Skip to main content

2 locations, 1 phone number
New Tampa & Westchase
Call (813) 358-0400
Schedule An Appointment

Home »

InfantSEE

InfantSee Vision Screenings for Infants 6 to 12 Months of Age

Most people are surprised to hear that the American Optometric Association recommends eye exams to begin at six months of age. By six months, your child has met several important developmental milestones. At birth, the eyes begin to focus about a foot away from the child, mostly looking at faces. Around two months old, the child is learning to look around. At this point, the eyes don’t always coordinate well together. Your child should be able to track moving objects by four months old and begin reaching for things. As their eye hand coordination improves, they will become more accurate in reaching for things.

IS logoInfantSee is a no-cost public health program that provides vision and eye health evaluations for children from ages six to twelve months. At your child’s InfantSee screening, Dr. Nate and I will be evaluating how well your child can see using specialized tests for infants. We look for excessive or unequal amounts of farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. If your child does need glasses to help them see better, we have a variety of frame lines at Bright Eyes that are designed specifically for infants and toddlers: Tomato, Miraflex and Bright Eyes Kids frames. Dr. Nate and I will also check your child’s eye alignment and eye teaming skills. During these kinds of tests, the children usually think we are just playing games with them, but in fact we are gathering lots of useful information about their eyes and vision. Additionally, we may dilate your child’s eyes to check for eye health problems. This is a normal procedure that we do for all ages, and we will only dilate your child’s eyes with your (the parent’s) consent.

It is important to look for risk factors that can cause vision problems in the future. If caught early, many vision problems can be corrected or prevented. Even if your child does not appear to have an eye or vision problem, you should bring them in for their first evaluation.

You may remember Dr. Nate’s blog about his daughter’s InfantSee examination. Check it out for cute pictures.

Call our office at 813.792.0637 or click on the button below to schedule an InfantSee appointment at either the Westchase or New Tampa location. Or visit InfantSee.org for more information.

-Dr. Beth

Schedule An Appointment

Bright Eyes Kids is Coming Soon!!

Bright Eyes Kids

Bright Eyes Kids is coming soon!

Since we opened Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in 2006, the number of pediatric patients has steadily grown. At first we saw very few, but now almost half of our patients are under 18 years old. And that is no accident. After I completed my Residency in Pediatric Optometry and Binocular Vision in Chicago, I knew I wanted to work with kids. I wondered if I was crazy for moving home to Florida, the retirement capital of the world.

Well, lo and behold, there are children in Florida and many of them need eye care. So we have been planning for the last year to expand our services specifically to children. And I am now very, very happy to announce that in March we will be opening a new location specifically for children’s eye care. Called Bright Eyes Kids, it will bring the skill and care you expect from us at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care to New Tampa and be tailored specifically for children!

Why New Tampa? Well there are many reasons. The first is that we frequently have patients that come from areas such as Gainesville, Winter Haven, and other places east of Tampa. Located near I-75, the new office will be much more accessible for patients because they will not have to drive all the way across town. Another reason is that my family and close relatives actually live in the New Tampa area and it will be great to practice closer to home. The new address is 15303 Amberly Drive, Suite C, Tampa, FL 33647.

What will be offering at Bright Eyes Kids? Eye exams for infants, toddlers, and gradeschoolers and teens. We will be fitting contact lenses and specialty glasses for young kids. We will have an expanded area to offer vision therapy, to help children develop the visual skills they need to be successful at school and life. We will offer orthokeratology for kids who want 20/20 vision all day while not wearing glasses or contacts.

But don’t worry – nothing will change at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Westchase. I will still be seeing patients there regularly and we will. Moms, grandpas and other adults are welcome to come see us there!

Now, please. Help us making Bright Eyes Kids the best it can be by completing this very, very short survey. While we are finalizing details about the new office, this is your chance to help us get them right. Click here to take the brief survey.

