CRESTVIEW — Doctor Phil Alabata always knew he wanted to be a surgeon, but he wasn’t sure which specialty he was interested in until he found ophthalmology.

Ophthalmology, the study of the eyes, became the perfect specialty for Alabata after he did some research.

“My most important goal was to be a physician and have a good family life,” Alabata said. “Ophthalmology just stood out for me because the surgeries were very interesting, the technology was extremely interesting to me and they were always advancing. In addition to that there was a lot of time after work to spend with family.”

Near the end of August, Alabata opened the Alabata Eye Center, located at 239 W Redstone Ave. It is the first and only location Alabata plans to open.

“I wanted it to be special to me and the community so I chose to have only one location,” Alabata said. “I thought this was a very strategically placed location for me to capture my patients and to provide good quality care for the Crestview community and Okaloosa County area.”

The center offers the latest in glaucoma and cataract care, as well as laser services and comprehensive eye exams. Some of the specific services offered at the center include laser assisted cataract surgery and retinal exams.

Alabata said any issue he is not able to take care of is then referred to another specialist.

Taking care of your eyes is an important issue for Alabata, who sees up to 34 patients in a day.

“It is very important to have your eyes checked on a regular basis, annually preferably, to detect any changes such as glaucoma,” Alabata said. “I want to provide compassionate, technologically advanced eye care to whoever is interested in it.”