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Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in New Tampa FL
Bright Eyes Kids in Westchase Fl

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New Tampa & Westchase

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Bright Eyes Family Vision Care

Bright Eyes is Getting Bigger!


Hi, it is Dr. Nate with good news!

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.

Brig ht Eyes Family Vision Caregrand Opening photo

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 or leave them in the comments.

Thank you!

-Dr. Nate

New Signs at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care

If you have been to Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, you might have noticed some changes. We always trying to keep the office fresh and update and we think you’ll agree these changes are an improvement.

The first change was to the outdoor blade sign. We’ve had that sign for 10 years and we wanted to give it an updated, modern look. We think it looks great.

Bright Eyes 10 Year69

Even more important, the sign behind the front desk has changed. Why? Well, we always like the silver one that said Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, but we wanted the new sign to reflect that fact that we are kid friendly, too. In fact, we provide all of the same specialty services for children (vision therapy, myopia control, and ortho-k) in Westchase as we do at the New Tampa location. So we added the colorful and fun Bright Eyes Kids logo to the sign as well.

Bright Eyes 10 Year2


What do you think? They look sharp, right?

-Dr. Nate


Bright Eyes Family Vision Care is Moving!

For the announcement you’ve all been waiting for….

Bright Eyes is Moving! (but not far!)

In January 2012, Bright Eyes will be moving around the corner to a larger office space! As many of you know, we are a tiny office with just one exam room, which means it can be difficult to get an appointment sometimes. There is so much we want to do, but just didn’t have the space to do it. We love Westchase and didn’t want to go far! So, we are staying in West Park Village – in the same “L-shaped” building – but moving to the Linebaugh Avenue side. The new address will be 9912 West Linebaugh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33626. We will be in between the Sylvan Learning Center and West Park Dental Associates, just around the corner from the Starbucks. Here is the foursquare venue.

Our new office will have 2 exam rooms and a much larger Vision Therapy room. We will have a greater variety of eyeglasses and sunglasses (including some new frame lines!), and we will have more places to sit comfortably. Our goal has always been to provide quality eye care and excellent customer service, but wait time for appointments can get long, especially if we have any eye care emergencies. I think this change will help us serve more patients with less wait time!

It is not much to look at now….


But the new Bright Eyes office will be bigger, bigger, and more organized than ever before. Stay tuned for pictures of our progress, and look for our Grand Opening in 2012!!

– Cristina Bonilla-Warford, Office Manager

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
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Bright Eyes Family Vision Care is now on Google+

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I’ve been using Google+ for a few months now, and I must say…. I like it. I like the ease of organization, I like the layout and interface. I especially like that it interfaces so well with Gmail and other Google services that I use all day. I especially like that it provides an option for those, like me, who do not want to use Facebook. In short, I am a big fan of Google+. (You can find me on Google+ here).

Along with many others, I have been waiting patiently for Google+ Pages, which allow companies, brands and other non-people to have a presence on Google+ and interact with other users. So when I saw online yesterday that Google+ Pages were now available, we jumped at the chance. The pages are so easy to set up, that it only took minutes to complete.

So, at long last, here is the Bright Eyes Google+ Page:

I’m pretty sure we were the first eye care provider to have a Google+ Page, which is always exciting. We have joined some pretty cool folks with new Google+ Pages worth checking out:

We are excited to have this new opportunity to share information about eyes, vision, and the local Tampa community. Now that we have it, what should we do with it? What would you like to see on our Bright Eyes Google+ Page?

Dr. Nate

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

Dr. Nate’s TV News Segment About Children’s Vision and VSP’s EyePledge program

It is not everyday that a television news crew comes to Bright Eyes, so when we were given the opportunity we were very excited. We got to the office extra early and made sure everything was ready. The subject was children’s vision and the importance of annual eye exams for kids. Children can have a variety of vision problems that interfere with learning, including difficulty seeing clearly, problems focusing and moving their eyes, and difficulty making sense of what they see. For some children, glasses are sufficient to solve their visual problem. For others, Vision Therapy, a series of therapeutic activities, is necessary to ensure the eyes are working properly.


