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Focus Stories

Central Florida Eye Specialists

by Jill Cousins

Featured Photo from Central Florida Eye Specialists

We all know how annoying it can be to get an eyelash stuck inside our eye and what a relief it is when we finally get it out. Well, just imagine what it would feel like to have dozens of eyelashes in your eye – all of the time – with no way to get rid of them.

That’s how it can feel for some people who suffer from eyelid problems, and fortunately for the Lake Mary community, the expert ophthalmologists at Central Florida Eye Specialists can provide relief. The practice’s newest doctor, oculoplastic surgeon Sanja Cypen, MD, is looking forward to using her expertise to help those who suffer from a wide variety of issues in her particular specialty, which includes the tissues and structures that surround and protect the eye.

“People who don’t have eyelid problems don’t realize how important they are,” Dr. Cypen says. “If your eyelid isn’t functioning, it can be very debilitating. It’s our job to figure out how to make you feel better, because it’s a challenging problem.”

Central Florida Eye Specialists has more than half a dozen doctors on staff including – as the name implies – several specialists. Dr. Cypen recently joined Ryan Scruggs, MD, as another of the practice’s ophthalmic plastic surgeons. The practice also includes general ophthalmologists and optometrists who can handle most of your eye-care needs including routine eye exams, cataract surgery, and diabetic eye exams.

The Lake Mary office, which opened in 2019, is located at 968 International Parkway in Central Parc at Heathrow. Central Florida Eye Specialists first opened in DeLand in the 1980s and now has six locations in the Orlando area.

“We provide all services around the eye,” Dr. Cypen says of her sub-specialty in oculoplastic surgery. “We do a variety of surgeries including eyelid lifts, skin cancer removal, reconstruction of the eyelid, repairing trauma to the eye socket, and removing tumors around and behind the eye.”

Some patients who can benefit from oculoplastic surgery include those whose eyelids have become droopy and weak with age, causing vision problems because they are unable to open their eyes wide enough to allow sufficient light to get in. Another common problem, which is also age-related, is excessive tearing or dry eyes.

While most of these are medical problems, many patients choose to have oculoplastic surgery for cosmetic reasons, as well. Droopy upper eyelids or baggy lower eyelids can give the appearance of being tired or grumpy, and an oculoplastic surgeon can come to the rescue, providing you with a more youthful, vibrant appearance.

“Some patients come to us because they are bothered by their appearance, and they are being told they look tired, and some come to us with a medical problem,” Dr. Cypen says. “We can do both functional and cosmetic surgery.”

A Family’s Journey
Dr. Cypen is passionate about helping her patients and looks forward to joining the practice at Central Florida Eye Specialists. She and her husband – internist Jeremy Cypen, MD – moved to Winter Park this summer from Southern California, where she completed a two-year fellowship at the University of California Irvine, and he served on the faculty. They have a basketball-loving son, Jackson, who turns three on September 26, and a shih tzu named Moustachio.

Dr. Cypen was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and moved to the United States with her parents and older sister when she was four years old. The plan was for her family to return home one year later, after her mathematician mother completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley. Those plans changed when the Bosnian War broke out just one month before their scheduled trip home, and the family was granted refugee status.

After moving to Arkansas for 10 years, the family landed in the Tampa area, and Dr. Cypen went on to attend the University of Florida and the University of Miami, where she met her husband and earned her medical degree. The Cypens both did their residencies at Duke University in North Carolina.

“I love everything about what I do; it is truly rewarding,” Dr. Cypen says. “I’m really happy to establish my practice here. I love the doctors in our practice. Everyone has been so welcoming and so excited to meet me, and in turn, I’m so excited to get started.”

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