Since 2018, Precision Eye Care has been an integral part of our beloved West Chester community. Precision Eye Care delivers extensive Optometric services, covering diagnosing, treating, and supervising eye conditions alongside conventional refractive services. Their two facilities (West Chester and Downingtown) employ cutting-edge refractive equipment, distinguishing them from other optometry establishments. We recently spoke with the owner, Jessica A. Yanelli, O.D., and she shared what makes Precision Eye Care so unique.
What year did you open Precision Eye Care in West Chester?
We just celebrated our 5th anniversary in May 2023, opening in 2018.
What made you decide to open your practice in the heart of West Chester with other corporate vision care in the area?
I think private practices in any specialty have much more to offer, as they’re a different animal altogether. It’s an entirely different approach from the moment you walk into the door to the moment you walk out. Our biggest offering is personalized care. One of the things that I see in healthcare in general is commercialization in the business, which I think turns people off. When it comes to something that is going wrong with your health or concerns you, the patient wants personalized care.
Image courtesy of Precision Eye Care
Precision Eye Care offers an extensive list of services, including evaluations for dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, myopia, astigmatism, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, hordeolum, color vision deficiency, macular degeneration, computer vision syndrome, conjunctivitis, uveitis, floaters and spots. What made you decide to expand your services beyond basic eye exams?
When you do a comprehensive eye exam, you look at all of the parts of the eye. You are looking for any signs that anything needs to be fixed. We’re looking at everything from your eye movements to how the parts of your eye look under a microscope. We’re looking at both the surface structures and the frontal structures of the eye while we’re also looking deep into its interior. The eye is very complex. One of the tricky things about the eye, in particular, is that how something feels and looks to oneself does not tell you the whole picture. You can have the beginnings of severe eye problems, especially things like glaucoma or macular degeneration, and not know it because they do not necessarily exert any particular sensation. And the effect that they have on your vision can be rather significant. That is why we always recommend annual eye exams.
We’re going to look for early signs of disease and degeneration. If it is found, we will treat it immediately, thus reducing the chance of a significant problem developing in the future. You will receive a complete checkup at Precision Eye Care regardless of your age.
Since you offer so much more than eye exams, glasses, and contacts through your extensive vision evaluations, are you able to help people discover other health anomalies early that may help with other diseases?
Yes! Diabetes. A lot of people have diabetes, type one and type two. It’s a complicated condition that often goes overlooked. A lot goes into maintaining it, which can sometimes be labor-intensive for the patient. There are often medications that need to be taken, lifestyle changes, etc. There’s a lot of blood work, testing, and re-testing, and one of the things commonly affected by diabetes is the eyes.
One patient in particular comes to mind when I think of diabetes and how it affects a person’s vision. We were checking his vision as he had come in with a vision complaint. “My eyes have changed,” he stated with disappointment. As we looked at his eyes and their overall health, we observed there had been a significant vision change. Naturally, you start considering adjusting the prescription of the glasses, but…as we took a closer look at the interior of his eye, we could see the diabetes was creating spots in his eyes that were creating swelling/edema. He had no idea. He just thought his prescription had simply changed when, in fact, there was something much more serious going on.
You also offer non-prescription sunglasses options. Do you have many clients come in for these?
Absolutely. And we’re proud to offer some of the best brands in the world! Many people don’t understand how UV truly affects the eyes and the short-term limitations of sunglasses. You don’t just want a tinted lens. You want something where you’re getting a product from a company that’s committed to the UV filtration that’s within those lenses. There are companies that take it a step further and actually have color enhancement layers or other features of the lens that will actually make things look a certain way to you. UV protection is one of the single best things you can do for the health of your eyes, as it affects every level of your eye. It affects the delicate skin around your eyes. It will influence cataract development as you age, and it can also influence macular health. And that’s the particular little spot on the back of your eye that gives you your central vision. Protecting your eyes from UV can thwart macular conditions or macular degeneration. The public should keep in mind that UV protection wears out, so you should consider replacing your sunglasses every two years.
What excites you about the future of West Chester in the next 5 to 10 years?
I think there’s a lot of exciting activity going on here. I actually just like seeing the infusion of new businesses. Even in the five years that Precision has been here, there has been a lot of change. But the changes go back even further than that. Some family members went to West Chester when I was a child, and the town has changed so much since then. I never would have imagined then that I would be doing this in this location. Still, I love all the different businesses that are here. I love seeing the people walking up and down the streets. I love the open-air market. People are really enjoying the town. There are so many different things you can appreciate and enjoy downtown. I definitely appreciate being a part of it.
Any closing thoughts you'd like to share?
I think the growth that we’ve had over the years has been amazing. It is a testament to people understanding and appreciating the difference between private practices versus commercialized outlets.
From COVID to Hurricane Ida flooding our original Downingtown branch, we have survived some major incidents that would have otherwise taken down a lot of other small businesses. That is very heartwarming to me, and I appreciate the team I work with and the supporting communities where we reside. I’m definitely excited about the future. Both offices continue to grow, and we absolutely can see and help more patients at both locations, handling a higher volume of orders. We’re just simply excited about the future.