1225 West Bay Dr., Largo, FL 33770
P: 813-518-8380

The Eye Institute of West Florida

Dr. Nora Lee Cothran is a board-certified optometric physician, specializing in the diagnosis and medical management of glaucoma and neurological eye diseases. 

She expresses, “Although glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, we are fortunate to not only possess a vast array of resources to diagnose the various forms of the disease but, most importantly, we have an ever-expanding arsenal of tools, both medical and surgical, with which to slow the progressive vision loss that often ensues.”

Upon her graduation from the University of Michigan, Dr. Cothran was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force. She actively participated in the Global War on Terror and was selected to serve as the Director of Intelligence for America’s first combat-capable F-22 Raptor squadron. Thereafter, her contributions to national security continued as a contracted Intelligence Analyst for the Department of Defense.

Compelled to pursue a career in healthcare, Dr. Cothran earned her Doctor of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry, in Memphis, TN and graduated with accolades that include The David P. Sloan Memorial Award, Presidency of the Gold Key International Honor Society and a National Eye Institute (NEI) travel grant to present her research findings to The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). 

Dr. Cothran completed her post-doctoral residency in ocular disease at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL. It was within this collaborative environment that Dr. Cothran was inspired to devote her career to caring for patients afflicted by glaucoma.

 “As scientists and physicians, we strive to continually learn as much as possible about the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative eye disease and it is with this knowledge that we are able to create the most comprehensive and robust management plan, tailored to each glaucoma patient, as an individual.”

She is passionate about caring for patients in rural areas and has participated in medical missions to Mexico, Honduras, Jamaica, Belarus and Guatemala. In addition to volunteering for Remote Area Medical (RAM), she is also an active member of the Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program.

In her free time, Dr. Cothran is an environmental advocate, dedicated to the protection of Florida’s freshwater resources. She is also a skilled technical diver, who enjoys exploring the vast network of underwater cave systems within our beautiful state. 

Dr. Cothran is accepting patients for new evaluations, referrals and continuity of care at The Eye Institute’s Largo, Clearwater and St. Petersburg locations.