Eye Center, Inc.
Main Office • 2003 Cortez Road West • Bradenton, FL Three convenient locations to serve you! 941.756.2020


Why You Should Be Wearing BluTech Lenses... Prescription, or not.

Why You Should Be Wearing BluTech Lenses... Prescription, or not.

As we continue to adapt to our new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, school, meetings, and even jobs full-time are turning virtual, increasing our daily screen time and challenging our eyes in a whole new way.

BlueTech technology is the gold standard in blue light protection. At the Eye Center Inc., we strongly encourage wearing BluTech glasses while being exposed to digital devices, but why?

If our eyes are exposed to digital devices for long periods of time, your chance of suffering from digital eye strain are extremely high. Digital eye strain is temporary but causes extreme discomfort following two or more hours of straight digital use.

Symptoms include:

  • Red, dry or irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

BluTech Lenses are for people of all ages – children, teens and adults. They’re designed for anyone that regularly uses electronic devices, such as smartphones, computers, flat-screen TVs and tablets, for several hours a day. 

Designed to help reduce eye strain, fatigue and discomfort, BluTech Lenses offer protection from harmful ultraviolet and blue lights, help to increase depth perception and enhance contrast. They can even help to improve night vision, according to BluTech Lenses’ website.

The Benefits of BluTech lenses include:

  • Reduced Glare
  • Crisper Acuity
  • Improved Contrast
  • High Impact Lens Material
  • Lightweight and Comfortable
  • Enhanced Performance

Our Manatee Avenue office has non-prescription BluTech glasses available to try today! Or you can browse online from the comfort of your home by clicking here. Then, give us a call at (941) 756-2020 and we will have your selection shipped directly to your home!

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Eye Center, Inc. COVID-19 Update

Eye Center, Inc. COVID-19 Update

Presently at the Eye Center, Inc., we continue to operate all three locations at Phase 1 of our reopening protocol. We are happy to see you for anything you need: routine eye exams, contact lens checks, office visits, or emergencies, but we feel it prudent to continue to keep our schedules at a minimum.

There will be only one doctor per location at any given time and we will be seeing a limited number of appointments. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we feel this is an appropriate decision to do our part to mitigate any subsequent rise of COVID-19 in our cherished local community.

Here at the Eye Center Inc., we have always maintained high standards when it comes to the safety of our patients, but we implemented even stricter sterilization protocols that we plan to leave in effect indefinitely. Our doctors and staff are all wearing masks, and if you have a mask, we ask that you wear it to your appointment. When picking out glasses, there are bins where you’ll replace the glasses after trying them on. They will be sanitized before being returned to the board. We are keeping patients in the waiting room to a minimum, but if you prefer to wait in your car, please call and let us know and we can arrange that for you. You can rest assured in the knowledge that we are providing the safest possible environment during your exam and subsequent optical experience.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment for an eye exam, please feel free to call us at any of our locations. For now, we will continue to be your trusted provider for all your eye care needs, knowing that we are taking every precaution necessary.

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Stay Safe, Stay Well

Stay Safe, Stay Well

We hope you are all staying healthy and safe in these uncertain times. Due to current events, ALL routine eye care in the state of Florida has been suspended. We will be delaying all routine care (for all age groups) until at least May 4, 2020, and will be seeing EMERGENCY and ESSENTIAL eyecare only. This direction has come from recommendations from the CDC. This means that a patient’s need for an appointment will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

We will continue to handle medication prescription refills, we will ship contact lens orders free of charge, and we will deliver your glasses via curbside. Should you lose or break your glasses, we are still here to help! Simply call the office and we can assist you in getting a new pair. The Eye Center, Inc on Cortez Rd. is able to provide one hour service in many cases! For all you contact lens wearers: do not wait until your last pair of contacts to reorder; due to high demand, there is a delay in shipments and we are getting contact orders in a week to 10 days versus our normal 1-2 day shipment.

If you have an appointment scheduled during the closure, you will be hearing from us soon as our team proactively works to reschedule appointments.

Please remember that urgent care will be seen by appointment only and will continue along with our COVID-19 pre-screening guidelines.

We apologize for any inconvenience this temporary slowdown may cause and want to reassure you we will do our absolute best to help with any emergencies that may arise during this time.

We miss you all, and we cannot wait to see you all healthy and happy next month!

– Drs. Michael Mackie, Sarah Mackie, Paige Laudicina, Brad Laudicina, Madison Easterling, and Doug Black


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FREE Shipping on All Contact Lens Orders of 2 Boxes or More!

