About Us

About Us

About Us

About Us

Our Mission

The Perceptions Team promises to be the ultimate provider of comprehensive and innovative health and skin care solutions, encouraging optimal health, beauty, and vitality.
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Dr. Tara Parnell

Dr. Tara Parnell founded Perceptions Eye Health & Wellness in 2004 with the intention of offering the most comprehensive and thorough eye care to her patients and the surrounding Southport community. Providing compassionate, personalized care has been the driving force behind the continual growth and expansion of the practice. Dr. Parnell’s mission is to enhance the vision and health of everyone who visits Perceptions. In addition to providing traditional eye care, Dr. Parnell specializes in ocular surface disease, also known as dry eye, and has completed additional training in medical aesthetics and skin care. She is passionate about connecting with each patient as an individual and taking the time to get to know them as well as their personal health concerns and goals. She works to find ways to optimize health and wellness to promote healing from the inside out. As a result, she has helped her patients address and correct underlying issues that keep them from living their best life. This type of medicine is called functional medicine, which looks at the root cause of eye and systemic disease.

“From improving the look and feel of the skin to correcting gut imbalances to improving diabetes with diet and lifestyle modifications, it has truly been rewarding and fulfilling to see people reach their health goals. I started to connect the dots between skin health, gut health, and eye health, after battling my own health crisis. By understanding and applying the principles of functional medicine, I was able to heal my own body and knew I had to offer this help to others.”

Dr. Parnell completed her bachelor’s degree at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and earned her Doctor of Optometry degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. She is a member of the American Optometric Association and the North Carolina State Optometric Society.

Dr. Parnell is passionate about nature and spending time outdoors. She believes it is a critical component to staying young and healthy. You can find her outdoors, enjoying our local beaches, paddle boarding, boating, and walking with her 2 dogs. She loves to spend time with her family and friends as much as possible because community and support are also pillars of health, bringing meaning and purpose to our busy lives. She also loves to exercise, read, travel, and learn! She believes every day is an opportunity for growth, service, and positive change!

Her mantra: “Leave a little kindness wherever you go”.

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