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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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Allergy Season is Upon Us!

Are your eyes red and itchy right now just in the last few weeks? It might be due to all the pollen in air. It might be allergies!

What are ocular allergies?

allergiesWhen our eyes are exposed to substances like pollen, animal dander or mold spores, they can become red, itchy and watery. These are symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, which is an eye inflammation caused by allergic reaction.

Some people experience acute allergic conjunctivitis, which is a short-term inflammation that is more common during allergy season. The eyelids suddenly swell, itch and burn.

Less commonly, some people experience chronic allergic conjuncitvitis, which is a long-term allergic reaction that can be present year-round. The response is typically milder, with symptoms that come and go, including burning, itching and light sensitivity.


Minimize your exposure to allergens

  • Close the windows and limit outdoor time when the pollen count is high.
  • Wear a hat and/or sunglasses outdoors to limit exposure to airborne pollen.
  • Keep your home dust-free.
  • Use an indoor air purifier.
  • Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals, dyes and perfumes.
  • Take shower at night to rinse away pollen from hair and skin before sleep.
  • Wash pillow cases frequently, as pollen from your hair and body can collect on this surface near your eyes.

Use a cold compress

A cool moist washcloth can be placed over the eyes several times a day to relieve swelling and symptoms.


Keep your eyes hydrated

Dry eyes magnify the symptoms of ocular allergies because the eyelids cause friction with the front surfaces of the eye.


Ocular Allergy Medications

Your primary care doctor may recommend an oral or over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce or block histamine release or anti-inflammatory eye drops.

Avoid Visine: It contains an ingredient (Naphazoline) that can cause a rebound effect and the eyes look more red in the long-term, so avoid these products.

Ocular Antihistamines: These medicines reduce symptoms by chemically blocking the allergic reaction. Alaway, Zaditor and Pataday are over-the-counter medications that can be used daily for ocular allergies. Prescription ocular antihistamines are also available.

Ocular Anti-inflammatories: When other treatments are inadequate, your doctor may prescribe steroid eye drops to relieve symptoms. These medications must be used under supervision of your doctor because they can cause elevated pressure inside the eye, which can lead to vision damage.


Can I still wear my contact lenses?

Allergens collect on the surfaces of the contact lenses, which can lead to decreased comfort. If you experience redness, burning or watering, immediately remove your contact lenses and clean them. If symptoms continue, remove the contacts and call the office.

If your contact lenses are uncomfortable, you and your doctor may discuss other options such as:

  • Wearing glasses during high pollen count or allergy season.
  • Switching to a hydrogen peroxide contact lens cleaning system (ClearCare or AquaClear) to deeply clean the proteins and deposits off the contacts.
  • Switching to a daily disposable contact lens, minimizing buildup of allergens on the lens and reducing symptoms.

If you have any questions or concerns, call our office at 813-792-0637.

John John’s Vision Videos

Over the last few years John John has become a wonderful friend of Bright Eyes. He is an incredibly fun and inquisitive young man who loves to make YouTube videos. Everyone was impressed by his cute and surprisingly accurate early video about Eyes. After that, we started emailing and he eventually joined us for videos on How to Go to the Eye Doctor (over 22K views!), How to Get Vision Therapy (with me) , and How to Get Sports Vision Training (with Dr. Beth). He has also done videos on How Glasses are Made and How to Use Google Cardboard.

I’ve put the videos here in chronological order so you can see how John John has grown and the videos have improved over time.

