What Eye Conditions Can Medical Marijuana Assist With?

Medical marijuanaMedical marijuana has been growing in popularity for treating a variety of physical and mental health concerns. Part of what makes it so beneficial for treatment is its versatility. Medical marijuana can be used to alleviate a range of symptoms, including anxiety, pain and discomfort, difficulty eating, and more.

Medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii with a State 329 Medical Marijuana license card. Any patient interested in using medical marijuana must have a 329 medical card. Thankfully, Jeffrey Maehara, MD, can perform consultations and complete applications for a medical marijuana card in Honolulu, HI.

If you’re interested in utilizing medical marijuana for an eye condition, keep reading to learn more about the qualifying conditions and how to apply for a license.

What Eye Conditions Can Medical Marijuana Assist in Treating?

Medical marijuana can be used to treat eye conditions that cause intraocular pressure (IOP), such as glaucoma, by reducing pressure and increasing comfort.

A medical marijuana license may also be granted to patients with cancer, lupus, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and mental health conditions such as PTSD and anxiety.

Medical marijuana is frequently used for these conditions to assist with nausea, pain, and appetite. However, it can also be useful for those who have debilitating medical conditions such as seizures and muscle spasms.

How to Register for a State 329 Medical Marijuana License

If you are interested in the State 329 Medical Marijuana license, the first step is to check to see if your condition or symptoms are on the list of qualifying medical conditions. Then, you can fill out and turn in your application. This may involve supplying medical records, doctor’s notes, and other documentation. Once the application has been submitted, Dr. Maehara will schedule a consultation with you. During this time, he’ll discuss your condition with you and determine if medical marijuana would be beneficial. If so, he can complete your application and submit it to the State for final approval. Your card should arrive in the mail shortly after.

Apply for a Medical Marijuana License Today

Learn more about the benefits of medical marijuana as well as how to apply for a license by contacting Jeffrey Maehard in Honolulu, HI. Call our office today at 808-955-3937 or request a consultation online.

BOTOX® Cosmetic

What Is the Difference Between BOTOX® and BOTOX® Cosmetic?

While the layperson might use the terms BOTOX® and BOTOX® Cosmetic interchangeably, they are two different applications. Though both use botulinum toxin type A as the active ingredient, the two treatments are used in distinct ways. BOTOX® has been used for many years for various medical issues, as it can block nerve signals. In comparison, BOTOX® Cosmetic has been used to treat aesthetic concerns such as wrinkles and fine lines. Before seeking treatment, here are some key differences to be aware of.

BOTOX® Cosmetic vs. BOTOX®

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a specially formulated form of botulinum toxin type A used only for aesthetic purposes, such as reducing wrinkles, which is injected into the muscles of your face. This weakens the muscles, reducing movement and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. People often have frown lines, forehead lines, and crow’s feet treated with BOTOX® Cosmetic.

In addition to the differences in what each formula can treat, the dosages are usually different. When used for medical instead of aesthetic reasons, BOTOX® is often injected in higher doses. Additionally, the injection sites are usually different. When medical professionals use BOTOX® for treatments, they must have specialized training to ensure they are administering it safely and effectively for various medical conditions.

BOTOX® Cosmetic and Aesthetic Medicine

When receiving BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, working with professionals like Dr. Jeffrey Maehara, who has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and cosmetic procedures, is important. This ensures the treatment is administered correctly and in the proper amounts to help you achieve your desired results.

How Long BOTOX® Cosmetic Lasts

Each treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic takes about 10 to 15 minutes. It takes a few days to see your full results as the active ingredient in BOTOX® Cosmetic takes time to settle and relax the muscles.

Unlike other dermal fillers that fill wrinkles, the botulinum toxin type A causes your muscles to relax temporarily. The results last about four months; however, you can continue getting treatments to maintain your look.

Schedule a Consultation in Honolulu, HI

To learn more about BOTOX® Cosmetic, speak with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser. Schedule a consultation today at 808-955-3937 or request one online here. Dr. Maehara serves Honolulu and the surrounding areas in Hawaii.

photorefractive keratectomy

PRK: A LASIK Alternative for Patients

Are you interested in improving your vision? LASIK isn’t the only option available. At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, we offer photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, a laser vision correction procedure. PRK is a tried-and-true method that was widely used before the invention of LASIK. Learn more about how PRK works and when to opt for this alternative.

How Does PRK Work?

PRK surgeries involve using a laser to carefully change the shape of your cornea, the dome-shaped, transparent window at the front of your eyeball. By adjusting its shape, PRK changes how it refracts or bends light.

When Is PRK Used?

PRK is a surgery that corrects refractive vision errors, meaning it corrects vision problems where the eye cannot refract light correctly. It is mostly used for patients with large pupils or thin corneas.