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Love us? Tell the world with a review:
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on Yelp

AOA School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision

carlson 300

moz screenshot

The American Optometric Association recently held a School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision in which doctors, nurses, educators and advocates for children’s health gathered to examine learning-related vision issues that are keeping children from achieving in the classroom. This summit was created to address the concerns that our current system is flawed and a policy shift is needed. The problem is that currently, the U.S. educational system and some health care providers rely heavily on vision screenings to discover the kids that need comprehensive exams. These screenings do catch some types of vision problems but they can miss about 75% of those children that have learning-related vision problems. Detecting these vision problems is very important as “studies show that much of what children learn comes though vision, and undetected and untreated eye and vision disorders in children, such as amblyopia and strabismus, can result in vision loss, additional costly treatments, delayed reading and poorer outcomes in school.”

The take-home statement that the summit produced is that comprehensive eye exams must serve as the foundation to determine school readiness in school-aged children. Another important point established at this meeting is the establishment of the link between healthy vision and classroom learning.

This historic summit is an important step in ensuring that children receive the proper detection and treatment of vision problems before they become detrimental to their learning. Here at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we are excited to see these changes being made, since it has been our goal from the beginning to not only catch vision problems at an early stage, evidenced by the InfantSEE program that we offer that provides free eye exams to infants between the age of 6 months and 1 year of age, but to also treat certain types of problems through our extensive one-on-one vision therapy program.

If you have any questions regarding the InfantSEE program, vision therapy program, or would like to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child before they start school, give our office a call or come in to schedule.

All the best,

Justin Schoonover, CPO

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Girl’s Life Saved Due to Facebook Photo

This is a great example of how the tools of social media can have very significant real-world positive effects.

Retinoblastoma is a very serious eye cancer. It only affects children. This is because its kills everyone who has it by five years of age. Because the eyes are connected directly with the brain, the cancer takes over the eye, then the brain and continues to spread until the victim dies.

Surprisingly, most retinobastoma is not found by a pediatrician or eye doctor, but by a friend or family member who sees something wrong with the child’s eyes. Usually this is either a white-look pupil or an eye turn.

Recently the Daily Mail newspaper in England reported this exact scenario: A friend did see a problem with 2 year old Grace’s eyes. It turned out to be retinoblastoma, which was successfully treated. But here is the twist: the friend, a nurse, saw the problem via a photo on Facebook.

In addition to the fantastic result for Grace, there are two other points here. The first is that social media will continue to help improve education and medical care over time and this is an early example. The second is that thorough, early eye exams are a good idea. The American Optometric Association recommends exams at 6 months of age, three years of age, and before kindergarten. The InfantSEE program supports this by providing no-cost eye exams to patients between the ages of 6 and 12 months.

If you have a young child, be sure to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. You never know what problems might be found.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Bright Eyes Baby Day – May 8, 2010

Join Bright Eyes on Saturday, May 8 for Baby Day!

Featuring:

  • No-cost InfantSEE®eye assessment for your baby!
  • Baby Tweetup!
  • Free Baby Sunglasses
  • Awesome Giveaways
  • A chance to win a gift basket from Mi Bebe!
  • Refreshments

What is Baby Day?Beach Boy by chimothy27

At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we love patients of all ages, but the cutest and most cuddly ones are babies. Most parents don’t know that the American Optometric Association recommends the first eye and vision evaluation should be at six months of age. So we have created Baby Day! On this day we will provide no-cost eye exams for babies and educate the public on infant and children’s eye care. See the press release here.

InfantSee Morning (10 a.m to noon)

In the morning, we will be scheduling only InfantSEE® patients. Created by the American Optometric Association, InfantSEE®is a public health initiative to screen babies for potential vision problems. InfantSEE® assessments are offered free of charge to infants between six and twelve months of age. It’s a comprehensive eye exam that evaluates a baby’s vision, eye tracking skills, & overall eye health. Long-time readers may remember my daughter’s InfantSEE® evaluation. Now that Javier is 6 months old, he’ll be joining us on Baby Day for his very first eye exam!

