An optometrist is a doctor of optometry (O.D.) who evaluates a person’s eyes and vision, conducts routine eye examinations, determines the presence of vision problems, and treats a variety of common eye diseases. Optometrists at Bascom Palmer provide annual eye exams and can prescribe corrective eyeglasses. They may prescribe certain topical (eye drop) and oral (pill) medications but do not perform any laser or incisional surgery which is consistent with Florida state law.
The optometrists at Bascom Palmer refer patients to ophthalmologists at the Institute if specialized services or eye surgery are needed, and they regularly collaborate with the Institute’s ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors with a Doctors of Medicine degree, (M.D.), who diagnose and treat complicated eye issues and can perform eye surgery. In addition to their medical degree, the majority of the ophthalmologists at Bascom Palmer have additional training and expertise in subspecialties such as retina, corneal, glaucoma, or pediatrics.