Because it is back to school season, people want to know what they need to do get their kids ready to learn. And one of the most important things they can do is make sure that children can see well. Jenny Dean from WTSP 10 News reached out to Dr. Nate to find out what people need to know. Lucky enough, two amazing Bright Eyes patients shared their experience with orthokeratology, night time contacts that allow them to see the board without glasses or contacts.
A few other pointers:
For kids, eye exams are recommended:
at around 6-12 months of age
at least once between the ages of 3-5
right before first grade
every year from ages 6-18.
Signs to look for in kids with:
frequent eye rubbing or blinking
headaches, especially while reading or using devices
As longtime patients know, Bright Eyes Family Vision Care was started in a very small location. Located in the West Park Village in the Westchase neighborhood of Tampa, we occupied the space on Montague street where the Coldwell Banker is now. In 2006 we were only open part-time and with less than a thousand square feet. There was one exam room, one vision therapy room, and no separate doctor’s office or designated areas for diagnostic testing or contact lens training.
Bright Eye Grand Opening in 2006
Our office grew quickly and soon with myself and four employees, we barely had room for patients! So we moved to the Linebaugh Ave location next to Sylvan Learning Center where we are now. With more space, we hired more staff and continued to grow. But we discovered that patients who came to see us from farther away to the north and east, such as Gainesville and Lakeland had a hard time getting through Tampa traffic. So we opened Bright Eyes Kids in New Tampa in 2014. We have continued to grow. We are up to almost 20 employees!
Now it is 2018 and we want to add more eye care staff, but we have no place to put them! Staff members are already coming to blows over seats and computers! OK, not really, but it is crowded. What a problem to have! As it turns out, the Sylvan Learning Center has moved to a different location and since the vacant location is next door to us, we are taking it over. The new combined spaces will be almost three times as large as the current space. We will have more exam rooms, more vision therapy rooms, a larger optical, a conference room, a larger waiting area with a separate kids area, and even more features. It will also mean hiring more excellent staff!
We will begin by remodeling the Sylvan location and then we will update the current Bright Eyes location. Yes, there will be a “Please pardon our dust, while we make improvements to serve you better” sign up. But we WILL remain open during the construction. To be clear – Bright Eyes is not moving, just expanding. The address, phone number, and everything will stay the same. We are VERY excited about this project. It will allow us to make many improvements such as shorter waiting times for appointments and for glasses. The expansion should be complete very early in 2019.
Myself, Cristina, Dr. Beth and the rest of the Bright Eyes Team are so very thankful that our patients trust us with the care of themselves and their family. It means a great deal to us that we can continue to do what we love even better in 2019! If you have questions, suggestions, or recommendations about the expansion, send them to me at Doc@BrightEyesTampa.com or leave them in the comments.
Dr. Beth Knighton, Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford, and assistant Melissa Joseph were members of the team “No Run Intended” of the 100-mile, Keys 100, relay race to raise money for The Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys, Inc . The relay race follows US 1 from Key Largo to Key West. The hundred mile run was an 19 hour experience.
The team started at 6 am and finished at 12:51 am.
Be advised that pipeline construction will affect patients coming to Bright Eyes Family in Westchase for several weeks.
Beginning Monday, April 23, 2018, the Westchase median crossover on Linebaugh Avenue located at Cavendish Drive (West Park Village) and Colonial Garden Lane (The Vineyards) will be closed. Crews will be working to layout, assemble and install a pipeline segment under the Linebaugh Avenue median. This closure is expected to remain in effect through June 2018. This work was originally scheduled to begin in June, but must be done now, in advance of construction in the Linebaugh Avenue/Sheldon Road intersection.
Please leave extra time to arrive for your appointment. Read more about the construction on World of Westchase.
2017 was quite the year at Bright Eyes! Dealing with the Kids office flooding and then Hurricane Irma were challenging, but other parts of 2017 were wonderful. Dr. Beth and other staff members joined us full-time, and you’ll see several new faces. We celebrated the Bright Eyes babies born this year and the weddings and anniversaries of several staff.
There have been some exciting new endeavors:
The Bright Eyes Podcast: With 6 episodes posted so far, I am thrilled to continue this project. You may be interested in why Dr. Beth and I recommend UV protection and what the words we use to describe glasses prescriptions really mean.
New Technology: We have adopted new technology in the office, like the Binovi Coach Vision Therapy software from Eyecarrot and Vivid Vision VR Vision Therapy, to help us better treat patients. If you know a child struggling with reading or someone concerned with amblyopia, please refer them! We are happy to help!
