Skip to main content
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care in New Tampa FL
Bright Eyes Kids in Westchase Fl

2 locations, 1 phone number
New Tampa & Westchase

Home »

reading

Congrats to our newest Vision Therapy grad!

The entire staff and I want to extend a special congratulations to DS, our newest vision therapy graduate! She has worked very hard and has done extremely well. She should be quite proud of herself!

DS was referred by her excellent tutor who I have known for several years and is skilled at suspecting vision problems when they are interfering with learning activities like reading and writing. When DS came in our office, she was struggling with words that appeared to run together while reading, skipping lines while reading and generally avoiding activities like homework. Her COVD Quality of Life Survey score was 39, indicating that visual problems were likely causing her symptoms. (A lower score is better, and anything over 20 is raises suspicion of a vision problem).

DS’s symptoms were explained by her convergence insufficiency (difficulty turning eyes inward when looking up close), accommodative insufficiency (difficulty focusing) and pursuit dysfunction (difficulty with tracking).

Now after completing vision therapy, all of that has changed! As her mom said, “It is like she’s a different child. She understands more of her reading because of her eyes tracking better. Homework is not a struggle anymore. In fact, she has it done before she gets home most of the time. ”

And what I love to hear from parents: “She is more excited about reading than ever before!”

Recently report cards came out, and her mom was so excited at the improvement that she emailed us a copy. There has been improvement not just in reading but improvement in many areas (especially in science) as you can see in this little section of the grade report:

report card

I’m quite happy that through vision therapy, DS has overcome her visual problems, and this is reflected in her COVD Quality of Life score that dropped from 39 to 8! As DS lives quite a long distance from our office, I’m sure they will not miss the weekly drive. But we will miss seeing her in the office! We are very proud of her. If she works as hard at everything else as she has in VT, we have no doubt she will succeed beyond her wildest dreams!

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 PatchEmpower electronic bifocals at Bright Eyes

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.
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

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

AOL Story about a Child’s Vision and Learning Success

More and more regularly there are stories in the local and national media about vision therapy. This is great because not everyone is aware that vision problems can be responsible for a child having trouble learning to read. Or parents may not know that difficulties with vision can keep a good reader from completing assignments. The more research that is done, books are that published, and news stories are produced, the more likely it is that these patients can get the help they needed.

Just this week there is an article in the AOL Health section called, Could Your Child Have a Learning-Related Vision Problem? It is a story about the problems that Andrew had with reading that were related to vision problems even though he could see 20/20. He was on the verge as being classified as having a “learning disability.” That could be a devastating label for a bright young child to have.

Fortunately, Andrew’s eye coordination problem was discovered and treated by Optometrist Kimberly Walker. He had a “learning-related vision problem,” a problem with eyes and vision that make school harder than it should be. The process for treating these kinds of problems often involves glasses and a series of therapeutic activities called “vision therapy.” Essentially, the goal is to help the patient learn to use their eyes as effectively as they can. This allows them to develop needed life-skills like reading and writing.

If you’d like more information about learning-related vision problems, or to find a doctor who can evaluate for learning-related vision problems, visit COVD. Or feel free to call our office at 813-792-0637.

7E94BAE9D42DF3543F861CB602892BF7

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

Letter from Mom about How Vision Therapy Helped Her Son with School

I recently received this email from a mother of a boy who graduated from vision therapy this summer. Like many of our patients, he is very bright but had some eye coordination problems that were interfering with his reading development. After his vision problem was resolved through therapy he is doing much better. Letters like this are one of my favorite things about being a children’s eye doctor! – Dr. Nate

Dr. Nate and Mrs. Edna,

Thanks for everything that you did to help my son. He did very well on his first report card for first grade. He gets a perfect score on nearly all of his math tests and is on grade level in reading. The school has continued to use his slant board in class and follow your recommended accommodations.

In the last quarter of Kindergarten, his Kindergarten teacher told me she thought he would really struggle in first grade. I’m glad that we proved her wrong! The teacher contacted me for a conference recently, and I was prepared to hear that he was having trouble. I was pleased and caught off guard when the teacher informed me that she requested the conference just so she could get to know my son better and that he was doing well in first grade. He works independently and finishes his work on time.

I feel that your program has made a huge difference in my son’s academic life. I don’t know where we’d be without vision therapy. It’s ironic that I told the Kindergarten teacher last September that when my son learns to focus, he’ll begin to shine! I didn’t know at that point what, if any, vision problems he had!

