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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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Podcast Episode #1 – Who We Are

Note: This is the first episode of our new podcast that will cover all aspects of vision care. You can listen in the player below or read the transcript. The show is available via Stitcher, Google Play, iTunes, and the webplayer below. You can find all episodes here. If you have any suggestions for future episodes, please email office@BrightEyesTampa.com.

-Dr. Nate

Episode 1 transcript:

Dr. Nate: [00:00:00] From sunny Tampa Bay is the Bright Eyes podcast. This is episode number one. I’m Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford.

Dr. Beth: [00:00:09] And I am Dr. Beth Knighton.

Dr. Nate: [00:00:11] And today’s episode is all about us. In the future, we’re going to talk about different aspects of eyes and vision care and different things that you can do to take care of your eyes and improve your vision. But for today since this is our very first podcast episode we’re going to introduce you a little bit about us our practice and how we do things. So how are you feeling, Beth?

Dr. Beth: [00:00:39] I’m feeling great.

Dr. Nate: [00:00:41] Are you excited?Warford 2597 color 239x300

Dr. Beth: [00:00:42] Yes.

Dr. Nate: [00:00:42] Are you excited to be doing podcasts?

Dr. Beth: [00:00:44] Yeah. 🙂

Dr. Nate: [00:00:46] So first off, I have lots of experience in podcasting. My first podcast was in 2010 to 2013. I also do another podcast with an ophthalmologist which we do every month and I think it is a wonderful medium to share information. I’m an avid podcast listener. I listen to podcasts literally every day. So I think it’s fantastic and I’m excited to do it. What about your experience?

Dr. Beth: [00:01:19] Yes I am excited to do this new adventure here learning about podcasts and getting our information out there to everybody.

Dr. Nate: [00:01:29] Great. So a little bit about me. I grew up in north central Florida and I went to University of Florida. I got my Optometry degree at the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. I did my residency in Pediatric Vision and Vision Therapy also at ICO and then we moved back to Florida and we opened Bright Eyes Family Vision Care here in Westchase in 2006. We’ve been working here for the last 11 years. I say we because my wife Cristina is the office manager and we’ve grown from a tiny office with just a handful of staff to two offices with about 16 staff members.Dr EK Pic 224x300

Dr. Beth: [00:02:16] I grew up in Clearwater, Florida. I went to the University of South Florida in Tampa for my undergraduate degree and then I also went to the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago like Dr. Nate and went on to do my Pediatric Residency at the University of Houston in Texas and I stayed on there teaching for a little while. But Florida is my home and I was able to come back this way. So now back in the Tampa Bay area I reached out to Dr. Nate. And at that time he was looking to expand to create the second office which is Bright Eyes Kids and so I was able to join the Bright Eyes family in 2014 and started out part time and grew as the practice did. And now here at the Bright Eyes Westchase office and the Bright Eyes Kids office full time with Dr. Nate

Dr. Nate: [00:03:17] Yes. And it is fantastic. I love having a doctor that I can work with and ask questions to and we can talk about cases and different experiences even though we both went to the same optometry school we did different residencies and so we have different experiences and that helps us serve our patients better.

Dr. Beth: [00:03:44] And it’s really great – it is a lot of fun.

Dr. Nate: [00:03:48] Dr. Beth spends a little bit more time at the family practice. I spend a little bit more time at the kids office and that’s primarily just because she lives closer to the Westchase office and I live closer to the New Tampa office because we’re both plenty capable of doing both but we have a lot of fun.

Dr. Beth: [00:04:09] We really like our job and working with patients of all ages. It’s surprising to people when they find out that we routinely see patients that are six months old. Sometimes a little younger. It’s something that we really enjoy.

Dr. Nate: [00:04:28] What do you do when you’re not working with patients.

Dr. Beth: [00:04:33] I love spending time with my family and I especially love spending time out on my small sailboat. I love being outside doing pretty much anything whether it’s camping or biking. We always love being outside and Florida is a great place to be doing all those things as opposed to our cold winters that we had in Chicago.

Dr. Nate: [00:05:01] It was cold. It’s true. I also like doing things outside. I like to run and go camping. We have a lot of people in my family who play music and so we make music and I like to read and spend time with my family. And sometimes when we have time we like to travel and I’d say that’s mostly what we do.

Dr. Nate: [00:05:31] So we’re going to cover many topics about eyes and vision glasses contacts and vision therapy and Ortho-K. What other topics are we going to cover?

