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Dr. O’Donnell and his Focus on Glaucoma

Dr. John O’Donnell  is a Board Certified Optometrist at our Harrisburg Premier Eye Care Group office.

He is a Diplomate in the Glaucoma Section of the American Academy of Optometry – one of just five in the world!  This impressive accomplishment is achieved by dedicated optometrists who strive to attain a level of excellence beyond the regular American Academy of Optometry Fellowship program.  It took Dr. O’Donnell about five years to complete this elite program and he is dedicated to being a lifelong learner in the field of optometry, specializing in glaucoma. 

Practicing since 1983, Dr. O’Donnell is a well-educated and dedicated optometrist.  He graduated from St. Joseph’s University and then went on to complete his optometric education at the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. O’Donnell completed externships with honors at the Walson Army Hospital, at Lynch Pediatric Unit of the Eye Institute, and in contact lens with Dr. Joseph Gurwood. Upon graduation, he was recognized with clinical excellence awards for his internship at the Eye Institute and Externship at the Lynch Pediatric unit.

Upon completing these externships, Dr. O’Donnell decided to practice in an MD/OD group setting and continues that role today at Premier Eye Care Group in Harrisburg, PA.  An MD/OD group setting simply refers to an eye care practice that features both Ophthalmologists (who have their Doctor of Medicine degree – referred to as an “MD”) and Optometrists (who have their Doctor of Optometry degree – referred to as an “OD”).

Board certification became available for Dr. O’Donnell in 2011. He pursued this credential for a number of reasons:  personal and professional development, commitment to his patients for lifelong learning and equality among his ophthalmologist colleagues. You’ll notice that part of Dr. O’Donnell’s title is “FAAO” – which stands for Fellows of the American Academy of Optometry. The FAAO designation means they are recognized by their colleagues as knowledgeable and experienced professionals who have met the highest standards of professional competence in a broad range of eye care issues. 

Dr. O’Donnell’s strong work ethic and commitment to his patients and practice have set him apart from many other optometrists.  Below you will find just some of his great accomplishments in the world of optometry:

  • Diplomate in the Glaucoma Section of the American Academy of Optometry
  • Elected to the Optometric Glaucoma Society in 2017
  • Member of the American Optometric Association
  • Member of the Pennsylvania Optometric Association
  • Member of the World Glaucoma Association
  • Recognized by Who’s Who in US Medicine and Health Care
  • Past president of both the Pennsylvania Optometric Association and Central Pennsylvania Optometric Society

Since the late 1990s, glaucoma patients make up most of Dr. O’Donnell’s patient base at Premier Eye Care Group.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines glaucoma as a disease that damages your eye’s optic nerve. Sadly, it is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. There are two main types of glaucoma: open angle and closed angle.  The “angle” refers to the opening where fluid drains from the eye.  In closed (or narrow) angle, the passage is blocked and the fluid cannot exit the eye.  With open angle glaucoma, the channel is not obstructed. It is important to get glaucoma treated early on to prevent blindness.  The use of topical medication (eyedrops), laser therapy, surgery or a combination of treatments can help to lower eye pressure, which will cause less vision loss. 

Glaucoma can be diagnosed at any age – but it is more common after the age of 40.  It is important to attend routine eye examinations as an adult to try and prevent eye diseases, such as glaucoma.  Dr. O’Donnell refers to glaucoma as the “silent thief of sight” because there are no symptoms until late in the disease, when vision loss is inevitable.  It is estimated that there are nearly one million people in the United States with glaucoma that are currently undiagnosed because of lack of symptoms and failure to attend routine eye exams.  Don’t be part of that statistic – be proactive and schedule an eye examination with a trustworthy optometrist at Premier Eye Care Group today. 

Over the years, Dr. O’Donnell has been interviewed and has even written magazine articles about glaucoma. 

If you are over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or any other eye risk factors – be sure to have your eyes examined regularly. Visit Dr. O’Donnell and the other optometrists at Premier Eye Care Group in the Harrisburg, PA region and SEE THE POSSIBILITIES!  With their vast knowledge, years of experience, and the latest diagnostic technology, you’re in good hands. 

Contact us today at (717) 232-0843 or via our website to help restore your eyesight.


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