Dr. Claudio S. Contreras, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye conditions), with training in both ophthalmology and internal medicine. He has a deep understanding of how your overall health can affect your eyes, coupled with a warm, caring nature.
As a doctor, he focuses on your needs as a whole person. He will take the time to sit down with you, speak in whichever language you are most comfortable with (English or Spanish), and work to create treatment plan that fits your unique needs. Besides caring for a wide range of eye disorders and conditions, Dr. Contreras is uniquely positioned to spot small eye problems before they lead to bigger ones. Call (408) 971-2020 to schedule your eye exam at our San Jose, CA ophthalmology office or use our online request form.
Dr. Contreras offers exceptional eye care for the full spectrum of eye diseases at his office in San Jose, California, including:
The outermost layer of the eye is known as the cornea. You can think of the cornea as a window, with a dome shape that allows light to enter the eye. Unlike other areas of your body, the cornea lacks blood vessels. Because there is no blood supply, your corneas are dependent on tears and the nourishing fluid of the aqueous humor, which lies directly behind the cornea. The cornea has three main layers: the epithelium (which helps to protect the eye), the stroma (the thickest layer) and the endothelium. If the cornea is damaged or diseased in some way, it can affect your ability to see, and requires the attention of a medical eye specialist such as Dr. Contreras.
Dry eyes are a condition in which the patient’s eyes are not supplied well enough with the critical natural tears to nourish and lubricate the eye. (In some cases the patient does not produce enough, in others, the tears are not of good quality.) In healthy eyes, tears naturally moisturize and cleanse the surface of the eye each time you blink. Dry eyes can be caused by aging, environmental factors (dry air, chemicals in the air), medications, medical conditions, and other factors such as genetics, or an accident or injury. Treatment can range from medicated drops and lubricants to lifestyle changes. Dr. Contreras will take the time to diagnose the reason for your dry eyes and then work with you to find a solution that fits your unique needs.
Glaucoma is a condition that puts pressure on the exquisitely sensitive optic nerve. When left untreated, it can cause permanent blindness, however most people can save their vision with early diagnosis and treatment. There are several different types of glaucoma, with open-angle glaucoma being the most common form. Glaucoma develops very slowly and usually goes unnoticed until it causes severe loss of side (peripheral) vision or difficulty in adjusting to a darkened room.
Macular degeneration (also called age related macular degeneration, AMRD or AMD), is one of the most common causes of loss of vision. Affecting over ten million Americans, it causes vision loss in more people than glaucoma and cataracts combined. Macular degeneration affects the area of the eye known as the macula. The macula allows you to see fine details.
There are two major forms of macular degeneration, known as wet and dry, which refers to the growth of blood vessels into areas of the eye where they do not belong. Diet, exercise and sunglasses with UV protection can help prevent this disease. Dr. Contreras is an expert on macular degeneration, and can diagnose and treat this eye disease.
Presbyopia is a Latin word that means “old eyes.” Many people begin to develop presbyopia around the age of 40-45, when they begin to notice they have trouble seeing things close up, such as a book or cell phone screen. Astigmatism, on the other hand, is a defect in the way the lens of the eye curves, causing distorted vision, as the eye is unable to focus light properly.
Multifocal toric lenses offer new options for patients with both presbyopia and an astigmatism, allowing you to see comfortably up close, or at a distance. No more squinting and struggling to read or see fine details. Ask Dr. Contreras if multifocal toric lenses are right for you.
Pterygium is usually a pinkish, triangular-shaped growth of conjunctiva on the cornea of the eye. Pterygium can become reddened, irritated, or swollen, impairing vision. Dust or air pollutants are common irritants. Lubricating eye drops may help in this instance. Some pterygium slowly develop throughout a person’s life, while others stop growing after a certain point. Pterygium rarely grow so large that they begin to cover the pupil of the eye, but when they do, it can distort your vision.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder that affects the optic nerve; and over time, glaucoma can damage the optic nerve, leading to blindness. It is often characterized by increased pressure within the eye, however it is possible to have glaucoma and have normal, or even low, intraocular pressure. Glaucoma often develops very slowly, going unnoticed until the person realizes that they have lost some of their peripheral (side) vision or that they have trouble seeing in darker rooms. There are several kinds of glaucoma. Treatment will depend on the severity and type of glaucoma the patient is diagnosed with.
Laser treatment for glaucoma can help lower the pressure inside of the eye. Using very low levels of energy, a laser can open blocked fluid channels within the eye. Laser treatments can target specific areas, while leaving healthy tissue untouched. Glaucoma can also be treated with medicated eye drops, conventional surgery, or a combination of any of the above. It is critical to seek treatment as early as possible because treatment may save any remaining vision, but cannot restore what has already been lost. Early detection is critical as symptoms do not begin to appear until damage has already occurred.
A stye is type of infection caused by bacteria. A stye can develop if bacteria gain a foothold at the root of the eyelash, or inside one of the tiny glands that secrete lubricating oils onto the eye. This may require the use of an electro surgical needle to drain the infection and prevent further eye damage. The electrosurgical needle minimizes bleeding and can be used right in the office to treat styes.
Dr. Contreras provides visual acuity testing to measure the eyes' potential for vision and to recommend corrective lenses via a prescription. (Visual acuity refers to the smallest detail that you are able to see.) He does not dispense glasses or contact lenses, or perform cosmetic surgery of the eyes.