in Burnsville.  Not only will we list our competitors, but also present some information about them that can be found on their website.

You might ask why we would list our competitors, and that is a very valid question.  Since we have the utmost confidence in the skills of our doctor and results we get here at Complete Family Eyecare, we really don’t think you would want to go anywhere else.  We’ll help you do your research from an objective perspective.  After all, the long list of satisfied patients and five star reviews is all the proof we need.  You only get one pair of eyes, and you owe it to yourself to find a qualified eye doctor that cares about your eyes as much as you do.

How to choose an eye doctor

First, let’s clarify the term “eye doctor”.  Most optical clinics have staff that fall into one of three categories:

  • Optician
  • Optometrist
  • Ophthalmologist


What is an Optician?

The role of an optician is to design, verify and fit eyeglass lenses and frames.  They also help to select contact lenses.  The lenses are based on the prescription that is supplied an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Opticians cannot perform an eye exam (reading the eye chart for example) nor can they write a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Opticians cannot diagnose or treat problems with your eyes, but instead refer you to a qualified doctor.

Further information about optician


What is an Optometrist?

Optometrists have completed specialized training and education, resulting in a university degree referred to as “doctor of optometry”, or more commonly referred to as “OD”.

ODs typically attend four years of optometry school, including internships at established eye care clinics.  And that’s after three years of a general college degree.

Optometrists can:

  • Perform a sight test (reading the letters on the chart)
  • Examine the eye using various instruments and technology
  • Diagnose eye diseases.
  • Prescribe medications to treat the eye disease.
  • Write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses

Think of an optometrist like your family doctor, except that the optometrist only examines and treats your eyes.

Further reading about optometrist.



What is an Ophthalmologist?

Apart from being very hard to spell, like an optometrist, they have usually taken three years of college plus eight years of specialized medical training, resulting in a university degree referred to as a Medical Doctor or “MD”.

Ophthalmologists can be thought of as a specialized eye doctor.  While they can perform the same functions as an optometrist, they have medical skills to take care of specific eye problems that may require surgery.

Ophthalmologists can:

  • Perform a sight test (reading the letters on the chart)
  • Examine the eye using various instruments and technology
  • Diagnose eye diseases.
  • Prescribe medications to treat the eye disease.
  • Write prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses
  • Perform eye surgery

More about ophthalmologist.


What Type of Eye Doctor do I Need?

If all you need is a refill on your  contact lenses, or a new eyeglass frame or lenses (maybe it got damaged or you just want a new style of eyeglasses), as long as you have an eye prescription written by an optometrist or ophthalmologist, you should be able to purchase your contact lenses or eyeglasses at most eye care locations.

“Big Box” Store Locations

Many of the “big box” stores such as Walmart or Target now house an optical store within the store itself.  Typically the staff at the optical store are not employees of Walmart or Target, but rent space from these stores in exchange for a lot of potential patients that are walking by every day.

Solo Practice Office

The next type of location where you can find an eye doctor is at a solo practitioner office.  This type of office normally accommodates one eye doctor who is either an OD or MD.  They might employ opticians to perform eyeglass and contact lens fitting.  It might be a free-standing building or inside a larger medical center complex.

Multi-Practice Office

Another location would be a multi-practice office, where you will find multiple eye doctors and opticians.  Since these locations have multiple eye doctors, you might find that it is busier than a solo practitioner’s office.  If run properly, you should not feel rushed and that the doctors and staff spend as much time as needed to examine and diagnose your eyes.

How about those online and “1-800” Stores.  They’re Cheaper!

How to choose an eye doctor
How to choose an eye doctor

It’s true that you can purchase your contact lenses and eyeglasses online, and because of bulk quantities, you might be able to save some money.

Sure, local optometrist clinics have overheads to run their offices and pay staff, and sometimes they won’t be able to match an online price, but that’s not the reason why eye doctors established eye care clinics around Burnsville.

As a side note, manufacturers routinely make rebates available for contact lenses and eyeglass frames.  From time to time, manufacturers will send out a stack of coupons if they want to promote a particular brand or line of eye care product.

When this happens, the price you pay is likely close to what you would have paid online.

However, in considering this, ask yourself if the health of your eyes is worth saving a few bucks over.  When you purchase contact lenses in a clinic, they make sure the lenses fit correctly and also see you for follow up visits to make sure they are the best contact lens for you.  If they are not perfect, they’ll likely change you into a different lens.  There is no way that an online company could offer you that level of service.

You’ll find that most optometrists went through all of the years of training because they are people who care very much about the health of their patients’ eyes.  Their business thrives on referrals and good reviews, so there is no reason to give poor service to anyone.

Our Hours:

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday 9:00am - 7:00pm
Friday: 9:00am-1:00pm
Saturday: Urgent medical needs only, text 612-578-5516

Complete Family Eyecare
(952) 562-8116

Rated 5 stars – based on 299 reviews and counting
14120 Commerce Ave, Suite 100
Prior Lake MN 55372

Questions to ask an Eye Doctor

To help find the eye doctor that best meets your needs, here are some questions to ask them before you make an appointment for an eye exam.

What Type of Eye Doctor?


Are they an optician, an optometrist or an ophthalmologist?

Refer to the definitions above to determine what level of skill you need.

If in doubt, seek out an optometrist so that they can examine your eyes in detail.



The longer a doctor has been in practice, the more eyes they have seen which means they are better at diagnosing problems with the eyes and prescribing a course of treatment.

What Credentials do you Have?


All licensed eye care professionals are required to be registered with the board of optometry in every state.

Is their licence current?

