Silicon Valley Eye Physicians

Cataracts

Cataracts are a progressive condition that blurs and distorts your vision. Surgery is the only permanent solution.

Dr. David Mark, serving patients in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale, CA, specializes in cataract treatment. He can help you manage your condition and perform surgery when it becomes necessary.

How do I know if I have cataracts?

3 Symptoms That Could Mean You Have Cataracts

Does Your Vision Seem to Be Getting Blurrier? 

Even if your eye does not look cloudy in the mirror, your vision will become increasingly blurry as your cataracts grow. Some patients also experience double vision.

Are Things Looking Dull or Faded?

Cataracts also make colors seem dull and cause glares around lights. Some cataract patients find it difficult to drive or navigate dark areas due to poor night vision.

Has Your Prescription Changed Frequently?

Without treatment, cataracts will grow, and your vision will become worse. If you have to adjust your prescription frequently, it may be time to consider treatment.

I want to see what cataracts look like...

Am I at risk of acquiring cataracts?

Anyone Can Get Cataracts, but Certain Factors Increase Your Risk

A variety of lifestyle choices and medical conditions increase the likelihood that you will develop cataracts. These include: 

  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Obesity 
  • Diabetes 
  • Serious myopia
  • Ultraviolet (IV) radiation exposure 
  • Using corticosteroids
  • Eye injury or surgery

If one of your family members had cataracts, you are also more likely to develop the condition and should visit our Sunnyvale or Santa Clara office for a screening.

Cataracts Are Common

Cataracts gradually develop over time...

How Cataracts Develop:

Changes in the Lens

All patients' eyesight begins to degrade as they age because the lens in the eye changes, becoming thicker, more opaque, and less flexible.

Clumping

The lens becomes clouded over time due to the breakdown of tissue, which gather in clumps and can interfere with your vision.

Cataract Growth

As tissues continue to clump together, more of the eye's surface becomes clouded, forming cataracts.

If you think you have cataracts, visit our Sunnyvale or Santa Clara office...

Diagnosing Cataracts

We will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause of your vision loss. First, we will test your visual acuity with a lettered chart. Then, we can evaluate the front of your eye and your retina to evaluate the structure of your eye. Depending on our findings, we will guide you through the next stages of managing your cataracts.

woman undergoing eye exam

More Information About Cataracts

According to the National Institutes of Health, cataracts will affect half of all Americans by the time they reach age 75. Cataracts can cause uncomfortable symptoms including blurry vision and difficulty reading or driving. Cataract surgery is a safe, effective, and widely performed method of eliminating cataracts and restoring the quality of your vision. Dr. David Mark at Silicon Valley Eye Physicians has received extensive training in cataract surgery and can help you achieve better vision without the need for contacts or glasses by combining your procedure with multifocal intraocular lenses. To help you get the care you need, we have locations in both Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, CA.

The Natural Lens

The eye’s natural lens is the transparent structure located immediately behind the colored portion of the eye (iris). The lens consists of an elastic capsule filled with a clear paste-like protein.

The Cataract

With aging, the natural clear lens clouds and hardens. This prevents light from reaching the retina and the ability to focus on the retina. Trauma, heredity, diabetes, and even some medications could also cause the clouding. Cataracts result in blurred or fuzzy vision and sensitivity to light. Cataract formation can affect one or both of the eyes at the same or different rates. The rate can be so gradual that the patient may not even realize the vision has gone down.

Types of Cataracts

1. Congenital – from birth of prematurity
2. Acquired – from disease from eye or body
3. Traumatic – injury
4. After Cataract – after surgical implant or cataract

Diagnosing Your Condition 

As an initial step, we will conduct clinical observations and review your symptoms with you. By checking for signs of lens cloudiness during your eye exam, we can determine the severity of your condition and ensure that your symptoms are being caused by cataracts and not another eye disease

Common symptoms:

  • Night vision is not as good as before.
  • The patient is having difficulty with headlight and/or streetlight glare.
  • The patient sees halos around lights.
  • Print has become blurrier.
  • The patient cannot see the TV as well.
  • Colors may seem dull.
  • The patient fails their DMV eye test.
  • The patient’s vision is 20/50 or worse in both eyes.
  • The doctor’s technician will then test the patient’s vision with various tests and then dilate the eyes for an internal look at the natural lens of the eye and the back of the eye (retina).

