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Dr. Nate meets with USF Pre-Optometry Society

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Last week, Dr. Nate spent an evening at Bright Eyes Kids with the USF Pre-Optometry Professional Society. The event was arranged by the group’s president, Melissa Kontos who also works at Bright Eyes Family.

The group had a great time discussing optometry school, the life of an optometrist, and practice management. They also covered the specialty services of pediatric vision care, vision therapy, myopia control and more. The students had a chance to experience the Vivid Vision Virtual Reality treatment (below).

Dr. Nate has lectured to the USF POPS group for a decade and always finds it to be a fun and rewarding time.

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Optometrist Barbie!

Recently Stephanie from our favorite toy store, Learning Express at Citrus Park, gave Dr. Nate an amazing present: Optometrists Barbie! Everyone loves it!

It is especially great that the visual acuity chart is the correct, traditional Snellen chart, but just a little smaller. The small ophthalmoscope and phoropter look pretty good, and those glasses are very cute, very trendy and very functional! 🙂

We now keep Optometrist Barbie in the kids eye exam room. This very popular Barbie would make a wonderful Christmas gift for the future eye doctor in the your family!

Optometrist Barbie!

Dr. Nate and Stefanie

From the description:

The Barbie Careers Eye Doctor set brings everything info focus with a special examination chair and eye chart. Eye Doctor Barbie doll can start her workday with the adorable toddler included with the set. . Barbie doll can check her patient’s eyes with the tool that fits on her hand then have her read the stand-up eye chart, that doubles as a display case. If Barbie prescribes glasses, there are four fun pairs for options, from glam heart-shaped frames to modern black frames. Barbie is seeing clearly in glasses of her own that complement her fabulous outfit: a blue printed skirt, black top, black heels and white doctor’s coat. Girls will love exploring the world of optometry with this eye-opening set!


See a very detailed review of Optometrist Barbie, more from the play perspective (not so much the optometrist part) here.



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)


Welcome to Dr. Knighton!

Elizabeth Knighton, OD, FAAOThere are so many changes at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care right now! We have added new services such as vision therapy and ortho-k and we are now opening a new pediatric office in the Tampa Palms area. I am now excited to announce that in order to meet out growing patient demand, we have also added a new doctor, Elizabeth Knighton, OD, FAAO.

Dr. Knighton and I went to the same optometry school, the Illinois College of Optometry. We have both completed a residency in pediatric vision, and I know that she is a strong clinician who has an excellent bedside manner. She fits in very well with the Bright Eyes family, and we are very lucky to have her!

Dr. Knighton received her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago and completed her Pediatric Optometry residency at the University of Houston College of Optometry where she was trained in pediatric eye disease, working with special-needs patients. She joined the faculty at University of Houston College of Optometry and enjoyed working with students and residents in the pediatric clinics. While in Houston, Dr. Knighton treated patients at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR), a rehabilitation hospital for patients with severe brain injuries. In 2012, Dr. Knighton earned her fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry.

Dr. Knighton grew up in Clearwater and currently lives in Oldsmar with her husband, Jacob, and their two labradors. She enjoys cycling, sailing and scuba diving.

Stop in to say hello to Dr. Knighton.

Dr. Nate

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

Bright Eyes Supports Little Strides Fitness

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At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we love kids, community, and health. And that is why we are a big supporter of Little Strides Fitness! Little Strides Fitness is a Westchase-based enrichment program offered in schools around the Tampa Bay area. The age-appropriate lessons promote fitness, wellness, and fun. They emphasize the following areas:

Fitness – fundamentals to develop motor skills, coordination, balance and strength.

Wellness – lessons teach basics in nutrition, safety and other healthy habits.

Fun – the right combination of activities allow kids to laugh, play and just be kids.

I think this is wonderful, because being outside and being active is an important aspect of having a healthy, normally-developed vision system. Reading books and using digital devices can provide excellent brain stimulation, but there is no substitute for good ole’ outdoor fun. That is why Bright Eyes has sponsored one of the Little Strides Kickball teams.

Research has shown that spending time outdoors is helpful in limiting worsening eye glasses prescriptions. So spending time outside playing kickball is a great idea.

But the Florida sun is bright and you want to be protected from UV rays. So wear sunscreen and sunglasses! To help out, Bright Eyes donated sunglasses to all the Little Strides Kickball players. Here is a picture of Team Bright Eyes sporting their shades. Here is a Vine of Team Bright Eyes in action.