FREE Shipping on All Contact Lens Orders of 2 Boxes or More!

Here at Eye Center, Inc., we understand the inconvenience of social distancing, and we want to help! For a limited time, we are waiving our shipping fees for contact lenses.

If you need more contact lenses, we will ship them directly to you with FREE SHIPPING for boxes of 2 or more. 

If your prescription is expired or expiring, but you still need more contacts, please call (941) 756-2020 and we will be extending your prescription on a case-by-case basis. 

We are currently open at all of our locations for all of your eye care needs.

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How We're Handling COVID-19

How We're Handling COVID-19

At ECI, our highest priority is keeping our patients and staff healthy and safe. We would like to reassure all of our patients that we are taking every needed measure to keep you and our staff in good health and our equipment clean.

We are currently open at each of our locations to take care of all your eyecare needs.

We are maintaining our exceptional hygiene standards and following all CDC recommendations across our teams.

We will be enhancing our established precautions by adding the following:

  • Increasing the frequency of our routine sanitization practices and increasing the frequency of sanitizing high-touch areas such as check-in, waiting rooms, displayed frames, patient rooms, all equipment, etc.
  • Requiring proper hand hygiene guidelines for all patients and staff when entering the office (handwashing with soap of hand sanitizing).
  • In addition, there will be no penalty for cancellations for the next 2 weeks. And as always, we will try to accommodate your rescheduled appointment quickly.

We kindly ask that you:

  • Out of respect for social distancing, only bring yourself (and anyone who may need other eyecare services) to your appointment.
  • Reschedule your appointment in advance if you, or anyone in your immediate family has a fever, respiratory condition, or flu-like symptoms.

We will continue to make the safety for our patients, families, and team members the highest priority and closely monitor the recommendations of national, state, and local health organizations. We know you have many questions and encourage you to stay updated from factual, reliable resources like the CDC.

We are always here for you, and we thank you for choosing and trusting Eye Center, Inc.

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Beertopia 2020

Beertopia 2020

Beertopia is BACK! On Saturday, February 22nd you will enjoy a variety of craft and imported beers, dishes from local restaurants, live music by Rebel Heart, silent auctions, raffle tickets and more!

Beertopia is presented by Anheuser-Busch at Gold Coast Eagle Distributing. Get ready to enjoy:

  • Anna Maria Oyster Bar
  • Birdrock
  • Cafe Baci
  • Demetrios
  • Dickey’s BBQ
  • Dockside
  • EnRich
  • Gecko’s Catering Division
  • Sea Hut
  • Woody’s River Roo

Beertopia benefits our Vision Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by the Eye Center, Inc. The doctors at the Eye Center are not only committed to giving their patients excellent care, but they are also passionate about helping others, especially children, who may not be able to afford the eye care they need. That’s why the Vision Foundation is committed to providing eye care and glasses to underprivileged children in Manatee County, FL.

This event will also benefit the Hernando de Soto Historical Society, an organization in which Dr. Michael Mackie is a longtime member. Since 1939, the De Soto organization fosters and facilitates an appreciation of Manatee County’s Spanish heritage and cultural alliances through community collaborations, charitable giving, and special events like the Seafood Festival and Grand Parade.

This is an event you won’t want to miss. Click here to get your tickets today!


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The Path To Perfect Vision

The Path To Perfect Vision

Much like the fact that we are not born with the innate ability to recite our ABCs and 123s, we are not born with innately perfect vision, either. It’s a process for the visual system to develop, one that typically occurs through a series of events and along an average time-line. In this article, I thought I’d discuss that average timeline, and when monitoring imperfections, versus intervening with glasses or other treatments, is most beneficial for a child.

In our infancy (birth to 18 months) there is a great deal of self-regulating of the visual system occurring, with the ultimate goal of low hyperopia (far-sightedness) by approximately 12 to 18 months. (1) This process of clear vision gradually developing over time is referred to as emmetropization.

This means that depending on image clarity at birth, and the effort it takes to form a clear image, our eyes grow in length in order to help create the clearest image, using the least amount of effort. The length of the eye is the factor that most dictates our refractive error throughout childhood. (Other factors include the curvature of the cornea and the thickness of the ocular lens).

