Erin Carlson, O.D.

Meet Dr. Carlson

After growing up in Apple Valley, MN, Dr. Carlson decided to pursue a career in optometry where she now specializes in family practice with a special interest in geriatric patients. She practiced at Eagan Eye Clinic for 19 years before joining the Chu Vision Institute family in the summer of 2020. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her four children, as well as taking trips to her cabin and spending time outdoors.

Education and Training

In 1995, Dr. Carlson received her Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA. Upon graduating, she decided to enroll at the Illinois College of Optometry. There, she graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Science in Visual Science, along with her doctorate in 1999.


"Dr. Y. Ralph Chu did my Lasik surgery nearly a decade ago now. My husband did all the research, and this guy was the leader of the pack. He was knowledgeable, personable, and made me feel at ease. These years later, I would recommend him-- and the procedure-- to anyone considering it."



"This place is Amazing! I had the SMILE procedure one month ago, and as of now I have excellent vision (20/20 or better), no symptoms besides some minor haloing at night. Pre surgery: during my pre op exam, it took a bit of time due to the amount of testing. During the exam the staff was incredibly friendly and would tell me about each test and why they were doing them. This gave me confidence that they were going to get things right. They wanted to make sure I would get the best results by ensuring the measurements were accurate. The exam is free if you go forward with surgery, otherwise it's a minor cost. They answered all my questions and were very upfront with cost and what would be covered for me. They also required a short quiz making sure I knew all the risks, what to expect post surgery, and to make sure I understood everything about the procedure. Surgery time: The procedure was very fast; as Dr. Chu was performing the surgery he would walk me through what was going to happen next and what I would experience. I felt very cared for during the entire experience. Post surgery: prior to going home, they gave me a very informative packet on care and a number to call should any problems arise. After the surgery, I went home and took a nap. Two hours after the surgery I could see, and it felt like there was something small in my eye. No pain, just a minor annoyance. The next day I had 20/20 vision, no pain or annoyance, and no glasses or contacts! I have had no complications or any issues since. Follow up exams: all of my follow up exams were quick and easy. They checked my eyes, my vision asked if I had any questions or concerns, and sent me on my way. As I stated before, I haven't had any issues whatsoever. Price: the price for the procedure here was slightly higher than some of their competitors, but not enough for me to reconsider. None of the competitors offered SMILE and didn't have as great of reviews. I decided to check out Chu Vision due to the high ratings. To me, the slight increase in cost was worth it going here knowing I'd be taken care of and that I'd be getting cutting edge surgery with new equipment. Of course, since it's my eyes I'm dealing with, I want to make sure it's a place I can trust. I highly recommend Dr. Chu and the SMILE procedure. There is no reason to do Lasik if you are Eligible for SMILE. Thank you Chu Vision!"



"I cannot overstate how impressed I am with Dr. Chu and his staff. Everyone, from his receptionists and coordinators to his nurses and doctors were warm, polite, knowledgeable, and truly excited for me to go on my laser eye surgery journey. The entire testing process was extremely thorough, leaving no stone unturned to make sure that the best surgery option for my situation was selected. Once in the surgery studio, in the span of less than ten minutes, I went from being horrendously nearsighted to 20-30 vision, with 20-20 vision to come in the next couple weeks. I wholeheartedly recommend Chu Vision Institute to any and everyone who is considering laser eye surgery. Dr. Chu is a leader in his field for good reason; I could think of no one better suited to change your life as he did mine."



"As an active professional I needed the flexibility in their services and the high touch care the Chu Vision Institute offers. I relied on the staffs knowledge of the procedure (PRK) and went to the best in the Midwest. Dr. Chu's experience and advise really outlined the differentiators of eye care which in today's world can be confusing. I knew I wanted to get rid of my contacts and glasses, but wanted the right procedure done by the right person - as you only have one set of eyes! Thank you Team Chu, I now have 20/20 vision and can enjoy life in a much more fulfilling way."



"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"



*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.