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Little Stride Team Bright Eyes


And don’t forget! Sunday, August 4th is the Great Glasses Play Day! Tons of activities for kids (and grown-ups!). Free sunglasses (like those above) for all kids!

All the best!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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Bright Eyes at the Tampa Homeschool Conference

FPEAOn Saturday, July 21, Bright Eyes joined the Tampa Bay Homeschool Conference as an exhibitor, promoting children’s eye exams. Dr. Nate and Cristina spoke with many concerned parents and educational professionals, and even a few of our patients. We answered a variety of questions, such as “When should my child have their first eye exam?” and “My child is struggling with reading – Could it be a vision problem?“.

Answer #1: Now! The American Optometric Association recommends regular eye exams starting at age 1, but definitely by age 5.

Answer #2: Yes, but you will only find out when you have your child’s eyes checked by a children or family specialist.

The conference, sponsored by the Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) included a variety of instructional and inspirational workshops, and an exhibit hall full of book vendors and local businesses that offer specialty services for homeschool families. I think we were able to encourage a lot of families to seek eye care in their areas! And we had a great time. We look forward to participating in future homeschool conferences and encouraging parents to have their children’s eyes
checked regularly.

Kids Day at Oleston Chiropractic

When I heard that my friend Dr. Carrie Oleston of Oleston Chiropractic was holding an event for kids, I was intrigued. I will admit that though many of my patients have told me that their children have benefited from chiropractic care, I don’t know a great deal about it. So I encouraged Dr. Oleston to send me some information on the event to share with others. -Dr. Nate

Often, we are asked about children and chiropractic care. It is absolutely safe for a child to receive chiropractic treatment. Your chiropractor is trained to adjust his or her procedures to specifically fit each child’s size, age, weight and spinal health. In many instances, children actually look forward to treatment and enjoy their time with the doctor.

According to the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), children can benefit from chiropractic care. The birth process may be one of the most traumatic events of our lives. Even so-called “natural” birthing methods can stress a still-developing spine. The resulting irritation to the nervous system can be the cause of many newborn health complaints. Colic, unexplained crying, poor appetite, breathing problems, and allergic reactions can often be traced to nervous system dysfunction caused by a malfunctioning spine.

Dr. Oleston will conduct a thorough examination of your child and determine what course of action should be taken. She will also make sure to include you, the parent, in every step of the process. Dr. Oleston is a member of the ICPA and has the proper training to treat your child.

On Saturday, June 16th, Oleston Chiropractic will be having a Kids’ Day event!

For kids ages 0-18!

A great opportunity to have your child’s spine checked! Chiropractic can help stomach, teething, colic, headaches, bed wetting, leg cramps, attitude, trauma, ear aches, colds and adaptation to growth! ALSO, any current pediatric patient of Dr. Oleston will receive a Chiropractic adjustment at no charge!


For more information regarding children and chiropractic treatment, feel free to call Dr. Oleston at 813-443-0504 or email them at Dr. Oleston will be happy to discuss the alternatives for all ages of children!


Thank you for voting us #1


Thank you for helping us earn the title of Westchase Patch’s Customer Service 2012 Champion!

The online contest ran throughout March, mirroring the college basketball championships and featuring a wide variety of Westchase businesses. We won with a combination of votes, positive comments on Westchase Patch, and positive reviews of Bright Eyes on Westchase Patch. The competition was tough – we are lucky to have such wonderfulcustomer service in our neighborhood!

We try very hard to provided outstanding customer service, in addition to professional medical care, and we are very proud that our staff isso awesome! To Edna, Sandy, Justin and Jamie – Thank you for making Bright Eyes a wonderful place to visit and work!

If you didn’t get a chance to see the story that Westchase Patch ran on our victory, you can read it here.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
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Be our Hero! Help Us Out in the Westchase Patch Poll!


Have you been following the March Madness action? Not basketball, but the Westchase Patch Reader’s Choice poll for customer service! So far we have won contests against Westchase Smiles, V.I.C. Pet Care, Burger 21, and Internal Medicine & Pediatrics of Tampa Bay. All of them are worthy opponents.

Now in Round 5, we are up against our most challenging opponent, The WriteOne Creative Services. And to make the situation more challenging, the rules have now changed. While votes count as 1 point, each favorable comment on this blog is worth 20 points, and each favorable Bright Eyes review written during the polling period is worth 50 points!!

So, we are asking, no… BEGGING….. for your vote. And if you feel really motivated you can leave a comment and review. This round lasts until Saturday at noon.

To help you get in the mood, we’ve created this little video below for your enjoyment!

Thanks! We literally would not be in business without the support of the Westchase Community!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD