Little Strides Fitness Sponsors 2014

Kids need to spend time being active outdoors away from the TV and video games, and yes, even books. And that is why we’re sponsoring our local kickball team once again for a another year of cool kickball games with Little Strides Fitness. This program uses the excitement of backyard kickball and transforms it into a learning program where kids gain insight about health and honesty while having a total blast playing with a diverse team! And parents observe this right from the field, as they are always there and welcome to watch and cheer for their star players!

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As a sponsor, we are allowed to share some important information to the young athletes and parents such as annual eye exams, and wearing UV-protecting sunglasses in our sunny state. We also applaud our local parents for signing up their kids in an outdoor program because this helps reduce risk of developing Myopia (nearsightedness), which is a rising visual concern in today’s digital world.  Even if digital devices offer learning programs for kids, it’s still no match for fresh air, soft grass, and cool breeze. :)  A good balance of indoor and outdoor activities for all kids is highly recommended.

We’re offering a Special for those who would like to register their kids for kickball this year. If you visit either Bright Eyes Family Vision Care or Bright Eyes Kids for an eye exam, you can register your child for half off the normal fee.

Happy Summer!

Dr. Nate


Visual Skills Needed for School: What to Look For

1172548_10150392203379977_1539208274_oI know it is the height of summer. But the “back to school” season is right around the corner. New schools, new teachers, and new challenges await every student. Good vision is among the many skills children need to read, write and learn their best. Many parents do not realize that vision is more than being able to see the words on a page or board clearly, but it is actually a form of fine-motor skill. Just like it takes years to master the fine motor skill of controlling the tiny muscle of the fingers to write legibly, it takes years to master the coordination of the even smaller muscles that move and focus the eyes.

In addition to acceptable visual acuity, every child needs to have the following vision skills for effective reading and learning in school.

  • Eye tracking — the ability to keep the eyes on target when looking from one object to another, moving the eyes from word to word in a book, or following a moving object like a thrown ball.
  • Eye Focusing — the ability to quickly and accurately maintain clear vision at different distances, such as when looking from the board to a paper on the desk and back. Eye focusing allows the child to easily maintain clear vision over time like when reading a book or using a computer.
  • Eye teaming — the ability to coordinate and use both eyes together when moving the eyes along a printed page, and to be able to judge distances and see depth for class work and sports.
  • Eye-hand coordination — the ability to use visual information to monitor and direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball.
  • Visual perception — the ability to organize images on a printed page into letters, words and ideas and to understand and remember what is read.

If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder, leading to problems. School nurses and teachers need to be alert for symptoms that may indicate a child has a vision problem. Generally, a child will not report a vision problem because it is “normal” for them and they may think the way they see is the way everyone sees.

Signs that may indicate a child has vision problem include:iStock_000019575299Large

  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Avoiding reading and other close activities
  • Frequent headaches, especially after near work
  • Covering one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Holding reading materials close to the face
  • An eye turning in or out
  • Seeing double
  • Losing place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she read

If you have a child or work with a student who exhibits any of these behaviors, an eye exam in necessary. Call us at 813-792-0637 to schedule an exam for either the Westchase or New Tampa location.

If you have any additional questions about children’s vision, the connection between vision and learning, or management of children’s vision issues, please feel free to email me at



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