Call soon to schedule, as appointments are limited for Baby Day! (And if you can’t make it May 8, you can schedule an InfantSEE® exam during regular office hours, too!)

Baby Tweetup (1 p.m. to 3 p.m. RSVP on FB here)

Our office is fairly social media savvy and we enjoyed hosting the first Westchase Tweetup last year. If you don’t know, a Tweetup is a real-life gathering of users of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Typically these events are lots of fun and are excellent networking opportunities. Well, the Baby Tweetup is no different, except that we are specifically inviting little tykes under 24 months and their families. So if your Facebook page is covered with pics and videos of your little bambino, be sure and stop by. And don’t forget to check in on foursquare. 😉

Open House (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

Stop by anytime during throughout the day to say hello and check out all the other cute babies! The first 25 babies get a tote bag with baby sunglasses and other goodies. Parents can register to win a gift basket from Mi Bebe. We’ll also have some light refreshments (sodas, juice boxes for kids, cookies and more) for you to enjoy!

Sponsors

Bright Eyes, Mi Bebe, and My Gym are the current sponsors. However, because we want spread the word about infant vision care as far as possible, we are looking for other people or businesses to sponsor Baby Day! You can be a sponsor by donating give-aways or door prizes or by helping us get the word out! If you are interested in joining us or have any questions, please let me know.

I can’t wait to see all the babies at Bright Eyes! So cute!

UPDATES: First, We will be using the hashtag #BABYDAY to track comments on Twitter. Second, this is becoming a national event! We have eye doctors in California, New York, Indiana, and Utah who will be joining us! Ask your eye doctor if they be hosting any special BABY DAY events!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

New Federal Recognition and Funding for InfantSEE® Program

I received an email today from the American Optometric Association:

President Barack Obama signed into law a measure that provides nearly $600,000 in new federal resources to help expand the scope and impact of InfantSEE® – the signature public health program of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and administered by Optometry’s CharityTM – The AOA Foundation.

The first direct appropriation, sponsored by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) totaled $500,000 and is aimed at supporting expansion and outreach of the program.

“Many parents of newborns do not know that the most dramatic development of a child’s visual system occurs within the first year of life,” said Sen. Byrd. “And it is through early detection and treatment of potential problems that parents can help ensure poor vision and eye health does not severely affect their child’s ability to learn and place them at a disadvantage in education and in life.”

The second direct appropriation totaling $90,000 was sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and will support program expansion through outreach in Iowa.

“InfantSEE® is doing much more than identifying and treating risk factors that may cause eye and vision problems later in the life,” said Sen. Harkin. “They are taking prevention to a new level to ensure healthier, thriving children and lower health care costs down the road.”

InfantSEE® assessments are complementary to the routine well-care exams a baby receives from a pediatrician or family physician. Optometrists have the training to identify areas of risk that are critical to vision development and the skills to identify conditions that might not be detected in a routine pediatric wellness exam. In some cases, conditions may need to be monitored, immediately treated or referred to a pediatric eye specialist.

At Bright Eyes, we believe in and support the InfantSEE® program. You can see this post where I discuss Nora’s first eye exam. I will probably do the same when Javier comes in for his exam when he is six months old. If you have a newborn or are expecting, remember that the InfantSEE® exam provides a no-cost vision assessment if your baby is between 6 and 12 months old.

Be well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Michigan Governor Declares this week InfantSEE week.

InfantSEE from the AOA

Like many Optometrists, I provide visual care to infants. I support the effort in Michigan to get the word out about this important program

“(Dr. Daniel) Mosser, Dr. Robert Barnett II, Dr. Carolyn Ormes and Dr. Barry Morrisson are Martinsburg-based optometrists who will be participating in the clinic program, which was set in motion after Gov. Joe Manchin declared May 4 through May 16 InfantSEE Week.

