Is it possible to prevent cataracts?

It’s estimated that more than half of all Americans age 80 or older have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of them. As a common cause of age-related vision loss, it’s important to know what cataracts are and what you can do to slow down the progression of this condition.

Here is what you need to know about cataracts.

  • Cataracts are a clouding of the clear lens of the eye, much like looking through a fogged-up window. This makes it difficult to read and drive a car, especially at night.
  • Patients who have cataracts not only complain of clouded vision, but also may have sensitivity to light, have a need for brighter light to read, see halos around lights, have double vision in one eye, and may have frequent changes in their prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Cataracts develop slowly and over time will interfere with vision. When this impaired vision interferes with your daily activities, you may be a candidate for cataract surgery.
  • Regular eye exams will help you and your eye doctor stay on top of any changes to your vision and detect cataracts early on to help prolong the onset of symptoms and progression of the condition. If you experience sudden vision changes, including eye pain or headache, double vision or flashes of light, see your doctor right away.
  • Cataracts develop from injury, aging or even genetic disorders. Medical conditions such as diabetes or prolonged use of corticosteroid medications can lead to cataracts.
  • Risk factors for developing cataracts include aging, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, eye injury or inflammation, previous eye surgery, excess alcohol consumption and excessive exposure to sunlight.
  • While you may not be able to prevent cataracts, there are some things you can do that may help slow down the progression such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and following a healthy lifestyle with exercise and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also wear sunglasses that block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet B rays.

Regular eye exams are important to stay on top of any changes to your eye health. Call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

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How does Radiesse work to remove lines and wrinkles?

Cosmetic injectables are increasingly popular ways to turn back the hands of time on your face. Botox is a household name for smoothing out lines and wrinkles in the upper third of the face, but doesn’t correct all lines and wrinkles. That’s where dermal fillers come into play. One of the most popular fillers is called Radiesse.

Read on to learn what makes it a great option to help you achieve a more youthful appearance.

  • Radiesse is an FDA-approved injectable filler for reducing moderate-to-severe wrinkles, folds and creases around the nose and mouth. Is specifically improves the appearance of nasolabial folds, which run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth, marionette lines, which run downward from the corners of the mouth, downturned corners of the mouth, jowl pre-sagging and chin wrinkles.
  • Radiesses is composed of microspheres in a water-based gel that are made of calcium hydroxylapatite. This substance stimulates the production of collagen and, when injected into lines and wrinkles, smoothes out the lines and wrinkles and adds volume to the skin to give you a more youthful appearance.
  • If you are between the ages of 35 and 60 and have developed folds and wrinkles around your mouth and nose, you may be an ideal candidate for Radiesse treatments. If you have experienced fat loss in your face due to HIV infection, Radiesse may work for you as well.
  • One of the reasons why cosmetic injectables like Radiesse are so popular is the fact that you can get treatment in about 15-30 minutes, with no required downtime. Most patients return to their normal activities right after treatment.
  • The results from Radiesse treatment are immediate and can last up to 1-2 years. As it works, it also stimulates the collagen production beneath the skin. Since results are temporary, you will want to return for touch-up treatments to prolong the effects of the filler.

If you’d like to learn whether Radiesse or other cosmetic injectables are right for you, call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

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What Botox can and can’t do

Botox is a household name as the worldwide leader in non-surgical wrinkle treatment. You may have been thinking about getting Botox injections to treat your lines and wrinkles, but how much do you know about this popular treatment?

Read on for what Botox can and can’t do and why you should consider it.