By the time a child reaches their toddler years (two-five years old), if the emmetropization process was successful, one should have a low amount of hyperopia. If emmetropization has not occurred properly, this is the time where it could be appropriate to intervene by prescribing glasses. Specifically, glasses are considered at this point when hyperopia is more than +3.50D, there is a moderate amount of astigmatism, and/or there is a large difference in refractive error between the two eyes. (2)

Prescribing glasses in these cases may be necessary to prevent visual discomfort and/or amblyopia. More simply, I personally try to avoid prescribing glasses at this age, unless I have reason to believe that not prescribing may be detrimental to a child’s vision, long term. When emmetropization has not occurred by childhood, (ages five-13), we typically begin to see an increased incidence of myopia (near-sightedness) and myopic progression. Myopia is the most frequent cause of correctable vision impairment worldwide, and by the year 2050, many studies indicate there will be nearly one billion myopes.

The inheritance pattern of myopia is multifactorial and complicated, but a child’s risk of becoming myopic is increased if he or she has myopic parents and/or siblings. Also, as a general rule, the younger a child is when found to be myopic, the more myopic they will likely become. Children who are diagnosed before the age of 7 seem to have the highest risk of progression. (3)

I find the parents of my near-sighted patients are commonly disheartened when their child’s- prescription gets worse from one year to the next. I understand the concern, and according to the child and the situation, we may discuss how this is a normal part of development and nothing to fear, or we may discuss potential methods of reducing myopia progression.

Something to consider in terms of myopic progression is that as a child ages, the risk of myopic growth becomes more influenced by their environment and daily activities. For NEXTGEN example, more time spent outdoors can reduce the risk of myopia progression, and the risk of progression is lowest when two hours per day is spent outdoors. Alternatively, the risk of myopia progression is highest when there are three or more hours per day spent conducting close vision tasks. (3,4) This is something especially important to consider, given the increased use of digital devices these days.

In summary, the development of a child’s visual system is a complex and dynamic process that should be monitored by an eye care professional. There are trends we expect to observe over time and situations that may require intervention to benefit the child and their vision. By obtaining an annual dilated eye exam, you can rest assured you are doing all you can to maximize your child’s potential for clear vision.

By: Dr. Paige Laudicina


1. Mutti DO, Mitchell Gl, Jones LA, Friedman NE, Frane SL,
Lin WK, Moesohberger ML, Zadnik K. Accommodation,
acuity, and their relationship to emmetropization in
infants. Optom Vis Sci. 2009 Jun; 86(6):666-76.
2.VIP-HIP Study Group, Kulp MT, Ciner E, Maguire
M, Moore B, Pentimonti J, Pistilli M, Cyert L, Candy
TR, Quinn G, Ying GS. Uncorrected Hyperopia and
Preschool Early Literacy: Results of the Vision in
Preschoolers-Hyperopia in Preschoolers (VIP-HIP)
Study. Ophthalmology. 2016. Apr;123(4):681-9.
3. Jong M, He M, Holden BA, Li W, Sankaridrug P, Chen
X, Navadiluth T, Smith EL, Morgan IG, Ge J. The
rate of myopia progression in children who became
highly myopic. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 April;
4.Jones LA, Sinnott LT, Mutti DO, Mitchell GL,
Moeschberger ML, Zadnik K. Parental history of myopia,
sports and outdoor activities, and future myopia. /ni/esf
Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2007 Aug; 48(8):3524-32.

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Vision and Sleep

Vision and Sleep

Sometimes, it’s hard to get a full night of restful sleep. When we don’t, we pay for it the next day. But did you know that sleep not only affects the quality of your alertness but your vision, too?

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation symptoms include a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, memory issues, mood changes, weight gain, and vision problems. Vision symptoms of sleep deprivation include twitchy eyelids, dry eye, and eye strain. For our eyes to perform to their best ability throughout the day, they must get at least five hours of sleep per night. 

Blue Lights

Tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc., all put out every optometrists’ worst enemy, blue light. Your eyes become very confused when exposed to blue light at night. The only blue light our eyes are exposed to in nature is the sun, so exposed during the night, our eyes think it’s daytime and that we should be awake. Our brains then also become confused, making it much harder to not only fall asleep but get restful sleep. 

Looking at bright screens in the dark also increases your chance of developing digital eye strain. Symptoms include, sore, tired, burning and itchy eyes, watery or dry eyes, blurred or double vision, headaches, sore neck, shoulders or back, increased sensitivity to light, and difficulty concentrating. 


Taking your contacts out before you go to sleep is vital. Our eyes get oxygen directly from the air and while wearing contacts, they block air from reaching our eyes, especially during hours of sleep when our eyes are completely closed. Newer contact lenses allow more oxygen to flow, but taking them out before going to sleep is always the overall better choice to wake up with no irritation. 

Wishing restful sleep to all and to all a good night!

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