Myopia Options: As myopia becomes an increasing concern world-wide, we have expanded our treatment options to minimize children’s worsening vision. Children whose vision gets worse every year should be scheduled for a myopia consultation to learn about the options.
Saturday Changes: Last year, we expanded the hours at Bright Eyes Family in Westchase to include Saturday appointments. This seemed like a good idea to give patients more options for scheduling. What we found was that between family, sports and other obligations, many of our patients have very busy Saturdays. The result is that we saw many fewer patients on Saturdays than we expected. Therefore, we have decided to close Bright Eyes Family on Saturdays, as it was prior to 2017.
Our Bright Eyes Family hours :
Monday: 9 am – 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Wednesday: 12 pm – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
But don’t worry, We will have more appointments available during the week earlier and later during the schedule! Also, note that this does not affect the Bright Eyes Kids office, which will continue to see children’s exams and vision therapy sessions on Saturdays.
We look forward to sharing all this with you in 2018! And don’t forget, some vision plans and health savings accounts expire at the end of year. It might be a good time to order contacts or glasses. Contact us at (813) 792-0637 if you have any questions.
Hello, Bright Eyes Patients! Welcome to our first email update of 2017. We have so much to tell you that we’ll get right to it:
Not One But Two Spring Events
Spring has sprung and we have 2 big events coming up! The first is our Spring Eyewear Show on Wednesday, April 26 from 4 to 8pm. This is a trunk show of all the Banana Republic and Smith Optics eyeglasses, including sunglasses. Win a FREE pair of prescription sunglasses from Smith! The second is the Spring Cleaning Sale Monday April 24 through Friday, April 28. The doctors are away at a conference most of the week, but both offices will be open – all eyeglasses and sunglasses on sale! Read more here.
Our Westchase office has new hours: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9am-5pm. Wednesday is still 12-8pm, Friday 8:30am-4:30pm and Saturday 9am-2pm. See all the details here.
Big News about Ortho-K!
We have been getting more requests than ever about Ortho-K, the overnight contact lenses that allows for clear, glasses-free vision. You might have seen Dr. Nate on the news! You can read about Dr. Nate’s daughter’s own experience with Orthok-K and also read more about the process here. Treehouse Eyes is an office in Washington DC that specializes in myopia control, and they did a story on Dr. Nate’s daughter.
Finally, we want to say that we are very thankful for all the Yelp and Google reviews. Most people find us through online reviews or word-of-mouth, and as a small business, we appreciate it! If you haven’t left a review, it would mean a lot if you did.
Update: Starting Monday March 27th, there will be some new office hours. The Westchase location will be opening and closing 30 minutes earlier on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. See below for exact times. If you a pre-scheduled appointment that falls outside of the new hours, we’ll accommodate that appointment as scheduled. Please let us know if you have any questions.
A huge congratulations to my colleague of many years, Mark Marciano, OD. While lots of people like to complain about local issues, very few are willing to step up do something about it. Dr. Marciano is an excellent doctor and a wonderful man. This is very exciting.
Reprinted from the Palm Beach Post:
Palm Beach Gardens voters elected two new council members Tuesday and will decide on a third in a runoff election in two weeks. Mark Marciano, a 46-year-old optometrist, handily defeated Michael Paolercio, the 65-year-old co-founder of Michael Anthony Jewelers, to win the Group 1 seat. Marciano, celebrating with supporters at Paddy Mac’s Irish Pub, said voters wanted someone who was knowledgeable and cares. Marciano said voters recognized that he’s been engaged with the city in multiple ways for many years. “We’re very happy and very excited about working for the residents of the city that showed all this confidence in me. I’m honored,” he said. The three seats opened by term limits, which voters overwhelmingly approved in November 2014. Marcie Tinsley, Eric Jablin and Bert Premuroso were not eligible to seek another three-year term because of the retroactive limits.
Marciano has been married to optometrist Brandee Owens Marciano since 2001. They are parents of two boys, Adam who is in high school this year, and Thomas who is in 7thgrade. Mark and Brandee own and operate Marciano Family Optometric in West Palm Beach since 2004, employing 10 people. Mark has been an active volunteer for the City of Palm Beach Gardens and this was his first run for City Council. He has been engaged in many City’s activities, serving on the Budget Oversight Committee since 2012, and as Chair for the past two years.
Marciano said in a statement: “I am honored and humbled by the support of the voters of Palm Beach Gardens yesterday and grateful to all of our supporters and campaign volunteers who worked very hard to help us win. There is much to be proud of in our City and, as all municipalities, there is always things to improve. I hope to represent my friends, colleagues and neighbors and am always available to discuss issues affecting the residents of Palm Beach Gardens.”