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Back to School 2015 at Bright Eyes!

It is official! Summer is winding down and the Back to School season is in full swing!


That late summer “Back to School” season is exciting  for everyone. New shoes! New teachers! New Clothes! And On that to-do list should be making sure your child can see well for school!


We know that  Back to School time is busy, so we have created some special things for our patients:

Expanded Hours at Bright Eyes Kids!

Back to school is one of our busiest seasons of the year. While Bright Eyes Kids is usually open for appointments on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Saturdays, we are super booked for the next few weeks! So, we decided to open Bright Eyes Kids for patients on Thursday, August 20 from 2 pm to 5 pm just for the Back to School crowd. If you’d like to make an appointment call (813)792-0637 or click here

25% off select Kids Eyeglass Packages! back to school

We want to make it easy to buy glasses for kids, and that means finding frames that they like! Select frames including Nike, EasyTwist, Superflex, Candies and more. Kids packages include frame and polycarbonate lenses with a 1-year frame warranty (and can include options such as anti-glare and Transitions lenses) are 25% off.

 2 for $99 Sale – Kids only!

We always recommend back-up glasses for children. This is easy with our limited time, kids-only sale! Includes Sale frames with basic polycarbonate lenses. Must buy 2 frames for same patient, selection will vary.

Keep in mind these are only for a limited time. The sales offer is good from Monday, August 17 to Friday, September 4 at either location. :)


Have a great school year, everyone! Make it a great one!

-Dr. Nate

National Sunglasses Day

National Sunglasses Day Is June 27!

National Sunglasses DayWe live in a state that gets a lot of sunlight. So much so that in 1970 “The Sunshine State” became the official nickname for Florida.

Sunshine is wonderful – it makes people feel happy, it is great for growing beautiful plants, and it’s available year round. But sunlight also contains ultraviolet light, which you may know as UV light. This part of light can be dangerous: It can cause sunburns, premature aging, and disease.

To increase awareness of the importance of UV protection the Vision Council has promoted National Sunglasses Day annually. National Sunglasses Day is held on June 27. It is not only an observance but a reminder that our sunglasses are a health necessity, and it is important to wear sunglasses or other UV-protective eyewear every day to protect long-term eye health.

This is especially important for kids and adults who live in our Tampa area. As you can see here, Tampa is the 4th highest city for UV radiation, with extra risk over half of the year. Why is this important to know? Because UV can cause lots of eye problems like cataracts, skin cancer, and macular degeneration.

Did you know that sunglasses are important for kids, too? Children receive more annual sun exposure than adults because many of their activities are outdoors. This increased exposure to sunlight also increases children’s exposure to damaging UV light. Children’s eyes differ from adults’ in that children’s ocular lenses do not filter UV light as effectively as can adults’ do.

Because UV exposure adds up over a life time, it is important to begin protection at an early age. Over a lifetime, damage from unprotected exposure to UV rays can lead to eye diseases and conditions that will affect the health of the eyes and vision.

To encourage young people to protect their eyes from ultraviolet light, we are giving away free Bright Eyes sunglasses like the ones we gave to Little Stride Fitness.  You can bring your child to Bright Eyes Kids on National Sunglasses Day (this Saturday between 9am and 1pm) receive your free pair!

Kids eyewear


The Brooks Celebrate Life Event

As anyone who has experienced severe trauma knows – it can be devastating for the victim, friends, and family. Many activities that were previously taken for granted can be a frustrating challenge.

Recently, however, Dr. Beth and I were lucky enough to participate in a truly fun and magical event. The Brooks Celebrate Life event, organized by Brooks Rehabilitation and Regional Medical Photo by Connie GarcesCenter Bayonet Point and sponsored by Bioness, was in honor of Trauma Awareness Month.

The evening kicked off with hostess and Physical Therapist Connie Garces sharing information about Brooks Rehabilitation, both the main facility in Jacksonville, FL and the outpatient facility in Hudson, FL where she is Center Manager. She introduced the trauma survivors who were in the audience, signified with large red, white, and blue ribbons. Also recognized were their family members and the rehabilitation specialists who care for them.

Connie Garces is a passionate and wonderfully talented therapist, but the highlight of the event was one of her patients, Bronson. Dressed in a suit, he stood in front of the group and delivered an honest, funny, heartfelt account of his recovery from traumatic brain injury. Public speaking is intimidating for the average person. Bronson was courageous to deliver his talk and willing to get a little help from the audience when he needed it. With multiple notes in front of him, Bronson talked about his recovery, his care, and his young daughter.  It was one of the most heart-felt and moving things I have witnessed in a long time.

