Manzo to end 45-year optometry career

VIENNA – On Dec. 30, a longtime optometrist will end a career that has spanned four decades.

Dr. Michael Manzo has announced at the end of the year he will end his career in optometry, a career that began in 1968.

After graduation from Southern College School of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn., Manzo practiced for two years in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command in Montana and then 43 years in private practice in the Parkersburg area. In addition to his practice in Vienna, Manzo attends all Parkersburg High School football games as the on-site eye doctor for the players.

Manzo said his post retirement plans with his wife Mary Ellen include travel.

“After things settle down a little bit we’re going to travel,” he said. “We are going to spend time with the family. Our first trip will be to Asheville, N.C. to see the Biltmore House.”

Manzo added there will also be some travel to Florida.

“We don’t live there but we want to go down and visit there,” he said. “For now we’ll stay here. We have grandchildren here and others are in California and Virginia.”

A graduate of Parkersburg High School, Manzo received his bachelor’s from West Virginia University.

Manzo said he was drawn to optometry because he wanted a career in the health field.

“A couple of friends had gone to optometry school and they talked me into applying for it,” he said.

Manzo graduated in 1968.

Over 45 years Manzo said the field has evolved greatly, not only in West Virginia but nationwide.

“I would say the biggest change came in 1976 when the drug bill passed,” he said. “This allowed optometrists to dispense medications.

“We had to go back to school to get the privilege.”

Manzo said the change made it easier for optometrists to treat diseases of the eye interior and glaucoma.

Manzo added the treatment has advanced with the introduction of new medications.

“Glaucoma medications in particular have reduced rejection factor tremendously,” he said. “With the advent of new antibiotics for diseases of the eye there have been many changes.”

Manzo said the technology to examine the eyes and treat diseases has advanced over the years.

“The instrumentation has advanced,” he said. “The contact lens changed a lot. The biggest boom for them was the invention of the soft lenses and using them for intraocular implants.”

Manzo said the practice at the Vienna Eye Clinic will continue to operate with Dr. Joe Weaver and Dr. Lana Mohr. Manzo had a practice on Dudley Avenue in Parkersburg but left to begin his practice at the eye clinic in 1994.

‘They are very good and very well trained,” he said.

Longtime patients were saddened he has decided to retire.

“I’ve had three to four generations of some families as my patients,” he said. “Naturally they don’t want you to go, but 45 years is a long time.”