JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Growing up, Dr. Maegan Sauer always got her eyes screened. There was never a problem. But something must have changed after the last exam. “When I went to take the …
JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — Growing up, Dr. Maegan Sauer always got her eyes screened. There was never a problem. But something must have changed after the last exam. “When I went to take the permit test, I had trouble seeing,” she said. Off they went to Walmart’s eye care department and “sure enough, I was nearsighted.”
And putting on that first pair of glasses was amazing. “I could see all the distant signs. I had no idea you could see all the leaves on the trees! And now I have patients who say that all the time.”
Sauer became an optometrist, and now she and her staff give the gift of sight to patients at their Jeffersonville office, Eyes on Main.
Born in Cochecton, she grew up near the Delaware River. “My family’s been here a long time,” she said. After graduating from Sullivan West, she went on to college.
Her mom is a nurse practitioner. “I knew I had a calling for a healthcare profession,” Sauer said. And after that first pair of glasses, optometry made sense. The right glasses “can instantly improve a person’s life,” she said. “Vision can change so slowly; you don’t realize.”
It made sense to go into optometry. Sauer graduated from the SUNY College of Optometry in New York City and completed her residency there. Then, she came back home to set up her own office.
In the city, “you never see the same person twice,” Sauer said. “When I practice here, I see the same person for years. You know the patient and what’s going on in their lives.”
Optometrists are part of the general health care team. People might come in for reading glasses, but a full exam can spot systemic problems early, from multiple sclerosis to high blood pressure to diabetes.
We talk about young people who return to the area; her sister, for one, just passed her final optometry boards and will join the practice. “It makes the area better and more fruitful,” Sauer said, “when people go out, get training and come back,” bringing their knowledge and skills with them to share with everyone.
Setting up a practice is a lot like starting any small business. You research locations. “Main Street is ideal,” Sauer said. “Jeffersonville is an up-and-coming town, and second-home owners are staying.” And it’s close to places like Callicoon and Narrowsburg, which are also booming.
“I was very lucky. I found a spot and then a name.” The choice seemed pretty clear: What do we do? Where are we located? Hence “Eyes on Main.”
They also had to decide what services to provide. Optometrists now are like primary care providers, gatekeepers to more complicated eye care (like surgery) as necessary. The licensed optician measures people for and makes the glasses. The office also handles contact lenses, emergency care, foreign body removal and, of course, exams that check for refractive errors, glaucoma, macular degeneration and more.
Eyes on Main treats all ages, from “a 95-year-old who needs cataract evaluation to a 4-year-old who needs a screening.”
COVID-19 has led to some changes. The reception area is enclosed and temperatures are checked. Everyone’s masked up, including the patients. The examination room is disinfected after each use. Online forms that can be filled in at home mean less time spent in the waiting room (they do have tablets for those without computers). And most importantly, Sauer and the full-time staff are all vaccinated.
There is also an online store to order eye supplements, contact lenses and other eye care items. “It goes through our office so we can verify the prescription is correct,” she said.
“Maybe because I grew up here, and my family lives here, [but being a doctor here] is unique. You have a relationship with your patients on multiple levels, you can connect with them. It makes the experience much more special.”
Eyes on Main is located at 4895 State Rte. 52. You can reach them at 845/482-2425 and at www.eyesonmainst.com.