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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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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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Floaters – What Are They? [video]


People constantly ask me about floaters. This is good because they are paying attention and they know that they have been told that if they have a sudden change in floaters, either size or amount, they should call or come to the office right away to evaluate for potentially vision threatening problems.

But for most people, it turns out that we have floaters normally, we just don’t notice them that often. Right now, if I look at the computer screen and space out, I can see them, but I haven’t thought about them all day.

This is a nice little video that my mom sent me that explains floaters in an easy to understand way. I thought it would be good for sharing.

-Dr. Nate

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care and Bright Eyes Kids


Bright Eyes Kids Grand Opening Great Glasses Play Day Extravaganza!

Bright Eyes Kids Grand Opening

At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we love kids. About 40% of the patients who come to our Westchase are under 18 years old. That is a lot for an optometry office in Florida, but makes sense for us. Both myself and my associate Dr. Elizabeth Knighton have completed optometric residencies in children’s vision. We enjoy using our specialty training to help children, offering specialty services such as vision therapy and myopia control. We have lots of experience examining patients with special needs, such as children with Down Syndrome and autism.

Because we love working with children so much, we have opened an entire office dedicated to them: Bright Eyes Kids. This is the only optometry office in the Tampa Bay area designed just for kids. From child-sized furniture to a huge selection of kids glasses, we have built everything to be fun and friendly for our littlest patients. Check it out here.
We also love kids glasses! That is why we have decided to use the national Great Glasses Play Day as our GRAND OPENING for Bright Eyes Kids. This is the third GGPD we have been involved in and we can say it is a fantastic event. Check out all the cool stuff we have planned:
  • Pony Rides (before noon)
  • A Magic show for kids
  • Balloon Animals
  • Face Painting
  • FREE Goodie bags for all
  • Special cloths and cleaner for kids with glasses
  • Star Wars Treats
  • Lego (R) Activities By Bricks 4 Kids
  • Lego (R) minifigure trading (Bring a minifig or two to swap!)
We think you will agree that this will be a great event for kids! Please share this Great Glasses Play Day with the families of any children with glasses. You can RSVP on Facebook here:
And one added benefit: the party just happens to fall on May the Fourth. For those that don’t know – this is also know as Star Wars Day. May the Fourth Be With You, get it? :). So expect some Star Wars surprises!
We hope to see you there!
PS – If you are a local business that works with kids and would like to be involved, let us know. You can

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care

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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

How Will Google Glass Affect Our Vision?


Ever since the first Google Glass concept video (above) was posted in in early 2012, I have been excited about the technology and it potential uses. The idea of hands-free video recording and real-time, hyper-local, cloud-based (and other fancy hyphenated terms) interaction is extremely appealing.

But although Glass may be extremely cool, there are concerns about privacy which are now being addressed. Although it isn’t much different from a cellphone camera, something about a person wearing them as glasses is creepier. Some businesses have already banned Glass, but that may be more for the attention than anything else.

Additionally, possible visual issues may arise from Glass use. There doesn’t appear to be issues with eye damage from wearing Glass. There may be minor eyestrain for some people from looking above the horizon. The biggest the splitting of visual attention. After all, it is only possible to pay attention to one image at time. It is this attention splitting concern that is responsible for warning against wearing Glass while driving and other potentially dangerous activities.

There have been a few recent videos out that addressed Glass and vision. The first was taken by Trey Ratcliff of his Optometrists, Dr. Danielle Pretty. She describes Glass and her impressions of the location and effect of Google Glass display.


The second video comes from Dr. Isaac Porter, of Lowry Porter Ophthalmology who interviews a Glass Explorer and talks about the visual adjustment to Glass and shows the first formal visual field assessment with Glass on.


Are you a Glass Explorer? I’d love to check it out and talk with you about the visual implications of Glass – connect on GPlus, or email me at!