[youtube]KDo3i0-pKMs[/youtube] [youtube]Wa2NsddKPm4[/youtube] [youtube]VFIFDUCUJR0[/youtube] [youtube]465DpGby13k[/youtube] [youtube]m4Wr4ynk0H0[/youtube] [youtube]h91ZzZh_cDI[/youtube]

And John John doesn’t just do videos about vision. Here are some favorites:

You can see all of John John’s videos and find out how to get in touch with him at his website

-Dr. Nate

Minecraft & Your Child’s Eyes

minecraftMinecraft doesn’t come up in conversation every day at Bright Eyes Kids, but pretty close to it. I typically ask all my patients, young and old, what they do for fun and Minecraft is the first thing many kids say. And if you spend any time at a mall, school, or other place with kids, you will see lots of kids in Minecraft-themed t-shirts (but you might not get the jokes unless you have played it yourself.) And now Microsoft just bought the company that makes Minecraft for $2.5 Billion (with a B). Clearly they think someone is playing this game.

I don’t have a “love/hate” relationship with Minecraft. It is more of “respect/worry” relationship.

There are many reasons why I respect Minecraft. I have read the story of how Minecraft came to be, and I must say, it is pretty cool: one guy making a game that became a community, mostly by himself. Being a huge Lego fan, I like the simplicity of building with digital blocks. I love all of the amazingly creative projects that dedicated players build.
But I do worry about all the Minecrafters. We have long known that Computer Vision Syndrome can affect office workers who spend their day on the computer. But children who spend a lot of time at the computer can develop the same symptoms. Simple Google searches show that Minecraft fans complain of blurry vision, headache, eye strain and red eyes, and they worry that the game is harming their eyesight.

Check out the infographic at the bottom of the post. It shows that kids are using devices for both fun and schoolwork. Parents tend to underestimate how much time their children use devices. Some kids use devices a lot – 7 hours or more each. I am betting that they do not find their off-screen homework as compelling as games like Minecraft.

Take this scenario: Parents bring in a child for an eye examination because their child is having headaches and blurry vision that only started in the last few months. When I ask if anything changed in this time, they will mention that their child got an iPad and have been playing Minecraft and other games. The evaluation confirms that the child is now having eyestrain and focusing problems from excessive device use.

This is more common than you might expect. In a recent AOA survey 4 out of 5 (or 83%) of kids say they have tired or blurry eyes after device use. That is a huge number!

Here are some suggestions to keep children’s eyes comfortable while using a device:

  • Check in with them, so you know how they are doing. Kids often don’t realize they are having problems.
  • Have them take frequent breaks (follow the 20-20-20 rule)
  • Limit their overall scree time and make them get outside.
  • Make sure they hold the device at a safe distance (Elbow distance)
  • Keep even room lighting
  • Wear reading glasses, if prescribed
If you have concerns about your children’s eyes or have concerns about the effect that device use may be having on their eyes and vision, call us to book an appointment. We would be happy to see your children at either Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in Westchase or the office just for children, Bright Eyes Kids in New Tampa.



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Adorable Video on Eyes, Vision, and Eye Disease


I think we have found our primary training video for all employees! It is great. You simply MUST watch this amazing educational video about eyes, vision, and eye disease. For one thing, it is adorable! Second, it is quite accurate.


If you have a child who is interested in the eyes and vision, watch this video with them. They will enjoy it, I promise. It covers:

Parts of the eye:

  • Cornea
  • Iris
  • Pupil
  • Lens
  • Vitreous Body
  • Macula
  • Retina
  • Optic Nerve

These conditions:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Diabetic Eye Problems.

It also has cool eye and vision science experiments. And as my friend Ann Z from Little Four Eyes said after watching the video, “All science experiments should involve safety glasses and oreos.” I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

This video is part of the Learning is Fun series, created by the Amazing John John and his mom. Think of him as Bill Nye, only cuter and shorter. A very curious and photogenic little guy, he has done videos on everything from magnets to layers of the earth. I’ve watched a bunch with my kids and they love them. My staff does, too. You can check him out at He is on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Can’t wait to see more from him!


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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The Second Frame FREE Sale!

I was all set to talk about the GIANT MYSTERY EYE that washed up near here, captivating nearly everyone. It was going to be all about eyes of different species and how unique they are for their environment and needs. But now that the mystery has been solved (SPOILER: It was a swordfish.), I have even better news.

