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Bright Eyes Kids in Westchase Fl

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Podcast Episode #4: UV Protection for the Eyes

Welcome to The Bright Eyes Podcast: Advice for Healthy Vision for All Ages. Your hosts are Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford & Dr. Beth Knighton, residency-trained optometrist that provide eye exams for glasses and contacts, and specialty services including vision therapy, myopia control, orthokeratology, and sports vision training. Their mission to empower patients by providing the best in friendly, professional, and individualized eye care.

In this episode, Dr. Beth and Dr. Nate go outside to discuss ultraviolet light and the importance of UV protection for the eyes.


Dr. Beth: From Bay Bridge Park in Tampa Bay Florida and this is The Bright Eyes podcast. This is episode number 4. I am Dr. Beth Knighton.

Dr. Nate: And I am Dr. Nate Bonilla-Warford.

Dr. Beth: And today’s episode is all about sunlight and UV protection.

Dr. Nate: That is right in so we are at one of our favorite parks near the Bright Eyes Family office as you might be able to tell by the children in the background. DO you come here with your family, Beth?

Dr. Beth: Yeah, all the time. My 2 year old loves this place.

Dr. Nate: The only thing I know about this part is that there’s lots of PokeStops here.

Dr. Beth: It’s great to get out to the park with our family is so there’s lots of benefits of being outside – most of all being active. But it’s also great being with our families, whether it’s biking or camping or whatnot. But the thing that we want to stress today is the importance of UV protection while we are outside. When we’re outside were getting bombarded with all this UV light from the sun and for the same reasons we wear sunscreen on our skin to protect our skin we should be also protecting our eyes

Dr. Nate: So we have a lot of patients that moved here from different parts of the country or even different parts of the world and not everybody knows this. But Florida is the Sunshine State. There’s a lot of sunshine in Florida and while that’s lovely and most people do move here specifically for that reason we also do you have to protect ourselves. One of the first things that you can choose to do is trying not to go outside during the absolute highest amount of UV times that that’s usually from about 10 A. M. to maybe 2 or 3 in the afternoon.

Dr. Beth: It always amuses me when the meteorologists talks about the UV index rather weak because here in Florida it’s basically a 9 everyday the whole summer and our summer is really March to September so it’s always a 9 here … so we are constantly thinking about the UV protection that we need … but not so much unnecessarily. From other parts of the U. S. When we talk about sunglasses it’s important that we’re not only looking at how dark the changes as far as the comfort of how our eyes feel outside but that it actually has UV protection in the lens. You want to look for sunglasses that have UV A and UV B protection and the lenses that helps protect you from the most harmful parts of the sunlight.

Dr. Nate: And not only do you want sunglasses that have both right section but ideally you want sunglasses like the ones that we have on right now that have a little curvature to them so they limit light coming in from the sides that it not only protects your eyes eyeball itself but also the eyelids and so that they should look good they should feel good but most importantly they should provide lots of coverage. And you can supplement that with a hat or a visor to protect from the directs sun overhead as much as possible. So Beth is the sunlight a short term, a long term issue, or can it be both?


Dr. Nate and Dr. Beth protecting their eyes from UV light

Dr. Beth: Absolutely both so there are short term effects on the eyes so say you’re going out on the boat with their family and you’re gonna go water skiing so you’re not wearing your sunglasses you can actually get the equivalent of a sunburn on the front surface of your eye from all the exposure to the light … throughout the day so that’s a short term kind of consequence of the sunlight but then also we have the long term buildup of all this UV damage over time which is exactly why all of our dermatologists in primary care doctors tell us to wear sunscreen and make up with sunscreen and lotions with sunscreen on a daily basis to protect our skin and certainly sunglasses help to prevent those same kind of skin cancers from the eyelids and the surface are round eyes. But also we want to protect the inside parts of our eyes from that long term build up of UV damage the things that that long term UV damage can cause include cataracts or macular degeneration which both can have a impact on how well you can see we want you to be able to see along into your nineties and perhaps beyond and so wearing sunglasses even as a child or young adult really is setting the groundwork for keeping that vision healthy throughout your life.