May 2015 is the 27th observance of Trauma Awareness Month. The American Trauma Society has declared this year’s theme “3D Trauma Prevention” and focuses on contributors to motor vehicle crashes – Drugs/Drinking, Distraction and Drowsiness.

Vision is a critical part of life and it can be an important part of rehabilitation for a survivor of traumatic brain injury. Dr. Beth and I work in conjunction with other professionals to provide visual rehabilitation. It is complex work and some of the rewarding care that we provide. You can learn more about visual rehabilitation here.

 -Dr. Nate

(Photo provided courtesy of Connie Garces, PT, DPT, CBIS)


Dr. Nate, Cristina, & Kids Lecture on Children’s Glasses and Eye Exams

the whole Bonilla-Waford family with children's glassesDr. Nate and Cristina gave a 2 hour lecture on the topic children’s vision, children’s glasses, and eye exams. As part of the FOCAL Education meeting, the talk was given to approximately 100 opticians from around the state of Florida. The event took place December  6 and 7 at the gorgeous Gaylord Palms resort near Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Nate lecturing on children's glassesDr. Nate spoke primarily on how and why children’s eye exams are performed and visual conditions such as strabismus and amblyopia that affect children. Much of the discussion centered on vision therapy and how it is used to benefit children who have vision problems that interfere with the tasks that are neccessary for school, such as reading, writing, and computer use.

Cristina’s portion of the talk focused mostly about the specialty of infant’s and children’s glasses.  This included the different frame styles and materials of children’s glasses, selecting the right size frames for the child, adjusting the frames to stay in place, as well as techniques for working with young children in the professional setting.

For the first time the whole Bonilla-Warford family was involved.  Dr. Nate’s and Cristina’s children agreed to be models.  Lecture attendees selected glasses from a special “children’s optical” display made just for the lecture.  Participants learned about fitting glasses and taking the measurements needed for ordering glasses to ensure the best children’s vision.Gaylord Palms ICE

The Gaylord Palms resort was in full holiday swing, with a tree lighting ceremony with singers and acrobatics as well as the famous ICE exhibit. A wonderful time was had by all.

Dr. Nate, Cristina, and Dr. Knighton enjoy lecturing about children’s vision and children’s glasses to professional and educational groups of all sizes. Bright Eyes Kids is finalizing  our lecture schedule for 2015 now. If you have a group of doctors or other professionals who work with kids (such as occupational therapists or educational specialists), or a parent group  (such as homeschooling or PTA), and would like us to come speak, please call 813-792-0637.

Gaylord Palms ICE

Happy Holidays from Bright Eyes!


Wow, what an exciting year 2014 has been at Bright Eyes! Below is a short list of major events for us.

  • Bright Eyes Kids is Open! The new office is just for kids. The new office, located in New Tampa, provides exams, glasses, contacts, one a week vision therapy, and orthokeratology. The new office is already growing! Starting in January 2015, it will have hours on weekends and evenings!
  • Welcome Dr. Knighton! She joined the Bright Eyes family in March. Just like Dr. Nate, she completed her Residency in pediatric vision care and Vision Therapy, and she specializes in contact lenses and primary vision care for the entire family.
  • Dr. Nate gets his FCOVD! After 4 years of study, Dr. Nate has achieved Fellowship from the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, making him the only optometrist in Tampa to be residency-trained and FCOVD.
  • Bright Eyes on TV – You can see Dr. Nate and Dr. Beth on the local TV show CW44 on the Town, discussing children’s vision, vision therapy and the new pediatric office. See the whole video below or a short version on the Bright Eyes Kids webpage.
  • Dr. Nate, Dr. Beth, and Cristina lecturing. We have given many talks this year to eye doctors, opticians, occupational therapists, students and other groups on the subjects of children’s vision and eyewear. If you have a professional, homeschool, or a parent group and would like us to speak at one of your events, email us at office@BrightEyesTampa.com or call 813-792-0637.

Thank you for helping to make 2014 a wonderful year for Bright Eyes.
We are here to empower our patients through improved vision.
If there is anything we can to help you, or if we could improve in any way, please let us know!

REMINDER: Many of our patients have vision plans or flex/HSA benefits that expire at the end of the year. There is still time to make an appointment and make good use of your benefits!

Have a Merry Christmas and an awesome 2015!