Dr. Beth: [00:05:45] We’re going to cover brain injuries and how that affects the eyes. We will cover why sunglasses are important for your vision and even topics about certain eye diseases you may have heard of like cataracts and macular degeneration.

Dr. Nate: [00:06:02] Yes. So thank you for listening to our very first episode ever. If you have any questions comments or suggestions you can e-mail us at office@BrightEyesTampa.com. Until next time. Have fun and be safe.

If you have questions about your or your children’s eyes or vision please call us at 813-792-0637 or use the button below to request an appointment.
Schedule An Appointment

Brought to you by Bright Eyes Family Vision Care and Bright Eyes Kids. Find previous episodes and more detailed information at BrightEyesTampa.com. Creative Commons Copyright attribution, non-commercial use.

The only purpose of this podcast is to educate and to inform. It is no substitute for professional care by a doctor experienced in the area you require. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. Please consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.

Intro and outro music by Lucas Warford.

7 Tips to Survive Allergy Season

The tree pollen counts are sky-high this week in Tampa. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than 60 million Americans suffer from allergies. The same yellow dust that is coating all of our cars is also getting into our eyes. Are you suffering this week from itchy, red watery eyes? It may be due to ocular allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis. Some people can even have ocular allergies without allergies affecting the nose and throat.

Allergy forecast(from www.pollen.com)

So, what can we do to survive the spring??

  1. Wear sunglasses to help prevent pollen falling into your eyes.
  2. Look up the pollen counts so you can plan your outdoor activities for lower pollen count days. The pollen levels are typically highest on windy, dry, sunny days.
  3. Keep your windows closed to avoid airborne pollens.
  4. Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  5. Shower after outdoor activities to rinse the pollen off your skin and hair. This pollen will continue to irritate your eyes, nose and throat even after coming inside.
  6. Contact lenses can sometimes magnify the itchiness you experience. Some people get relief with daily disposable contact lenses or changing contact lens cleaning during allergy season. Come in for an exam with Drs. Nate or Beth to see what would be best for you.
  7. Consult with your primary care doctor or allergist to see if an allergy medication is right for you.

Call our office to schedule an appointment if you suspect ocular allergies are affecting you.

-Dr. Beth.

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
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Questions About LASIK? Join us at FREE LASIK Consultation Day – July 18

Do you struggle with the idea of getting LASIK? Maybe you think you want to do it, but don’t even know if you are a candidate? Do you have more questions that you need to have answered in order to feel comfortable making the decision? Well, we can help! On Thursday, July 18, we will be having a FREE LASIK consultation day. TLC Laser Eye Center Customer Care Representative Susan Santangelo will be providing in-depth information about blade-free technology, the cost of LASIK, and of course, the qualifications for LASIK.

  • How safe is LASER VISION CORRECTION?

  • Is LASIK right for me?

  • How much does it cost?

  • What is “BLADE-FREE” Technology?

A lot of people are tired of wearing glasses; they’re inconvenienced by contacts, and they just want to be able to go to the beach…and see. Stop by on July 18 and get all of your questions answered by the professionals. Call us to make an appointment for this FREE consultation, and find out how you could save $400 for LASIK! This could be a life-changing decision!

You can check out TLC’s website for information on the different types of LASIK.

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All the best!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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Legalese: THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT THAT IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT.

 

AOA School Readiness Summit: Focus on Vision

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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.
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Tampa Optometrist discusses Orthokeratology in Fox 13 News Video

I am happy to note that my friend and colleague, William Stephen O.D. of St. Lucy’s Vision Center was featured extensively discussing orthokeratology, also known as ortho-K, CRT, or Precise Corneal Reshaping (PCR). The video aired on Fox 13’s Dr. Jo health segment.

Here is the description of the video from the Fox 13 website. “Patients head to the eye doctor every year, often times for a stronger prescription. But, some people are getting “perfect vision” without contacts or glasses. FOX 13’s Dr. Joette Giovinco shows why “Eye Braces” are being called the vision of the future.”

You can watch the entire video here:

There are several optometrists that provide Ortho-K in the Tampa area. We the only office in Westchase to provide the service. If you have any questions about this exciting treatment option or want to schedule a screening, please do not hesitate to call the office at 813-792-0637 or email at office@brighteyestampa.com.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

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

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Elbow Distance and Why it Matters

There can be no doubt that all of us, especially children, are doing hand held work more frequently and more intently than ever before. All you have to do is look around any restaurant, doctor’s waiting room, or mini-van, and you will see people of all ages do this. They are reading, playing hand held video games such as the Nintendo 3DS or the PSP, or using their iPhone or Blackberry to watch videos and keep in touch with others.