Dr. Nate: And if you wanted one more reason to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light, it might not cause pain or it might not because I disease but Dr. Knighton and I every day when we look under the microscope people’s eyes we can see the sun damage that occurs on the white parts of people’s eyes called the sclera. People often ask us where can I do to get rid of that and the best answer is to prevent that change from happening in the first place and the way you do that is to protect your eyes with sunglasses, with hats, with using caution when you’re outside when it’s very, very bright.

Dr. Beth: Another really cool advancement and I care is that a lot of the contact lenses also include some UV protection being built right into the contact lens and so that’s been really fantastic that companies have been integrating into the contacts in order to promote healthy vision.

Dr. Beth: One thing that I get asked a lot is what’s the difference between UV protection on my sunglasses and polarization and my sunglasses. The UV protection is that healthy part. That’s the part that blocks out the harms full rays of light to keep your eyes healthy. The polarization is a filter in the sunglasses that helps. to sharpen the vision to kind of give you that HD vision but polarization on its own does not protect you from the harmful light rays so ideally you have sunglasses that have both. But certainly the UV protection is the important part.

Dr. Nate: That is right and that is what we tell patients all day everyday.

Dr. Beth: Well, thank you for listening if you have any questions comments or suggestions you can email us at Until next time…..


Thank you for listening. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, you can email us at

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/outro music: Lucas Warford of Three For Silver.

2 Events: Smith Optics Show/Banana Republic Show and Spring Cleaning Eyewear Sale!


Event 1: Spring Eyewear Show!

Wednesday, April 26 – 4 to 8pm

25% OFF 1st pair – 50% Off 2nd Pair

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care – Westchase


Featuring Smith Optics and Banana Republic.

Every style, every color, every size to try on Eyeglasses! Sunglasses! Women! Men!



Event 2: Spring Cleaning Sale

Mon, April 24 – Fri, April 28

One week! Two offices!

Every frame on SALE! $50 – $100 OFF!


Spring Events

Children’s Vision Tips for Summer!

Summer is here!!!

When I was a kid, I remember the last day of school: cleaning out my desk and locker, saying goodbye to teachers, and heading home for months of freedom. Even though I enjoyed school, I enjoyed riding my bike, staying up late reading, and sleepovers any day of the week. In fact, a hallmark of summer was not really having to keep track of which day of the week it was, because it didn’t really matter.


(Take a hint from Phineas & Ferb – make the most of summer!)

For my kids and most kids these days, summer is a bit different. There is more structure. Today kids are less likely to roam free like I did as a kid. They are more likely to go to soccer camp one week and then science camp and guitar camp later.

Even if children don’t go to camps, the hobbies and habits of kids today are very different. They are more likely to play video games like Minecraft than marbles or jacks. When I asked one 12-year-old patient last fall what he did over the summer, he replied, “Watched YouTube on my phone.” It may not be obvious, but excessive use of digital devices is much harder on the eyes than playing board games or playing outside.

So with all these changes our children are facing, I thought it would be helpful to write up some helpful tips for children:

Limit Device Use

At home and in car, there is a lot a lot of downtime. Do not let this time get filled in with device use by default. No matter how old your child is, they are at risk of eyestrain and related vision problems if they spend too much time on handheld devices such as phones, tablets, and video games. A good recommendation is to limit device use to no more than 20 minutes at a time, then at least a 5-minute break. And, yes, it is possible to read too much, too, so this also is a good recommendation for books. I provide more information here.

Sunglasses and sunscreen

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Note the sunglasses!

Unlike when I was a kid, parents are much better about protecting their kiddos from the sun. Keep in mind that this includes sunglasses. Just like skin can be sunburned, eyes can be sunburned with too much sunshine in one day. And even without sunburn, the UV and blue light from the sun can cause eye disease like cataracts and macular degeneration later in life. So make sure your kids have sunglasses that fit and they use them. More info about kids and UV can be found here from the CDC. And here is a cool infographic.