Based on the data we collect, we will determine whether you are a good candidate for cataract surgery. In general, we recommend surgery for patients who have significant vision loss due to cataracts. During your consultation, we will discuss all applicable treatment methods to provide you with the most comprehensive treatment options. 

The surgical coordinator then explains why the patient may need surgery to improve visual function for activities that the cataract could limit. The type of replacement lens will also be discussed with the patient—whether to have an Array or Monofocal lens.

Children walking down the street, blurred vision on half of image.
Cataracts can cause symptoms such as blurry vision.

Restoration of Vision

If the cataracts are not limiting activities at the time of diagnosis, the patient could wait before having them removed until the cloudiness progresses to the point that it interferes with the daily routine or totally blocks vision. Cataracts are then surgically removed. The lost optical power is replaced by an appropriate lens, either with a plastic (hard), silicone or acrylic (foldable) intraocular lens (IOL). Both steps are generally done at the same time.

We are committed to caring for patients and keeping them informed throughout the process.

Cataract Surgery (Removing the Clouded Lens)

In order to remove the cataract and replace it with a new lens, incisions are made either on the clear cornea or the sclera. The extent of the incision depends on the technique chosen for the cataract removal.

Phacoemulsification

This procedure requires a small incision of only 3.2 mm or less on the cornea. A small ultrasonic probe is then inserted into the eye. This probe breaks (emulsifies) the cloudy lens into tiny pieces and gently sucks (aspirates) those pieces out of the eye. The incision generally does not require stitching.

Extracapsular cataract extraction

This method requires a large incision of 10-12 mm in length in the scleral part of the eye. It removes the cloudy lens in one piece. The posterior (back) part of the lens capsule is left behind to support the intraocular lens (IOL). The incision is closed with stitches.

What to Expect

Intraocular (IOL) options available to meet the needs of the patient:

Conventional IOL Option: a single focus lens, which offers excellent vision for distance or near.  

Premium IOL Option: Offers the multifocal benefit of correcting your vision for both distance and near needs. Most patients have no need for glasses after this lens has been implanted in both eyes.   

Premium Toric Option: offers the benefit of immediate post-op and long-term stability to correct high astigmatic patients.

Yag Laser Treatment

The capsule holding the IOL may become cloudy weeks or years after surgery. A laser can be used to create an opening in the capsule, reducing the clouding and allowing light to enter, thereby improving your vision. This is a short procedure, which takes a few minutes after the eye has been dilated. You can usually go home within an hour after treatment and you will be seen back in the office about a week later to check the vision and pressure of the eye.

Research is currently underway to find the cause of this clouding of the capsule that holds the IOL.

Benefits of Cataract Surgery 

Cataract surgery is the only permanent solution for treating the symptoms of cataracts. Cataracts cannot develop again once they have been removed, and most patients are able to enjoy long-lasting results after their surgery. Patients who wore eyeglasses prior to surgery can also enjoy clearer, improved vision following the insertion of multifocal implants. In addition to freedom from cataract symptoms, patients who undergo cataract surgery can enjoy reduced reliance on eyeglasses.    

Multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs).
Patients can enjoy clearer vision following the insertion of a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL).

Why Choose Our Practice?

We understand that undergoing eye surgery can be scary, but choosing a doctor with extensive training in cataract surgery can help you feel at ease. To help you achieve the best results and see clearly without glasses following surgery, we are able to complement your cataract surgery with multifocal implants. Our team will also provide personal attention throughout the process. You will meet one-on-one with Dr. Mark, and you will not be referred to another physician at any point. 

Location of Surgical Center

Peninsula Eye Surgery Center
1128 W El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040-2518
(PH) 650-964-3200

Please expect a phone call 2-3 days prior to surgery from a nurse at the surgery center to go over your overall health and medications and answer any questions.

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians 

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians team

Silicon Valley Eye Physicians is a leading vision care provider that has been serving the community for over 60 years. Our doctors are members of prestigious organizations, including: 

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology
  • Cornea Society
  • California Optometric Association

To schedule exams for your entire family, call our Sunnyvale office at (408) 739-6200 or request an appointment online.

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Sunnyvale Office

1010 W. Fremont Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (408) 739-6200

Santa Clara Office

3159 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Open Today 9:30am - 5:30pm

More Info Directions (408) 492-1111