Is an Optometrist an Eye Doctor?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists are independent, primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures as well as diagnose related systemic conditions.

Some of the services optometrists offer include:

  • Examine eyes for health and vision problems
  • Diagnose and treat eye disease
  • Detect and identify general health problems manifested in the eye (like diabetes)
  • Coordinate care with other health care providers to track diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Diagnose and treat glaucoma
  • Diagnose cataracts; coordinate with cataract surgeon; provide post-operative care
  • Remove foreign bodies from the eye
  • Treat eye injuries and arrange for surgical care if needed
  • Provide emergency treatment for eye accidents
  • Prescribe glasses and contact lenses
  • Prescribe glasses or other devices for specialized vision needs
  • Provide specialized vision aids for the visually impaired
  • Provide care for persons with artificial eyes
  • Evaluate and coordinate care for refractive surgery patients
  • Provide vision screening and educational programs for schools, community groups and health fairs

To learn to diagnose and treat diseases of the eye and vision problems, doctors of optometry go to four years of college and then four more years at a college of optometry where they study the eye and its relationship to the rest of the body. Some optometrists complete an optional residency in a specific area of practice after receiving their optometry degree.

The ability to see is considered by most people to be their most important sense. Preserving your eye health and enhancing your vision is the goal of our very own Dr. Erica Benson. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Benson, contact Pennachio Eye at 352-227-1999 or

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