A cataract is not something which grows over the pupil of the eye as is commonly perceived; rather a cataract is the gradual clouding of a normal structure of the eye, the crystalline lens. This lens is located behind the pupil and light rays must pass through it on the way to the retina. Cataracts can be inherited, congenital, traumatic, or caused by eye disease but the vast majority of cataract formation is age-related. We and other experts believe that ultraviolet exposure is one factor in cataract formation, and we recommend UV protection both in clear and dark glasses. A hat or visor is also important when one is in open sunshine.
Since all people will eventually have some cataract and since there is a small but definite risk to cataract surgery, the patient should not have surgery unless the vision is significantly impaired. A large volume of cataract surgery has been done at the Eye Medical Clinic since 1946; the ophthalmologists here have been compulsive about keeping abreast of the latest advances. Cataract surgery is done by all doctors at the clinic and consists of a small incision followed by phacoemulsification (removal of the cataract with an ultrasonic probe followed by aspiration) and the insertion of a state-of-the-art posterior chamber lens implant. Surgery is done on an outpatient basis, usually but not always at O'Connor Hospital. Although there is always a risk to any major surgery, the chance of a poor result in cataract surgery is small; the chance of a good result with significant improvement in vision is great. Cataract surgery occupies an important status at the Eye Medical Clinic.
Eye Medical Clinic
220 Meridian Avenue
San Jose, California, 95126