-Dr. Nate, Dr. Beth, and the Bright Eyes Staff


Back to School time is here!

back to school

The Back to School season is one of the busiest for us. In addition to all of the kids who are starting kindergarten who need eye exams, and the kids starting middle school who want contact lenses before they go, we also get high school grads getting their exam before they go off to college and teachers who want to get their exam in before the busy school year starts.

It is an exciting time, full of hope and anticipation, but it so busy for families. Buying school supplies, clothes shopping, getting in pediatrician visits and health screenings for sports, and many other tasks.

But don’t put off the eye exam, if your children haven’t had one in the last year. School is visually challenging and you want to make sure that your kids are ready for the challenge. Or as I like to say, “My job is to make sure that kids’ eyes can keep up with their brains.” (See the video below).

We try to make it has easy as possible for you to check the back to school eye exam off your list. First, we now have a second location, Bright Eyes Kids for you convenience. Second, we know that kids can get anxious about the eye exam (especially eye drops) and we have specially trained staff to make it more fun.

Finally, we have our back to school sale. If your child does need glasses, we know that having a back up pair is crucial. So for August, if you buy a complete pair of glasses for your child, you get a 2nd frame for only $49 (That second frame is basically free!).

If you have any questions about your child’s vision, visual needs, or special care, do not hesitate to call us to help you out.

-Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford and Dr. Knighton

Maui Jim Event Saturday May 24!

turtlesSummer is coming, and that means that you need a great pair of sunglasses! Seriously. Think I am kidding? I am always amazed when patients tell me that they don’t like sunglasses. I just don’t get it. I LOVE my sunglasses. And you should, too.  Here are 10 reasons why you need some good sunglasses:

First, we live in Florida, also known as the Sunshine State. There is a lot of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in that sunshine. UV exposure increases the risk of cataracts, skin cancer around the eye and, more. UV protection has nothing to do with how dark the lenses are, so they don’t have to be dark to help.

Second, there is a lot of glare out there. The sun is bright, especially when reflecting off the water, road, or other cars. Polarization cuts the glare.

Third through Tenth, Sunglasses are just awesome. They feel good to wear. Cool like James Dean, Tom Cruise, or P. Diddy (depending on your generation).

Some people prefer to wear cheap sunglasses, but here is something you need to know. The optical quality and sometimes even the UV protection is not as good as in real sunglasses. That is why I have Maui Jims – several pairs – in the car, in the house, at work, when I am traveling. And we believe you should have some good sunglasses, too, so we are hosting the 

Maui Jim Sunglass Show

Saturday, May 24 from 10am to 2pm, at the Westchase location. 

Here are some reasons to come to the event:

  • See the entire Maui Jim collection!

  • Receive a $50 gift certificate towards any prescription or non-prescription sunglasses!

  • Pop a balloon for free sunglasses and other great prizes!

  • Saturday appointments available (Yes, Saturday!)

Call 813-792-0637 for questions or to schedule an appointment. Hope to see you there!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care & Bright Eyes Kids


Thank you to our Grand Opening/GGPD Partners!

The date for our big Grand Opening / Great Glasses Play Day event is coming soon! May 4, 2014 to be precise. We are very excited and we hope you are, too.

We have a huge variety of activities including pony rides, balloon animals, crafts, Lego builds, a magician show, facepainting,huge Lego glasses, and more. And we have created a special Lego airplane for minifigure trading! Bring some to trade!

We’d like to thank all the organizations and businesses that have helped us with this event!

Great Glasses Play Day

HorsePower for Kids

Magic Suzy

Tampa Bay Moms Group

TBMG Header Logo 3-18-14 narrow

Shout Out Tampa Bay

Bricks 4 Kidz Tampa

Lynda McCartney at ABC Tutoring Service

Kids Bright Eyes



You Do The Dishes

Bright Eyes Kids is Open!


This is no April Fool’s joke! Bright Eyes Kids is open!


This is the moment that we have been waiting for…We are ready to see general children’s appointments at Bright Eyes Kids, as well as Vision Therapy, and Orthokeratology patients! :)

Bright Eyes Kids is the only optometry office around dedicated specifically to children’s vision. We do care the same great infants and children’s glasses that you can find at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care. The new office is located at 15303 Amberly Drive Suite C, Tampa, FL, 33647. It is office Bruce B. Downs, near the Bank of America and LA Fitness. The hours currently are Monday and Tuesday 9am to 5pm.

If you have a special child in your life that needs their eyes and vision checked, call us at 813-792-0637 (yes, the same number as Bright Eyes Family Vision Care) for more information or make an appointment. Bright Eyes Kids also has its own Facebook page.

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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