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Focus Stories

Central Florida Eye Specialists

by Jill Cousins

Featured Photo from Central Florida Eye Specialists

Perfect vision is something that people often take for granted, until that one day when you wake up and open your eyes and suddenly find that everything is a bit out of focus. Sometimes the cause is age; sometimes it’s an injury; sometimes it’s an illness. Whatever the cause, the caring and experienced ophthalmologists at Central Florida Eye Specialists are here to help.


Central Florida Eye Specialists offers a wide variety of services including cataract surgery, eyelid surgery and Botox, surgical and laser treatments for glaucoma, and LASIK surgery. The practice opened in DeLand in the 1980s, and over the years, additional offices were opened in Orange City, New Smyrna Beach, Orlando, and Ormond Beach. In February, Central Florida Eye Specialists is scheduled to open its newest office right here in the Lake Mary/Heathrow area, on International Parkway.


Among the skilled doctors on staff are Kevin Barber, MD; Ryan Scruggs, MD; and Ilya Sluch, MD.


Dr. Barber specializes in cataract surgery and glaucoma management. Visual symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare and halos (especially when driving at night), needing more light to read, difficulty seeing street signs, difficulty seeing details, and frequently needing new, stronger glasses. To determine if a patient has glaucoma, which is asymptomatic, patients are required to undergo a screening exam.


“Restoring and preserving sight is a true privilege,” Dr. Barber says. “The best thing about my job is the joy a patient receives after their sight is restored through cataract surgery. It is very rewarding to truly make a difference in our patients’ quality of life.”


Dr. Scruggs performs surgeries that are functional, cosmetic, and even lifesaving. Oculoplastic surgery is a highly subspecialized area of plastic surgery that focuses on the area around the eyes, forehead, midface, and tear system. Upper eyelid surgery can help patients who cosmetically don’t like the appearance of their upper eyelids or patients that are functionally having trouble seeing due to droopy eyelids. Lower eyelid issues, such as bags and excess skin under the eyes, can be cosmetically improved with both surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
Excessive tearing can be caused by issues with the tear drainage system. There are several different approaches and techniques that can be done to correct this issue. Dr. Scruggs also will remove and reconstruct benign and cancerous lesions, which are unfortunately common here in Florida.


“Oculoplastics affords me the unique opportunity to perform a myriad of procedures that improve patients’ vision and quality of life, enhance their appearance and self-esteem, and treat potentially devastating cancers,” Dr. Scruggs says.


“I love my job because there is nothing more important than helping people maintain their independence by protecting their vision,” says Dr. Sluch. “To save or restore someone’s vision is a great job and a privilege.”
Dr. Sluch’s specialties include corneal disease treatment, cataract surgery, and LASIK surgery on patients who no longer want to rely on glasses or contact lenses to correct their blurry vision. Dr. Sluch also performs corneal transplants, crosslinking, and LipiFlow due to various corneal diseases.


The wide variety of services offered by Central Florida Eye Specialists is not limited to the work in their offices. Dr. Barber is a member of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine faculty, and the staff is active in clinical research and mentoring of UCF medical and optometry students. The doctors also train other surgeons in the latest laser cataract surgery techniques, and they volunteer in international ophthalmology outreach, teaching and mentoring young physicians in Haiti, Mexico, Honduras, Peru, and the Dominican Republic to help eradicate global blindness through education, donated surgical services, and donating needed medical equipment.


“We are leaders in quality care,” Dr. Barber says. “We are committed to be on the cutting edge by becoming experts in the latest technology.”


The doctors and staff are equally committed to providing both excellent and compassionate care to their patients in the Orlando area.


“At Central Florida Eye Specialists, we are very dedicated to bringing the best quality care and the best technology to the community,” Dr. Sluch says. “We want to provide big-city care with a small-town feel.”

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