The video also goes into detail about the excellent program called the Eye Pledge that for every Eye Pledge taken, VSP Vision Care will donate an eye exam and a new pair of glasses to a child served by the Boys and Girls Club – up to 50,ooo children. The Eye Pledge is easy to take and doesn’t cost you a thing! Take the Eye Pledge now and help a child. One of the great things about it is that you can specify if you want the donation to go to a child from a Boys and Girls Club in your area or to an area with the greatest need.

To read more and take the Eye Pledge visit:

Has your child had an eye exam? They should be a standard part of the Back to School Checklist! If you have questions about children’s vision or children’s eye care, do not hesitate to call us at 813-792-0637.

Dr. Nate

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

Back to School checklist: Eye Exam

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Although this article by the American Optometric Association was released in 2009, its message is still pertinent and important, especially during this time of the year. While parents are getting their kids prepared for a new school year by purchasing supplies and meeting new teachers, it might be easy to overlook their child’s vision. In fact, a shocking 86% of children start school without ever having an eye examination. This is an alarmingly high figure given the strong correlation between vision and learning.

At Bright Eyes, we advise the eye exam schedule that is recommended by the AOA: first eye exam at 6 months, 3 years, and right before school. This allows your eye doctor to identify and treat any vision related problems before they start to adversely affect your child’s learning and development.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the screenings used at school are not designed to replace a full, comprehensive eye exam. These screenings offer very little beyond determining clarity of vision. A full eye examination will further test how well the eyes work together in unison at tasks such as reading and computer work, as well as assess the health of the entire eye, inside and out.

The article also suggests signs for parents to look for in their child’s vision between eye exams. The AOA recommends that parents contact their eye doctor if their child frequently:

  1. Loses place while reading
  2. Avoids close work
  3. Tends to rub eyes
  4. Has headaches
  5. Turns or tilts head
  6. Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
  7. Uses finger to maintain place when reading
  8. Omits or confuses small words when reading
  9. Consistently performs below potential
  10. Struggles to complete homework
  11. Squints while reading or watching television
  12. Has behavioral problems
  13. Holds reading material closer than normal

So as the school year begins, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s vision, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment.

All the best,

Justin Schoonover

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball


Photo by Jeremy Bronson

Most people, especially us in Florida, are at a constant battle with glare from the sun. Some feel that they struggle more so than others. Well, if you have blue eyes it may not be all in your head. This recent NY Times article highlights the effects of bright sunlight on eye iris color.

Since baseball records every stat that any fan can think of, it isn’t unusual that definitive statistical data was pulled to show that blue-eyed batters achieve a lower hitting percentage during day games than night games. This is because darker irises are more proficient in filtering out glare than lighter eyes. Glare can cause difficulty for a batter when trying to track the baseball from the pitcher to the plate. The batting percentages of Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers and Jason Bay of the Mets were used to show that the disparity can sometimes be extreme. For example, Hamilton’s career stats showed the most shocking difference, with a daytime average of .240 and a nighttime average of .344.

Some blue-eyed batters use colored contacts to filter glare and give a greater contrast to the ball, while most incorporate sunglasses of varying density to provide glare reduction for an array of lighting conditions. While it’s critical for professional athletes to do whatever it takes to perfect their game, it is just as critical for all of us non-pros to think about reducing glare, especially during activities like driving when glare can mean a fender bender or worse. So if you’ve been thinking about getting a nice pair of sunglasses for fashion or function, keep in mind that Bright Eyes is having a Sunglass Sale for the entire month of July. Come in to receive 30% off all Costa Del Mar and 20% off all other sunglasses.

All the best,

Justin Schoonover, CPO

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
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Looking in the Mirror

mirror sunglasses e1308233855784Well, summer is officially here and the sun isn’t letting up. Most of our patients are already aware of the necessity of sunglasses for comfort and protection against harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses are the perfect way to achieve both of these along with clarity of vision and glare reduction. However, most people are unaware of an additional lens treatment that can assist in all of these areas.