Do they have any negative reports logged against them?

What Specialties do you Have?


Depending on your preexisting conditions, you should find out if they specialize in that condition.

For example, dry eyes is very common in people over 40 who spend a lot of time in front of a computer.

If you are diabetic, they need to know what symptoms to look for.

If you are a senior, what glaucoma tests do they perform.



If they don’t accept your insurance, you might spend a bit more than you would at another clinic.

Ask if they have any manufacturer coupons for your contact lens or eyeglass frames.

However, cost is not always the deciding factor – what price do you put on the health of your eyes?

Children / Adults / Seniors


If you have a very young child, it’s important that they see an eye doctor who has experience in examining the eyes of young children.  As a child develops over the early years, their eyes need frequent exams in case of any potential issues.


Having a doctor experienced in seniors’ eyes means that they are more likely to identify any potential issues like cataracts before they become a major problem.

Eye doctors may have developed special interests, from examining infants to treating patients with glaucoma. If you’re looking for an eye doctor for your infant, you may want to make sure the doctor likes to see infants.

Burnsville Optometrists – Research and Reviews

We have identified ten eye care clinics that serve the Burnsville area.  Using the criteria mentioned above, we visited their respective websites and simply copied the information that we could find.  No opinions, just objective research.

Then the list is sorted alphabetically to avoid any bias towards “one eye doctor is better than another”.

This information is correct as of September 2015.

Do They Have an Active Licence?

You can check to see of an optometrist has an active license to practice optometry by visiting the following link: Minnesota Board of Optometry – license check

For ophthalmologists, check the Health Licensing Board at

Do They Have any Formal Complaints?

A current list of formal complaints about any optometrist operating in the state of Minnesota can be found at the following link: Minnesota Board of Optometry – complaints

Affinity Eye Care

Burnsville Family Eye Care

Complete Family Eyecare

Edina Eye

North & Watson

Park Nicollet Clinic

Pearle Vision



Affinity Eye Care



Phone: (952) 229-6462

About: Our philosophy is simple…treat every patient like we would treat family, with respect, integrity, and value. We strive to maintain a personal eye care service and preserve a strong relationship with our patients and community.

The office has been open since 2010.


  • Paul Damlo, Optometrist. Graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry

Years of experience: The doctor has 14 years of clinical experience in the twin cities area.

Days open: Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat


  • Computer vision syndrome
  • Dry eyes

Insurance: Aetna, Always Care Vision, BCBS, Davis Vision. Health Partners, Preferred One, Select Care, Spectera, United health Care, VSP.


Complete Family EyeCare



Phone: (952) 562-8116

About: Complete Family Eyecare was founded in 2010 with a vision of providing unique eye care services to Burnsville, Lakeville, Savage, Prior Lake, Eagan, Apple Valley and South Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro area. Dr. Steve Reinders served Park Nicollet Clinic for 17 years before opening Complete Family with the goal of providing a more personal, patient focused experience in eye care. Together with his wife Jennifer, they built CFE from an empty shell into a state of the art eye clinic. While utilizing the most current technologies to address all of your eye care needs.

The office has been open since 2010.


  • Steven Reinders, Optometrist. Graduated from Pacific University in 1993

Years of experience: The doctor has 22 years of clinical experience.

Days open: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat (emergencies only)


  • Contact lens fitting
  • Dry eyes
  • Glaucoma management
  • Diabetic eye care
  • Computer vision syndrome
  • Lasik consultation

Insurance: Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, EyeMed, Health Partners, Medica, Patient Choice, Preferred One, Select Care, Tricare, United health Care, VSP, Medicare, Ucare, Americas PPO.


Burnsville Family Eye Care



Phone: (952) 894-1400

About: Dr. Andrew Mattson is completely focused on providing excellent vision care services to our patients.

The office has been open since 2005.


  • Andrew Mattson, O.D. Illinois College of Optometry (2001)
  • Emily Ufken. O.D. Pacific University College of Optometry (2012)

Days open: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat.

Years of experience:

  • Dr. Mattson: 14 years, assuming he started practicing upon graduation.
  • Dr. Ufken: 3 years, assuming she started practicing upon graduation.


  • None listed on their website

Vision insurance plans: Always Care, EyeMed, Humana VCP, VSP.

Medical insurance plans: Aetna, America’s PPO/Health EZ, BCBS, Cigna, Health Partners, Humana, Medica, Medicare, Patient Choice, Preferred One, SelectCare, tricare West, UMR, United Healthcare.

Edina Eye



Phone: (952) 832-8100

About: Established in 1963, Edina Eye is one of the nation’s leading resources for medical, surgical, and cosmetic eye care and optical service. We have built our reputation by maintaining an unyielding commitment to personalized excellence. You will not find another group of experts more experienced and committed to the overall health of your eyes.

The organization (Edina Eye has multiple office locations) was established in 1963.  Unknown as to when the Burnsville location was opened.


  • Marshall Everson, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of Minnesota
  • Eugene O. Gullingsrud, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of Minnesota
  • Jeffrey Stephens, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of North Dakota
  • Jafar Hasan, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of Kentucky
  • Scott Schaefer, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of Minnesota
  • Mohit Dewan, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the University of Minnesota
  • Suzanne Viggiano, Ophthalmologist. Graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, MN
  • Theresa Klinge, Optometrist. Graduated from Illinois College of Optometry

Years of experience: Unable to locate the doctors’ experience from their website.

Days open: Unable to locate open days from their website


  • Anterior segment surgery.
  • Cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation
  • Refractive surgery
  • Glaucoma management

Insurance: Unable to locate insurance information from their website.

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