All of this technology is great, but it can come with a cost – visual discomfort that can interfere with proper vision.

In addition to using proper posture and taking frequent visual breaks from intensely focusing up closely, another important element is how close a person is to the object they are looking at in their hands. A good way to tell if it is the right distance is by using the “Elbow Distance” rule.

Research on human ergonomics has determined that the optimal visual distance for reading and other close work is the Harmon Distance or “Elbow Distance”. This distance is measured by placing a closed fist at the eyes. The point at the end of the elbow represents the closest distance a person should be from their near work.

The beauty of applying Elbow Distance is that as we grow, so do our arms. You would expect a child to hold objects closer to his face than an adult. So instead of a “one size fits some” rule of a certain number of inches, the “Elbow Distance” can apply to almost everyone. Go ahead and try it on yourself now and see if you hold a magazine or cellphone at your Elbow Distance or a little further.

Some people get so absorbed in their games or reading that when they get very close to their work, they are placing undue stress on their vision. I am also very guilty of this. When I get 4 to 5 inches from what I’m writing, my eyes have to work harder to keep the words clear because of the close distance. But if I keep the right distance, the visual system relaxes and performs more efficiently – and I can really tell a difference.

If children or adults frequently get extremely close to their books or games, this may just be a bad habit. But it can also be sign of a visual problem. Either way, it is best to get an exam performed by an eye doctor who specializes in visual efficiency. They can determine if there is a problem and if glasses or vision therapy might be needed.

Be well!

Dr. Nate

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

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Guide to a Comprehensive Eye and Vision Exam

If you ever read a summary of a comprehensive exam, you may get a little confused by all the technical vision terms. To try to make it more easy to understand, I have listed a brief explanation of the tests accomplished by comprehensive eye and vision exams.

This does not cover every single test, but the majority of them. Because each patient is different, each exam uses different tests. You may find a Glossary of Vision Terms helpful as well.

  • MEDICAL HISTORY: Questions about past and current medical problems.
  • VISUAL HISTORY: Questions about past and current vision problems.
  • VISUAL ACUITY: Sharpness or clearness of eyesight at a specific distance.
  • KERATOMETRY: Measures the shape of the front part of the eye (the cornea) where light enters.
  • EXTRA OCULAR MUSCLES: Measures how accurately the eyes move while following an object and looking back and forth between targets.
  • COVER TEST (NEAR): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at near.
  • COVER TEST (DIST): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at distance.
  • NEAR POINT CONVERGENCE: Measures the ability to converge – the eyes turning towards each other when looking at an object up close.
  • STEREOPSIS: Measures the ability of the eyes to work together to see fine detail with depth perception “3D”.
  • NEAR POINT ACCOMMODATION: Measures how close each eye is able to see clearly.
  • PHORIA (NEAR): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at near.
  • PHORIA (DISTANCE): Measures the amount that the eyes are misaligned while looking at distance.
  • NEAR VERGENCE (BI): Measures the ability to converge – the eyes turning towards each other when looking at an object up close.
  • NEAR VERGENCE (BO): Measures the ability to diverge – the eyes turning outwards at an object.
  • ACA RATIO: Measures how much the eyes converge while focusing up close.
  • NEGATIVE RELATIVE ACCOMMODATION: Measures the maximum ability to relax focusing while maintaining clear, single binocular vision.
  • POSITIVE RELATIVE ACCOMMODATION: Measures the maximum ability to focus while maintaining clear, single binocular vision.
  • MEM RETINOSCOPY: Measures the accuracy of focusing while looking at an object up close.
  • REFRACTION: Measures the nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism of the eyes.
  • EXTERNAL EXAM: Determines health of the eyes by observation.
  • SLIT-LAMP EXAM: Determines the health of the eyes with a microscope.
  • OPHTHALMOSCOPY: Uses special lenses to look inside the eye for diseases.
  • TONOMETRY: Measures the pressure inside the eyes.
  • DILATION ORDERS: Specifies the type of eye drops and method used to evaluate inside the eyes.
  • CUP/DISC RATIO: A way of measuring the health of the optic nerve. Useful in glaucoma and other eye disease cases.
  • ASSESSMENT: States what the known visual or eye health problems are.
  • PLAN: Summarizes the recommendations for the treatment of the problems.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

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

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