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What’s the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist in Land O’ Lakes?

If you are in need of an eye care provider, there are many things to consider. For starters, there are several types of eye doctors that specialize in different areas and perform different services related to diagnosis and treatment. In this article, we will explore different areas of medical care related to the eye. We will also explain the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. To learn more about the eye care services of Florida Eye Center, including dry eye treatment in Land O’ Lakes, visit our website. 

Comparing an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist

If you are concerned that you are developing an eye problem or you just want to have an annual eye checkup, our team of eye care specialists are here to assist you. Although ophthalmologists and optometrists work together to treat patients, here is some information on each of these professionals and how their jobs differ: 


An optometrist in Land O’ Lakes is licensed and certified to diagnose and treat eye ailments. An optometrist went to four years of additional schooling after college to receive a doctorate in optometry (OD). The core services an optometrist provides to patients include: 

  • Examining the eyes to assess their health 
  • Performing vision tests to assess the patient’s visibility
  • Diagnosing eye problems 
  • Referring a patient to a specialist if necessary
  • Prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses to patients
  • Prescribing medications to treat eye conditions and diseases


An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor that went to medical school, underwent an internship of at least one year and a residency of three years. For example, at Florida Eye Center, Dr. Pusateri completed a cornea and external disease fellowship and Dr. Shah completed a retina fellowship. With their academic background and experience, they have earned a doctorate in allopathic medicine. An ophthalmologist offers the following services to patients:

  • Perform eye exams, vision tests, diagnose eye problems, and prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medications for treatment 
  • Diagnose a wide range of eye conditions and diseases 
  • Treat eye conditions like glaucoma and retinal diseases
  • Perform eye surgery, including glaucoma and cataract surgery
  • Can also diagnose health-related issues that are not directly related to the eye 

Which Eye Professional Should I See for Dry Eye Treatment in Land O’ Lakes?

If you are interested in visiting Florida Eye Center for an annual checkup or if you are experiencing some slight discomfort, an optometrist can examine your eyes, diagnose your condition, and prescribe medications. For example, if you are in need of dry eye treatment in Land O’ Lakes, an optometrist may recommend over-the-counter or prescription eye drops to alleviate this issue. They may also recommend another form of treatment, like warm compresses, or suggest that you invest in some quality wraparound-style eyewear at Center Optical, conveniently located at the Florida Eye Center.     

If an optometrist detects a more significant eye problem during an eye exam, they will refer you to an ophthalmologist that can diagnose and treat any eye conditions or diseases. If a patient requires a specific means of medical or surgical eye care, they will be referred to a subspecialist in that area. For example, if a patient is experiencing age-related macular degeneration, they will be recommended to meet with our retina specialist who has undergone further training in this area. Fortunately, for any of your eye care needs, a board-certified ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Center is prepared to offer patients accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan. 

To schedule an appointment with an optometrist in Land O’ Lakes from Florida Eye Center, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Florida Eye Center website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by the medical professionals at Florida Eye Center or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Florida Eye Center. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Florida Eye Center is not responsible nor do they approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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