He’s beginning to shine this year.

If you have concerns or questions about your child’s vision and whether or not it might be interfering with schoolwork, do not hesitate to call us at 813-792-0637 for an appointment. If you do not live in the area you can visit covd.org, or call us and we can recommend a pediatric eye doctor in your area.
Dr. NateNathan 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

St. Pete needs a children’s book store!

Last weekend I attended the Localshops1.com 2nd Birthday party and awards ceremony. It was held at the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa and featured an incredible brunch buffet. Everyone had a great time and I met many dynamic Tampa Bay people.

One of the most interesting people I met was Olga Bof. She is an energetic, engaging woman with lots of ideas. One of the most interesting ideas is the opening of a children’s bookstore, called Cheeky Monkeys Books & Toys. It’s mission is to instill a life-long love of reading in children of all types. This will be a solid local community resource. Check out Olga’s video:

[youtube]hW47UVlp7X4[/youtube]

Here is how you can help:

Olga is currently competing for a $50,000 grant in the August round of the Pepsi Refresh Project to help get the children’s bookstore a start. Hundreds of thousands of applicants attempt to enter the competition every month and Cheeky Monkeys is one of the lucky ones in the “Neighborhoods” category. You can vote EVERY SINGLE DAY IN AUGUST IN TWO WAYS:

You can also help by spreading the word TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. If you’d like to contact Olga to get involved or see how you can help, you can email her. You can also follow Cheeky Monkeys on Facebook.

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

I’ve voted today! Have you?

Question for Tampa Kids: What Books do You Love?

qmAs far as I am concerned, the coolest thing a kid can be spotted with is a book. It doesn’t really matter if it is Harry Potter or my daughter’s current favorite, “Llama Llama Red Pajama.”

Now that we have the new kid’s area, we need to fill our kid’s library! What books are popular for kids 12 and under right now? If two of your children saw a stack of books, which one would they fight over?

Please submit a comment, tweet @brightetestampa, or email doc@brighteyestampa.com with any suggestions, so we can have the best stocked kids library in Westchase!

Thanks in advance!

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

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 and New Tampa.

 

Bright Eyes Event: Reading Problems: The Visual Connection

Come to our next office seminar, Reading Problems: The Visual Connection. This evening event will be held at Bright Eyes and will cover how vision problems can interfere with reading development. The seminar will occur on November 17, 2008.

seminar flyer

Measuring Eye Movements While Reading with the Visagraph III

Often parents will bring their children in for a comprehensive eye exam because they are concerned about the reading development of their child. They rightfully want to know if a visual problem is interfering with development of proper reading.

When evaluating an adult or child who has concerns about reading ability, there are several visual skills that I evaluate. These including clarity of sight, eye teaming, eye focusing, and eye movements. I have several ways to evaluate eye movements. Some of these tests rely on observation of eye movements; some tests involve timing the accuracy of read material.

I now have an additional method that I am very excited about. The Visagraph III™ is a computer-based system for measuring eye movements while reading. Through the use of infrared sensors, an individual’s eye movements are recorded while he or she silently reads an appropriate text selection while wearing special goggles. Following the reading, a brief series of questions determines whether or not the subject reads with reasonable comprehension. It can be used to confirm that a patient is a slower reader due to visual problems.

In addition to analysis of specific types of eye movements, I look at the overall path the the eyes take when the patient reads.

For example, a good reader will have a nice, even “stair-step” pattern from left to right with a smooth return to the left that is symmetrical for the right and left eye. The image below is from a real patient who reads well above grade-level:

goodreader

But a person who has poor eye movement skills when reading will show lots of uneven movements both left and right as they go back to re-read certain words. They will also have irregular movements when the eye movements are not symmetrical. This could occur due to eyestrain, focus problems, or problems using the eyes as a team. The image below is from a patient that reads well below grade-level.poorreader

This test is important to perform both during the initial evaluation and again at the end of therapy, if any has been provided. That way, I have a comparison to determine the level of progress that has been achieved and how much this mirrors the improvement that patients and parents report in reading skill.

If you or your child appears to have reading skill that is well below what you think it should be, a complete visual evaluation is in order. There may not be a vision issue impacting reading performance, but if there is, it should be corrected as early as possible.

Be Well!

Dr. Nate

Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase and New Tampa neighborhoods.

 

x

Read this Important Information About COVID-19 and Bright Eyes!