Outside time

With all of the precautions needed for sun protection, it is tempting to just stay inside all the time. But that is a mistake, too. Many scientific studies have shown that children who spend more time outside are less likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness) than those that don’t. We do not entirely understand why, but much research shows it’s true. So if the kids are not outside for sports or in the pool, make sure the get some outside time in the form of a walk after dinner or walking the dog. More on this from

Sports glasses for sports

If your child plays any ball sports or full-contact sports, in many cases regular glasses can actually be more dangerous to wear because they are not designed to resist impact. Glasses can break and injure children. Read more about this at

Careful with pools

Speaking of eye protection, consider goggles for swimming. You might keep your pool maintained properly, but not everyone does. And public or water park pools may have much higher levels of chlorine. This can be irritating, causing red, light-sensitive eyes. And one of the (unnecessarily) best kept secrets are prescription swim goggles. They are not expensive and come in a variety of prescriptions, colors, and sizes. Read more on our website.

Stay safe and have fun this summer! School will be here before you know it!

-Dr. Nate

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care & Bright Eyes Kids


Maui Jim Event Saturday May 24!

turtlesSummer is coming, and that means that you need a great pair of sunglasses! Seriously. Think I am kidding? I am always amazed when patients tell me that they don’t like sunglasses. I just don’t get it. I LOVE my sunglasses. And you should, too. Here are 10 reasons why you need some good sunglasses:

First, we live in Florida, also known as the Sunshine State. There is a lot of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in that sunshine. UV exposure increases the risk of cataracts, skin cancer around the eye and, more. UV protection has nothing to do with how dark the lenses are, so they don’t have to be dark to help.

Second, there is a lot of glare out there. The sun is bright, especially when reflecting off the water, road, or other cars. Polarization cuts the glare.

Third through Tenth, Sunglasses are just awesome. They feel good to wear. Cool like James Dean, Tom Cruise, or P. Diddy (depending on your generation).

Some people prefer to wear cheap sunglasses, but here is something you need to know. The optical quality and sometimes even the UV protection is not as good as in real sunglasses. That is why I have Maui Jims – several pairs – in the car, in the house, at work, when I am traveling. And we believe you should have some good sunglasses, too, so we are hosting the

Maui Jim Sunglass Show

Saturday, May 24 from 10am to 2pm, at the Westchase location.

Here are some reasons to come to the event:

  • See the entire Maui Jim collection!

  • Receive a $50 gift certificate towards any prescription or non-prescription sunglasses!

  • Pop a balloon for free sunglasses and other great prizes!

  • Saturday appointments available (Yes, Saturday!)

Call 813-792-0637 for questions or to schedule an appointment. Hope to see you there!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD

Bright Eyes Family Vision Care & Bright Eyes Kids


End-of-Year Holiday Special!

 2524100 off 12 2013

Throughout December, we are offering a special deal for patients who need to get a back-up pair of glasses, prescription sunglasses, reading glasses, or just another style of glasses. When you buy any complete pair of glasses (frames and lenses), you will receive $100 off any second complete pair of glasses.

Sale Frames as a second pair would start at only $49! Our Sale Frames include a frame-and-lens package for only $149. Come check out our extensive styles for men, women and children!

Keep in mind that many vision plans renew or expire at the end of each calendar year, which means that on December 31st, any remaining benefits for 2013 will be lost, regardless of whether you have used them or not.

Call us soon at 813-792-0637 to make an appointment before the end of the year! We’d love to see you in a new style for the new year!

Dr. Nate

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Love us? Tell the world with a review:
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Bright Eyes Supports Little Strides Fitness

Little Strides2

At Bright Eyes Family Vision Care, we love kids, community, and health. And that is why we are a big supporter of Little Strides Fitness! Little Strides Fitness is a Westchase-based enrichment program offered in schools around the Tampa Bay area. The age-appropriate lessons promote fitness, wellness, and fun. They emphasize the following areas:

Fitness – fundamentals to develop motor skills, coordination, balance and strength.