This week, more than 50 eye doctors statewide will be providing free comprehensive eye and vision assessments for babies between 6 and 12 months of age, by appointments only.

Br. Bonilla-Warford participates in InfantSEE. If you have a little one who is 6 to 12 months of age, bring her or him to Bright Eyes for a no-cost visual assessment because it’s easier to prevent a visual problem than treat one!

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on Google PlacesBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on TwitterBright Eyes Tampa on YelpBright Eyes Tampa on foursquareWestchase Patch

Great Info on Infant Visual Development

My Colleague Dr. Dan Fortenbacher maintains a blog called EXCELerated Vision that contains lots of great information on vision and visual development.

Recently, there have been some very useful posts on Infant Vision. The first contains an audio interview with Dr. Andrea Thau, one of the founding members of the InfantSee program. She discusses the importance of infant vision examinations.

There are also recent posts that contain detailed lists of ways to encourage proper visual development for babies 0 to 3 months and 4 to 8 months of age. If you have a little one in your life, I encourage you to check this out.

Be Well!
Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

 

Mommy Blogging About InfantSee

Recently, Johnson & Johnson held an innovative event called Camp Baby. They invited “mommy bloggers” (women who blog about their experiences raising children) for a series of lectures and events. The bloggers were under no obligation to write about their experience, but many did.

One of the featured speakers was Optometrist Scott Jens chairman of the InfantSee program that provides eye exams to infants at no charge. The recommended time for a first comprehensive eye exam for infants with no eye problems is between 6 and 12 months. If you care interested, you can read about my daughter’s InfantSee exam, that I performed when she was 7 months old.

Dr. Jens, who practices in Madison, WI, is a great speaker and many found his talk to be informative. Here is one review of Dr. Jens from Parentopia.net:

My personal favorite was learning about InfantSee with Dr. Scott Jens. This is a program supported by J&J which provides a free eye exam for all infants. Since my brother struggled horribly in school until they realized he was near sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other and simply couldn’t see what was going on in the world, I think this opportunity is something all parents should take advantage of! As a matter of fact, I have already made arrangements with Dr. Jens to get information about InfantSee into my community

Here are some other mommy blogs on the InfantSee program:

Cool Moms Rule!

Because I Said So

Midwestern Mommy

The MotherLoad

 

Socal Mom

If you have a baby between the ages of 6 and 12 months, the InfantSEE program will provide one evaluation at no change. Call the office or visit InfantSEE.org for more information.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

The Psychosocial Effects of Amblyopia

It is well known, and intuitive, that children and adults with strabismus (crossed or wandering eyes) have greater difficulty with self image and social situations than people with straight eyes. This is partially cosmetic and partially due to self-awareness that something is “wrong” with their vision. To assist people with strabismus, there are many resources including online support groups and a blog.

A related but different condition is amblyopia (lazy eye), that occurs when the vision doesn’t develop normally in one or both eyes and vision is not clear even with the best glasses or contacts. You can’t tell a person has amblyopia by looking at them – an eye doctor has to diagnosis it. There are also online support groups for amblyopia.

Research indicates that people with amblyopia are as likely to have social issues as those with strabismus, even though there is no cosmetic concern. The study found that “a significant number of patients felt that amblyopia interfered with school (52%) and work (48%) to some degree and were generally affected in their lifestyle (50%).” Additionally, sports job choices were affected.

The study concludes with ‘Psychosocial difficulties related to amblyopia affect individuals’ self-image, work, school, and friendships. Amblyopia has a significant effect on psychosocial functioning and warrants aggressive screening, prevention and treatment during the amblyogenic years.”

As I say frequently, it is much easier to prevent amblyopia than to treat it. And fortunately, amblyopia can be prevented. Early eye exams are critical for detecting and treating amblyopia. The first exam is recommended at six months of age. If all is well, the next exams should occur at age three and before school.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.