All the best!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
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Justin Timberlake has the 20/20 Experience

We all know that having good vision and eye health is important. But not everyone realizes how cool it is to have 20/20 vision. Well, I’m happy to say that one gentleman that you might recognize does think that experiencing life with 20/20 vision is important – important enough to title his next CD “The 20/20 Experience“. I am talking about Justin Timberlake. Even optometrists know who he is. Check out his latest album cover:

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Here we can see JT clearly enjoying his subjective refraction. And after this he’ll surely have his eye coordination and health checked. Then he’ll select one or a dozen pairs of glasses which he will rock all over the world. But because glasses can get sweaty on stage, he’ll probably also be fitted for the best in contacts – probably daily disposable contacts that will keep his eyes healthy and comfortable during his busy travel schedule.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that a musical artist has tried to establish some street cred by playing up their eye care connection. DJ Spooky had a very influential CD called Optometrist in 2002. As long time patients know, we usually play jazz, bossa nova, and downtempo music in the office, I suppose that we will have to get the CD and play it when it comes out in March.

Do you want “The 20/20 Experience”? You can request an appointment with us – and you don’t even have to wear a tux!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care

Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.

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Congrats Dr. Nate!

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Dr. Nate and ICO President Arol Augsburger

Being recognized for hard work doesn’t happen often, so we are very proud of Dr. Nate for his most recent recognition!

On September 7, 2012, the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago presented Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD with the Young Alumnus of the Year Award. He was recognized during a formal banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, along with the other award recipients which included his former professors.

Many of you know Dr. Nate from his various social media endeavors, such as Foursquare Day and local Tweetups. He actively participates in Google+ and Yelp events, both online and in-person. Did you know that Dr. Nate has expanded his use of social media to the optometric industry?

Dr. Nate has become a leading voice in optometry on the topic of using social media as a tool for patient communication and networking. He has written many articles for print and online optometric journals. He has lectured all over the country, encouraging doctors to establish a strong, positive online presence. In fact, the following day, he gave a lecture to students and alumni about using social media in different types of offices.

Chicago at the beginning of fall is beautiful! We had crisp air and bright blue skies, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of downtown. Dr. Nate and I lived in Chicago for 6 years before moving to Tampa, so it was a great time to visit our former home. We know the winter is soon to come to Chicago, and for that we are grateful for Florida winters!

Congrats Dr. Nate for your work to bring people together both online and in-person! That’s what social media is best used for!

– Cristina

Dr Nate chicago

Dr. Nate in Chicago

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.
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Vision Therapy Is Amazing!

We have had an amazing few weeks at Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in the Vision Therapy department and I just want to share! There have been several patients who have graduated with flying colors and it is so wonderful to see them so proud of their accomplishments – and so happy with the results!

One young patient is very bright but has a variety of different problems including difficulty with eye movement control and visual attention. During the course of vision therapy not only has his visual skill improved but his parents have noted a dramatic difference in his awareness of the world around him. They say that he is better able to work with groups of people and get his behavior at school on has improved dramatically!

Another young patient had amblyopia (which means a lazy eye) as well as a few other related visual processing problems. Her therapy was primarily for the amblyopia to improve the vision in her eye and to improve the way the eyes work together. Then at one point a few weeks ago her mother reported that her reading had really taken off. She had her nose in a book almost all the time! Needless to say her mother is thrilled.

35710 299815734976 28366449976 951292 5400291 sI am also excited because we have several new patients starting therapy program. One young man has had ongoing problems with double vision that have interfered with reading and school work. He is excited to get started and I am too because I know he is going to do very well. Another one is a typical case where the family came in with concerns about having to see blurry in the distance and only after we did the evaluation did we find out that there were focusing problems that may also be contributing to avoidance of homework and their close activities. Once I explained how and an underlying focusing problem can actually cause vision in the distance to be blurry, it made a lot of sense to them and they were excited to sign up.

Although vision therapy is the most time consuming and most complicated part of my career, it is also the most rewarding to being out the potential of these patients and their joy when they themselves realize it! If you have any questions about vision therapy and and whether or not you or someone else is a candidate, please feel free to give our office a call, e-mail us, or stop by.

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
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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