For the first time EVER, we are offering a FREE frame sale. That’s right – buy one frame, get the second one free. Isn’t that better than a mystery eye? 🙂

We know that most people need two different sets of glasses: sunglasses, computer glasses, reading glasses, hobby glasses not to mention that people like to have different options for fashion. A professional pair, a fun pair, an edgy pair. etc. So for the next 30 days we are making it easy to buy two pairs – by offering the second frame free.

FREE glasses

I know. Some of you are thinking: “But I don’t need a second pair of glasses. I can pretty much do everything with this one pair.” And you might. You might have a prescription for one pair. But what happens if something happens to that pair? Are you able to do they important things in life without them? The answers is probably “No.” Because people need to be able to see every day and in every situation, it is helpful to think of glasses like shoes. Does one pair of shoes do everything you need? Work? Beach? Nightclub? Probably not.

So stop in. Check it out. The sale is good any every frame in place. And we have over 1,000 frames to choose from! Our talented staff will be happy to help you.

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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New Sports Vision Video with NBA Star Tyreke Evans and VSP


This new video from VSP is great! Not only is it pretty fun and entertaining, but it also makes a great point about the importance of vision and activities like sports. I’ll be honest I don’t know who Tyreke Evans is, because I don’t follow basketball, but I do know that vision is very important for sports! Not only do you need to see clearly, you and have to have good peripheral vision and good visual reaction time; all of these things are necessary to win. The great thing is that if there are problems with any of these things, they can be fixed with corrective lenses or vision therapy!

This video shows that protecting your eyes on the court or on the field is very important. Regular glasses are not designed for sports and are actually less safe than sports glasses. And don ‘t worry, the modern sports glasses are way cooler than the ones I had when I was a kid! Stop by Bright Eyes to check out some of the new models.

The VSP video also does a great job of highlighting the American Optometric Association’s recommendation that the first eye exam should occur at six months, then three years, then before kindergarten, assuming nothing is wrong.

If you have any questions about your little one’s vision, have concerns that vision may be interfering with sports, or whether or not they are protecting their eyes sufficiently during sports, ask us!

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

Vodka Eyeballing – DO NOT DO THIS!

We all know that sometimes smart people do dumb things. This can be especially true for college students who have a lot of time and new-found freedom.

I recently read about a trend in the US and England among college students: putting a corrosive solvent in their eye. Why? To get drunk? What is the solvent? Alcohol, specifically vodka. This is called Vodka Eyeballing and is more common than you might think.

eye by comedy_nose via Flikr

image via Flickr

I can understand why college students want to find a way to get drunk even faster than doing shots. I can understand that exposing the tissues of your eye to vodka can allow this by absorbing the alcohol straight into your you bloodstream, bypassing the stomach.

But I also know the lethal effect that alcohol has on human cells and that the eye is among the most delicate and IMPORTANT parts of the body.

Do not put Vodka in your eye. It is just as stupid as it sounds.

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

Vision and Eye Care Bloglist

Last night I gave a talk to optometrists about how social media can be used market their practices. It was a small group that was extremely interactive and I had a good time. You can see the Prezi, if you are interested.

Within the presentation, I provided a short list of eye care and vision blogs that I read and explained how essential an RSS reader is. I personally use Google Reader. (If you do not understand RSS, watch this.)

So below is the full list of vision related blogs I follow. Sorry I didn’t clean it up a bit more, but I did kick out any defunct blogs I found while editing the list. It is a bit long, but you can skim it and hopefully find a few things that are interesting or useful to you. And just because I have it listed, doesn’t mean I endorse it, just that I read it. I did bold a few that I think are particularly interesting.

Don’t see your blog or your favorite eye care blog? Be sure to let me know!

See 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

Bright Eyes Baby Day – May 8, 2010

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


  • 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!


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.

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