  • Botox can treat dynamic lines and wrinkles, which are wrinkles that form over a contracting muscle in your face when you smile, frown or squint or make other expressions. It blocks messages sent by the nerves in the muscle to the brain to prevent the muscle from contracting.
  • Botox smooths out crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown lines, lip lines and bunny lines. It can be used to diminish neck bands and even correct a gummy smile.
  • Botox can’t treat static wrinkles, which are wrinkles that are always present and are caused by sun damage, genetics, smoking and other lifestyle choices. Prolonged dynamic wrinkles can become static wrinkles. Dermal fillers are a good choice to smooth out static wrinkles.
  • Unlike dermal fillers, which deliver instant results, the results from Botox will take 1-3 days to fully appear. That’s because it takes time for the injection to work on blocking the muscle contraction and erase the wrinkles.
  • Even though it’s made from botulinum toxin type A, which is a purified substance that’s derived from bacteria and may sound scary, it is the quickest and safest way to remove wrinkles.
  • If you are in good health and have a healthy frame of mind with realistic expectations for the outcome from Botox injections, then you would be a good candidate for this treatment.
  • Botox treatment only takes about 15 minutes, and most people return to their jobs or other activities after their appointment.
  • Botox is not a permanent solution to wrinkle reduction. Botox will keep your lines and wrinkles at bay for 3-4 months. The muscles will start contracting again. You will want to set up follow-up sessions to maintain results.

If you’re ready to learn more about whether Botox is right for you, call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

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Simple ways to show your eyes some love

We couldn’t let Valentine’s Day pass us by without giving you tips on how to show your eyes some love. Here are five simple ways to keep your eyes healthy:

  1. Eat your fruits and vegetables. It’s important to eat a diet that’s rich in a variety of nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables for great overall health, but it’s especially important to eye health. Nutrients such as zinc, lutein and vitamins C and E can help prevent or slow down age-related vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to eye health and can be found in salmon, tuna and other oily fish.
  2. You gotta wear shades. Sunglasses, ideally with 100 percent protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet A and B rays, are your eyes best defense in the sun. Also consider wearing a hat, which will take some of the sunlight off your eyes. It’s also important to wear safety eye goggles when working with any potentially dangerous substances that could harm your eyes and prevent eye injury.
  3. Stop smoking. Smoking has been shown to increase your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and optic nerve damage. Plus, smoking is linked to many other health conditions. If you need help with smoking cessation, ask your doctor for help.
  4. Rest your eyes. People are increasingly spending more time each day staring at a screen, whether it’s scrolling through social media on their smart phone, watching TV or working at a desktop monitor or laptop computer. Spending too much time in front of a screen each day can put strain on your eyes, which can lead to dry eye, blurred vision, headaches and neck and back pain. A good way to reduce this eye strain if you can’t avoid screen time is to follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look away from the screen and at something that’s 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  5. Get regular eye exams. Getting annual eye exams and comprehensive eye exams as indicated will help you keep your eyes in good health and stay on top of any health conditions that may not know you have until you have your eyes tested.

If you’re ready to show your eyes the love they deserve, call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

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5 things your eyes say about your health

We’ve all dealt with something about our eyes that have bothered us, whether it be redness and itching or swelling and watery eye.

Read on for some common conditions and when it may be time to seek medical attention for treatment. 

  1. Redness is one of the most common eye problems, and it’s often related allergies. If both of your eyes are red, itchy and watery, allergies may be to blame and artificial tears or antihistamine eye drops can help alleviate symptoms. If these don’t provide relief, see your doctor to explore what else may be causing this problem.
  2. Dry eye is a common eye problem that could be caused by environmental factors, aging, hormonal changes and everyday activities. Some medical conditions and medications can cause it as well. Screen time, reading, watching TV for long periods of time without blinking enough to lubricate the eye can cause dry eye. Artificial tears often help provide comfort and relieve symptoms, but you may need to talk to your doctor if you can’t get relief.
  3. Pink eye or acute conjunctivitis can look like dry eye or another eye condition but it is a contagious eye condition. Your eyes look red and feel itchy and may ooze discharge. It’s often found in people who have cold symptoms or a runny nose. Your doctor can prescribe the best medication to treat pink eye, which should last no more than a week to 10 days.
  4. Eye strain is usually caused by staring at a computer or phone screen all day. It’s important to take regular breaks to give your eyes rest. Follow the 20/20/20 rule by looking at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. Also try artificial tears to help with lubrication and talk to your doctor if you can’t get relief.
  5. Eye twitch is common and usually nothing serious, unless you are experiencing it for a long period of time with other symptoms like other parts of your face twitching. That’s when you should seek medical attention. Otherwise, it’s usually linked to too much caffeine and stress or too little sleep. Start with lifestyle changes first to see if symptoms improve.