Wellness – lessons teach basics in nutrition, safety and other healthy habits.

Fun – the right combination of activities allow kids to laugh, play and just be kids.

I think this is wonderful, because being outside and being active is an important aspect of having a healthy, normally-developed vision system. Reading books and using digital devices can provide excellent brain stimulation, but there is no substitute for good ole’ outdoor fun. That is why Bright Eyes has sponsored one of the Little Strides Kickball teams.

Research has shown that spending time outdoors is helpful in limiting worsening eye glasses prescriptions. So spending time outside playing kickball is a great idea.

But the Florida sun is bright and you want to be protected from UV rays. So wear sunscreen and sunglasses! To help out, Bright Eyes donated sunglasses to all the Little Strides Kickball players. Here is a picture of Team Bright Eyes sporting their shades. Here is a Vine of Team Bright Eyes in action.

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Little Stride Team Bright Eyes


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
Love us? Tell the world with a review:
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on Yelp


Our Virtual Tour Scavenger Hunt

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It is the brand new Google Virtual Tour!

As you may know, a year ago we moved a few hundred feet into our new space. We love the new office and get compliments on it all the time. Well, we are very excited to be able to show off the new space not just in person, but from the comfort of your computer, tablet or cell phone!

And because we are SO EXCITED about our new Virtual Tour, we are holding a virtual scavenger hunt! Use it to look around the office and see if you can find the answers to these questions:

  1. Name 3 brands of glasses you can buy at Bright Eyes.
  2. How many Bright Eyes green coffee mugs can you find?
  3. Dr. Nate is sitting somewhere in the office. Where is he?
  4. What stuffed animal can you find?
  5. Name 3 differences between the exam rooms.
  6. What the jersey number of the football player on the plaque in waiting area?
  7. How many prescription swim goggles are on display at the counter?
  8. What image can you find in the 3D poster in the hallway?
  9. In West Park Village, what are our two neighbors?
  10. How many plants can you find inside the office?
  11. Where is the light bulb that is out?
  12. What is the brand on the glowing tower in the optical?
  13. What is Dr. Nate’s alma mater?
  14. Where do we keep the trampoline?
  15. What is your favorite part of the office?

Answer as many or as few of the questions as you want. Some are easier than others! The person with the most correct answers will win FREE SUNGLASSES! You can choose from Polaroid, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Coach, Nike, and others! Summer is coming up and you know you want them!!

Just enter your answers here. You have until Friday, 4/19 to enter. Then we will announce the winner!

Oh, and while you are at it, consider leaving a review of Bright Eyes, if you are so inclined. 🙂

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on Yelp

Eyewear Sale this Saturday!


Join us on Saturday, April 6th from 9am to 2pm for an Eyewear Show, featuring these fantastic eyeglass brands: Banana Republic, Marc by Marc Jacobs and the all new Polaroid polarized sun glass collection. All styles, all colors, for men and women.

  • 25% OFF first pair of glasses + 40% OFF a second pair! Plus pop a balloon for door prizes.
  • YES WE WILL BE OPEN ON SATURDAY, APRIL 6th for appointments, so call to schedule ASAP.
  • Summer is just around the corner, so consider getting prescription swim goggles early! Starting at only $55, these are great for both kids and adults.
  • Need a backup? We are still running our $99 Salefor a complete pair of select frames and single vision lenses, including sun-wear! There are many men, women and kids styles. Stop by!

By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Love us? Tell the world with a review:
Dr Nate Google PlusBright Eyes Tampa on FacebookBright Eyes Tampa on Yelp

And the Winner is…..


We are pleased to announce that Kaye Brown is the winner of our sunglass sale Facebook contest for FREE SUNGLASSES! Kaye, just stop by at your convenience and we will set you up! Congrats!

And for all those that entered but didn’t win, you still have today and tomorrow to take advantage of the sunglass sale!



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