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Focus Stories

Central Florida Eye Specialists 2020

by Georgia Rivas

Featured Photo from Central Florida Eye Specialists 2020

At Central Florida Eye Specialists, patients are treated like family.

“We truly take each patient under our wing,” says Micha Sassic, physician liaison at Central Florida Eye Specialists. “We take time with them and make sure they understand exactly what to expect with their individual treatment. We are so fortunate to be part of a great medical community and have a highly-trained and personable staff.”

With other locations in DeLand, Orange City, New Smyrna Beach, Orlando, and Ormond Beach, Central Florida Eye Specialists recently opened its newest office in the Lake Mary/Heathrow area on International Parkway. The practice is a welcome addition in the community for local patients with vision needs seeking excellent and compassionate care.

The practice includes a complementary team of specialists: Dr. Kevin Barber, Dr. Ryan Scruggs, Dr. Ilya Sluch,                    Dr. Dawn Scruggs, and optometrists Dr. Phil Mackinder and Dr. Andreea Chih. Among them, a variety of services are available including cataract and refractive surgery, corneal disease treatment, eyelid surgery, Botox, surgical and laser treatments for glaucoma, diabetic eye care, allergy testing, and more.

No matter which Central Florida Eye Specialists location a patient may choose, every practice features a warm and friendly environment with the option to go paperless and fill out medical forms electronically. Each patient also receives a customized and comprehensive eye exam based on their individual needs.

To enhance the patient experience even further for those needing surgery, the Central Florida Eye Specialists location in Lake Mary recently opened an onsite operating room to perform surgeries for cataracts and oculoplastics.

“This is such great progress for our Lake Mary location, which opened last February,” says Micha. “Having an in-house OR helps with costs to the patient, and because the surgery takes place within our calm outpatient environment, it helps ease anxiety for a lot of our patients who may be uncomfortable in the hospital setting.”

Cataract surgery, one of the most common needs in patients, is performed by Dr. Barber or Dr. Sluch. Visual symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare, halos, difficulty seeing details, and frequently needing stronger glasses.

“We take the approach of education and empathy,” says Dr. Barber. “Once a patient understands what cataracts are and how they are treated, their anxiety levels come down. It is a true privilege to enhance people’s lives by giving them their vision that has been taken  by cataracts.”

In addition to the treatment of cataracts, Dr. Sluch focuses on corneal disorders, dry eye syndrome, and glaucoma. 
“I feel particularly privileged in taking care of people’s vision because it is such an important factor in maintaining our independence,” says Dr. Sluch. “With so many options available in the treatment of most medical problems, communication with my patients is the most important factor in providing the right treatment and great care.”

Dr. Scruggs performs oculoplastic surgery, a subspecialty of plastic surgery that focuses on the area around the eyes, forehead, midface, and tear system. Some of his most common procedures include upper eyelid surgery for cosmetic and vision improvement, cosmetic lower eyelid surgery (such as bags and excess skin under the eyes), endoscopic brow lifting, eyelid cancer removal and reconstruction, and tear-drainage surgery. 

“My personal practice is solely dedicated to eyelid and facial plastic surgery,” says Dr. Scruggs. “It is very rewarding to be able to help patients with problems ranging from cosmetic concerns to more serious vision and life-threatening issues.” 

The doctors and staff at Central Florida Eye Specialists go above and beyond the call of duty. Recently, Dr. Barber partnered with the ASCRS Foundation, which delivers eye care to those in need, to perform cataract surgery at no cost to a patient facing major challenges. Dr. Barber also shares his passion for sight restoration with other medical professionals (through the Advanced Center for Eyecare Global, for which he serves as president) by regularly volunteering in developing countries such as Honduras, Haiti, and Peru, teaching young eye surgeons the latest techniques in cataract surgery in an effort to reduce global blindness.

Central Florida Eye Specialists is also leading FDA-approved glaucoma research and clinical trials, and it donates annually to the Foresight Scholarship for visually impaired students, Southeastern Guide Dogs, and Paddle Out Poverty.

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