Mirror coatings are lens treatments that have long been viewed as cosmetic only. Indeed they are a perfect way to customize your lenses to either make a statement or to show style and individuality. Mirror coatings are made up of either a thin layer of metal or several alternating layers of dielectric material. This causes intense light rays to reflect off the surface of the lens reducing glare and lowering light transmission. The end result is less eye fatigue and clearer vision.

There are many options for the sunglass wearer who wants to incorporate a mirror into their sunwear. Flash mirrors have just a hint of reflectivity for those that want the benefits of a mirror without the look of a Texas police officer! Full mirrors are much more reflective and tend to block the view of the wearer’s eyes. Solid mirrors offer the most glare reduction, while gradient and double-gradient offer protection from glare above and below for activities such as biking, hiking, and boating. They also come in a variety of colors so that you can customize your lenses to match your style or personality.

If you’re unsure if mirror lenses are right for you, just stop by Bright Eyes to try a few on! And stay tuned for the announcement of the upcoming Sunglass Sale!!

All the best,

Justin Schoonover, CPO
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.
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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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Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Computer Vision Syndrome

If 2010 has taught me anything, it is that our lives are becoming increasingly digital. Not only is more of our work performed on computers and online, but much of our leisure time, too. This is illustrated by the fact that Amazon has recently announced that it has sold more Kindles than any other book or product. But all of this time in front of screens can take its toll on our eyes. They may become irritated and red. Your vision may become blurry or double. And all this may make you less productive at work or reduce your gaming performance. All of these symptoms are elements of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Fortunately, there are things that you can do limit the effects of CVS.

Every new year I provide the Bright Eyes Family Vision Care Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions. In past years, I’ve covered eye health, children’s vision, and saving money. So for 2011, to help you keep your eyes in optimum condition at the computer or digital device, this year’s resolutions list will help you combat Computer Vision Syndrome.

1. Take Breaks – Your eyes work hard when using the computer, e-readers, and phones. Give them some time to relax. Use the “20-20-20 rule.” Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. Every hour or so, talk a longer break. I use and recommend a free application called Workrave that is fully customizable to help you remember to give your eyes (and hands) a rest.

2. Monitor Settings – Today most people have LCD screens. Generally, the larger the screen the better. Increase the font size if it helps.

3. Monitor Position – Position your monitor at least 22 inches away and at an angle that you don’t have to look up most of the time. Making it a natural, comfortable position can help limit eyestrain and neck problems.

4. Blink! – Research studies show that people blink less when using the computer, up to 1/3 less. Blinking washes your eyes in naturally Computerstherapeutic tears, so be sure to blink on a regular basis.

5. Glasses – Make sure you have proper lenses for the computer. Specially prescribed computer glasses may help significantly reduce the symptoms of CVS. Often these are different from glasses for driving and general activities like shopping. Ask your optometrist if you would benefit from computer lenses.

6. Lighting – Keep bright lighting overhead to a minimum. Keep your desk lamp or window light shining on your desk, not on your monitor. Try to keep window light off to the side, rather than in front or behind you.

7. Position your chair – Your body position effects your eye position – and vice versa. Make sure you are sitting in a chair with adequate lower-back support. Position your chair so that you are comfortable. Each person has a preference for his or her chair, so take some time to find what’s best for you.

8. Eye exams – Be sure to discuss CVS with your optometrist at your annual eye exam. He or she will discuss your computer use and can perform specific tests to determine if you would benefit from computer glasses, eye drops or medical treatment.

9. Gadgets – iPads, Kindles, Blackberries and other mobile devices are hugely useful, but have tiny screens and can cause even more symptoms than a desktop computer. Be aware of issues like glare and be sure and take frequent breaks.

10. Don’t forget the kids! – Keep in mind that children can experience CVS, too. And they are less self-aware and are less likely to tell parents if they are having problems. So set limits ahead of time and watch them for any signs of visual problems. This applies to hand-held games, too – especially soon to be released Nintendo 3DS.

If you didn’t have a thorough eye exam in 2010, don’t put it off any longer. Give us a call at 813-792-0637 to schedule your appointment. We’ll make sure your eyes are working their best at the computer! You can also read more about Computer Vision Syndrome on our blog.

A special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Anshel of Corporate Vision Consulting for providing input for this list.

See Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care



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