If you are concerned about your eye health, call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

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What you should know about LASIK

If you have been considering LASIK surgery to help reduce or remove the need for wearing glasses or contacts, there are several things you should know. Read on for eight things you should know about LASIK.

  1. Your eyes must be healthy to undergo LASIK surgery. If you have severe dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis or pink eye, or any type of eye injury where you are still recovering, you will need to wait until those conditions are resolved before you can undergo LASIK.
  2. If you have cataracts or uncontrolled glaucoma, you may not be a candidate for LASIK.
  3. You must be in good health to be considered for LASIK. Uncontrolled degenerative conditions or autoimmune diseases may prevent you from having LASIK done. Certain medications may also interfere with post-operative healing and contribute to dry eye syndrome. You will want to share your complete list of medications and vitamins and supplements with your doctor during your consultation.
  4. Your corneas cannot be too thin. LASIK works by reshaping the front surface of the eye known as the cornea. The cornea must have enough tissue thickness in order for you to have surgery. Other surgical options may be better suited for you.
  5. You must be at least 18 or older to have LASIK. When you are a teenager, and even a young adult, your eyes continue to change.
  6. If you have a prescription, it’s important that your prescription is stable for at least a year before you are able to proceed with LASIK.
  7. Women who are pregnant or nursing are not good candidates for LASIK as hormonal changes can alter the shape of the cornea. You will want to wait until a few months after you have finished nursing before getting LASIK done.
  8. It’s important to have a positive frame of mind and realistic expectations for the outcome of surgery. Be sure to discuss all potential risks and possible side effects before you decide to undergo LASIK surgery.

To learn whether you are a candidate for LASIK, call 808.955.3937 for a consultation.

What you can do to reduce computer eye strain

Smartphones and laptops are a way of life today, and it’s hard to go a day without staring at a screen for several hours for your job or leisure time. But all this screen time can lead to computer eye strain and can affect how you see and feel. 

Symptoms

It’s important to recognize the symptoms of computer eye strain. Eye fatigue and blurry or double vision are common symptoms, as are dry, itching, burning or watery eyes. You may also experience light sensitivity, a headache or neck, shoulder and back pain. 

Treatment

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce or prevent computer eye strain.

  • Limit screen time. It’s difficult to do so nowadays, but if it’s possible, take frequent breaks from your screen throughout the day to give your eyes a break and relieve the discomfort of digital eye strain.
  • Follow what experts call the “20-20-20 rule.” This means that every 20 minutes, you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help give your eyes a break and readjust after screen time. If it helps, put a reminder in your phone calendar to help prompt you to take these little breaks throughout the day. 
  • You may need lubricating eye drops to help restore moisture to your eyes. There are several over-the-counter options, or you can ask your doctor to make a recommendation. 
  • Some people find relief from wearing computer glasses or special glasses that have an anti-reflective coating and are designed for when you work on the computer. 
  • Reduce any glare or reflection, which makes it more difficult to read your computer screen. Using a desk lamp and turning off overhead lights can help. 
  • Position your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from your face, and keep the top of the screen slightly below eye level to reduce computer eye strain. While you’re positioning your monitor, adjust the brightness of your screen to be the same brightness as the room you’re working in. 

To learn more about how to reduce or prevent computer eye strain and improve your eye health, call 808.955.3937 to schedule an appointment.

Botox vs. Xeomin: Which is best for me?

It’s no doubt that Botox is a household name as it’s the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment around. Xeomin is a similar injectable made from the same botulinum toxin, but it’s important to know which one is best for your needs as they have some differences. Here we break down the differences between both. 

Botulinum toxin type A

Botox and Xeomin are made from the botulinum toxin type A, which is the same bacteria that cause botulism. While Botox and Xeomin both relax muscles in the treatment area, Xeomin is made only with the botulinum toxin and no other ingredients, thus getting the name “the naked injectable.” Botox contains additional proteins.

Blepharospasm

Some people have a condition called blepharospasm, in which they experience involuntary muscle spasms and contractions of the muscles around the eyes. Xeomin is an effective treatment for blepharospasm. It is injected into the muscle, blocking the signal from the nerve and effectively stopping the spasms. Treatment takes about 15-30 minutes and starts to work within a few days after injection. Effects or results last for up to three months, at which point you may need to return for treatment. 

