Content Top Nav Left Nav Utility Nav Site Search
Mobile Menu

Disability Support Services

More Links

Eye Specialists

Optometrist: A state licensed Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) educated and trained to detect the presence of vision abnormalities.


  • examine eyes
  • measure visual acuity and visual fields
  • provide vision therapy (e.g. eye muscle coordination exercises)
  • prescribe corrective lenses (e.g. glasses, contacts, other optical aids)


  • refer a patient to an ophthalmologist or other physician when medical intervention is indicated


  • prescribe drugs
  • perform surgery or laser surgery

Therapeutic Optometrist: holds additional license having completed Optometrist supplemental academic and clinical courses in pharmacology and related pathology.


  • provide all services of an Optometrist or Therapeutic Optometrist, plus
  • prescribe topical pharmaceutical agents (other than antiviral and glaucoma agents) for the purpose of diagnosing and treating visual defects, abnormal conditions, and diseases of the anterior chamber and ocular adnexa
  • may remove superficial matter and eyelashes from the external eye or adnexa

If use of topical steroids of strength of 1% concentration do not substantially improve a condition within seven days, ophthalmological consultation and medical treatment regimen is required.


  • prescribe drugs classified as controlled substances
  • perform surgery or laser surgery

Ophthalmologist: A state licensed Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) who specializes in diagnosis, treatment and surgery for diseases of the eye.

May provide all services of an Optometrist or Therapeutic Optometrist, plus:

  • diagnose and treat medical eye diseases
  • perform surgery, laser surgery, and provide related care
  • prescribe any and all drugs

Acknowledged Sources: Information gleaned mainly from two sources:

  1. Eye Medical Training Manual of the Texas Commission for the Blind
  2. The American Foundation for the Blind's "Low Vision Questions and Answers"


OS: left eye

OD: right eye

OU: both eyes

LP: light perception

CF: counts fingers (connotes ability to distinguish objects as distinctive entities, as opposed to only being able to distinguish shadows, colors, etc.)

Back to Top