The eyes have it at Plymouth’s 20/20 Visions

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

Drs. Sharon R. Roberts and Bradley J. Wicklund, at their 20/20 Visions offices at 100 Carr Rd. Wicklund recently joined Plymouth native Roberts as a business partner at 20/20 Visions. — Review photo by Rodney Schroeter Drs. Sharon R. Roberts and Bradley J. Wicklund, at their 20/20 Visions offices at 100 Carr Rd. Wicklund recently joined Plymouth native Roberts as a business partner at 20/20 Visions. — Review photo by Rodney Schroeter Plymouth native Sharon Roberts has been serving the Plymouth area for over twenty years as an O. D. (Doctor of Optometry). A graduate of the Illinois College of Optometry, she opened a practice in downtown Plymouth in 1993. In 2008, she moved her offices to a new building on 100 Carr Road, where 20/20 Visions is now located.

Bradley J. Wicklund, O. D., recently joined Dr. Roberts at 20/20 Visions as a business partner. He grew up in Madison and graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn.

“We’re a primary eye-care facility,” Dr. Roberts said. “We evaluate patients here, and either treat them or refer them as appropriate. There’s a good, cooperative relationship between all eye-care professionals in the area, and we work closely with all of them.

“Our equipment is really cuttingedge,” said Dr. Roberts. Each device is connected to the office’s network, so results are recorded easily and quickly.

One specialized piece of equipment is the Corneal Topographer, which maps the outer surface of the eye, detecting any surface eye disease or other imperfections.

Then there is the Optical Coherence Tomographer, which creates a 3-dimensional view of the back of the eye. A series of these 3-D views over time can detect early signs of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic eye diseases.

One of the most advanced machines is the VEP / ERG (Visual Evoked Potential / Electroretinogram).

“Most other tests and equipment check the function and health of the eye itself,” Dr. Wicklund said. “The VEP measures the electronic message that travels from the eye to the back of the brain, the occipital lobe, the part of the brain that processes vision. It measures how quick and how strong that eye-to-brain signal is.”

Dr. Wicklund explained further: “Light enters the eye, and the retina turns it into an electrical stimulus that travels through the optic nerve to the back of the brain.”

Dr. Roberts said the VEP “helps us with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or unexplained vision loss. It helps us narrow the problem down. Is it an issue with the eye, the brain, or the nerve?”

The VEP/ERG test results can point the way to uncovering other issues with the nervous system or brain, such as stroke. Future versions could help detect potential macular degeneration or Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Wicklund said the machine and test themselves are not that new. However, technological advances in reducing the machine’s size, making it compact enough to have in their office, is relatively recent.

“I would say we’re probably the most well-equipped optometric office in the area,” said Dr. Roberts.

Dr. Roberts and Dr. Wicklund both firmly believe in annual eye exams, whether there are known vision problems or not. “The eye is the only place in the body where you can see nerves and blood vessels work, without cutting a person open. So when you look inside the eyes, you can see a lot of things, like high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, diabetes, certain types of arthritis, multiple sclerosis — all these issues that people a lot of times don’t even know they have. I’d like to think that we’re making a difference here, saving lives when we find some of those conditions.”

Both doctors showed enthusiasm as they described their state-of-theart equipment, but they also complimented the facility’s staff.

“We have really great staff,” Dr. Roberts said. “Wonderful people who truly care about patients.”

“What’s best for the patient has always been our focus,” added Dr. Wicklund.

Twelve people work at the facility, including the two doctors.

“This is our third and — hopefully — final office,” Dr. Roberts said of their facility on Carr Road. “We have great patients and a great community. I love Plymouth. I grew up here. We really want to appreciate our patients. We do a lot to give back to the community.”

With that in mind, 20/20 Visions will host a Patient Appreciation

Month in October. There will be a family fun event on Saturday, October 3, with a bouncy-house for the kids and a brat fry, in the parking lot outside their offices. Other activities are planned throughout October.

“It’s not just a career,” Dr. Roberts concluded of 20/20 Visions, her work there, and Dr. Wicklund’s work.

“It’s a life.”

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