Lines and wrinkles

Botox is the worldwide choice for the temporary reduction of lines and wrinkles on the upper third of the face, but Xeomin may be substituted for patients who have a reaction to the proteins in Botox. 

Botox works on dynamic wrinkles that form on the skin when the muscle beneath the skin contracts. These wrinkles are caused by repeated expressions such as laughing or frowning. Forehead lines, frown lines or 11 lines between the eyebrows and crow’s feet around the eyes can all be successfully treated with Botox. Similarly to Xeomin, treatment only takes 15-30 minutes, results appear in a few days and last for about 3-4 months. You may need additional treatment to maintain results. 

To learn more about cosmetic injectables and how they may help you with your cosmetic concerns or functional needs, call 808.955.3937 today to schedule an appointment.

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Questions you should ask when considering LASIK

If you’ve been thinking about laser vision correction, you may have a lot of questions about this state-of-the-art technology that is constantly evolving. Here are seven of the most common FAQs about LASIK that you may not know to ask. 

  1. Am I at the optimal age and stage in my life to have LASIK? You will want to wait until you are an adult, usually in your mid-20s, before considering LASIK surgery. You’ll also want to wait to have surgery if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or going through menopause as your eyes and visual acuity fluctuate. 
  2. Are my eyes stable for the last 1-2 years? Your doctor can confirm whether you are a good candidate by looking at your contact lens or glasses prescription and results from recent exams. 
  3. Can my refractive error be too much? LASIK is FDA-approved to treat certain degrees of farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. If your refractive error is too severe, laser vision correction may not be for you. 
  4. What results can I expect? It’s important to have a healthy outlook and realistic expectations for the outcomes of your laser vision correction. Your doctor can walk through any concerns you may have. It’s important to ask about what the best and worst case scenarios may be for your outcomes.
  5. Do I have any eye conditions or health conditions that may postpone having LASIK done at this time or rule it out completely? Your doctor will go through all of your health history and current conditions and concerns, so it’s important that you share all the details to make sure you are a good candidate for laser vision correction.
  6. What does recovery look like and what adjustments will I need to make for a successful recovery? Your doctor should tell you what to expect and how to prepare for recovery at home and when you can return to work and other activities. 
  7. What does LASIK cost? Your doctor should share with you all of the costs involved in laser vision correction, potential retreatment and any other appointments that may be necessary. 

To schedule your consultation for LASIK, call 808.955.3937 today.

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Will I need Botox or dermal fillers to improve the appearance of wrinkles?

Botox is the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment in the world and a household name, but cosmetic fillers have gained so much popularity for their ability to smooth out lines and wrinkles and fill out hollowed areas in the face and give patients a more youthful appearance. Here’s the differences between Botox and dermal fillers and how they can help you reach your aesthetic goals.

Botox

Botox works on dynamic wrinkles, which are wrinkles that form in the skin over a contracting muscle when we laugh, smile, frown or squint. Botox injections relax the muscle temporarily, smoothing out lines and wrinkles in the upper third of the face, primarily frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet around the eyes. 

You will see the results within just a few days after Botox treatment, which last up to four months or longer. At that time, you’ll want to return for additional treatment to maintain or prolong results. 

Dermal fillers

Dermal fillers such as Juvederm reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and folds while smoothing skin for an improved appearance. Dermal fillers address static wrinkles, which are wrinkles that are ever present on the skin. These wrinkles are caused by the slowing production of collagen, thinning skin, and the effects of aging and environmental factors on the skin. 

The results of dermal fillers are immediate and last anywhere from six months to a year or longer, depending on the type of filler and the area treated. Supplemental touch-up treatments may be necessary to maintain results, similar to Botox. 

Botox and dermal fillers are both popular treatments because they don’t require the need to go under the knife, provide impressive results and don’t require any downtime. Most people return to their work and other regular activities after their appointment.

Botox and dermal fillers can be used separately or together to help you achieve a more youthful appearance. If you’d like to learn whether Botox or dermal fillers are right for you, call 808.955.3937 to set up an appointment and learn more.