Some examples of conditions Dr. Jeffrey Maehara may choose to correct with PRK include:

  • Myopia: Nearsightedness, or seeing well up-close while far-off objects become blurry.
  • Hyperopia: Farsightedness, or seeing distant objects well but having trouble focusing on nearby objects.
  • Astigmatism: An irregular curvature problem that causes blurry near and far vision.

What Kinds of Patients Make Good PRK Candidates?

On top of having one of the above conditions, PRK patients must satisfy a few basic criteria:

  • Age: It’s best to wait until your eyes have finished developing, so you should be at least 18 to 21 years old.
  • Health: Your eye and cornea health must be satisfactory.
  • Prescriptions: Your prescription should be stable — meaning it has been consistent over the past year.
  • Error type and level: PRK can correct refractive errors only within reason.

PRK isn’t recommended for certain individuals, including current cataract sufferers and those with severe glaucoma. It’s also not recommended for people with uncontrolled diabetes and women who are currently pregnant or nursing. If you have a history of scarring, you might not be a good candidate, especially if your scars affect your corneas.

How Does PRK Differ From LASIK?

LASIK is another type of laser vision correction procedure that works by changing the shape of your eye. The biggest difference is that LASIK creates a flap in the epithelium (the thin membrane covering the cornea) to access the cornea, whereas PRK removes the epithelium.

Learn More About PRK With Jeffrey Maehara, MD

Could PRK make a difference in how you view life? Talking to a physician is the best way to find out. Book your appointment in Honolulu, HI, with Jeffrey Maehara, MD, by calling 808-955-3937.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. The key to managing this potentially blinding illness is early detection. Do you know the signs of glaucoma?

Glaucoma Awareness Month: Signs and Symptoms of Glaucoma

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time dedicated to educating patients about glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness. Research has found about 10% of people with glaucoma fail to recognize the symptoms until it is too late to save their vision.

Glaucoma is a disease that does not discriminate. Everyone is at risk, and early detection is the key to effective treatment. It’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of glaucoma.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an umbrella term for eye conditions that affect the optic nerve, responsible for sending visual signals to the brain for interpretation. Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age, but it is the leading cause of blindness for people over 60.

What Causes Glaucoma?

Glaucoma describes a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve. The cause of that damage can vary. Elevated eye pressure is the most common cause. If fluid builds up in the eye, it can put too much pressure on the optic nerve, eventually damaging it and causing complete vision loss.

The most common form of glaucoma is open-angle, which occurs when the drainage system in the eye fails. The other forms include closed-angle glaucoma, congenital glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma.

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

There are several forms of glaucoma, some with no symptoms at all. You might have:

  • Patchy blind spots, especially in your side or peripheral vision
  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Colored rings around lights
  • Eye redness and irritation

If you experience sudden changes in your vision, severe headaches, or eye pain, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.

What Can You Do To Reduce Your Risk of Glaucoma?

The most effective way to reduce your risk of vision loss from glaucoma is to see your eye doctor regularly. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends you make an appointment yearly for a comprehensive eye exam if you are over 65. However, if you are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma, you should schedule eye exams annually, regardless of age.

Schedule Glaucoma Testing From Dr. Jeffrey Maehara, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Maehara is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in eye care to support vision throughout your life. Call 808-955-3937 or go online to schedule your appointment today and stay ahead of glaucoma.

myopia treatment

Cure Myopia With Allegretto Wave®

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common eye conditions in the world. It can affect people at any age, but it’s becoming increasingly common among children, teens, and young adults due to excess screen exposure from an early age. Although it can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses, myopia has another treatment option: Allegretto Wave®, an advanced LASIK eye surgery laser.

What Is Allegretto Wave?

Allegretto Wave, also known as Wavefront LASIK, is an advanced excisor laser system used to treat a variety of eye problems, such as myopia and astigmatism. Excisor lasers use ultraviolet light to remove tissue from the cornea using a process called photoablative decomposition. In simple terms, this means that the laser reshapes the anterior cornea to improve vision without causing any damage to the eye itself.

How Is It Different From LASIK?

Allegretto Wave is a type of LASIK procedure; its greatest difference from the traditional method is its accuracy and speed. Because of its precision, we love to use it in our practice as a way to minimize side effects for our patients.

The FDA approved Allegretto Wave in 2003 for LASIK surgery, and it has been used around the world ever since. The wavefront technology helps Dr. Maehara shape your cornea with unmatched precision, reducing side effects like halo, poor night vision, and glare.

Benefits of Correcting Myopia With Eye Surgery

Undergoing eye surgery to correct myopia can help you in many ways, such as:

  • Enhanced vision
  • No need for glasses or contact lenses
  • Long-lasting results
  • Save money on glasses prescriptions and eye care

If you are interested in Allegretto Wave, schedule an appointment with us! We would love to help you find the perfect solution to treat your myopia in our office.

Explore LASIK in Honolulu, HI

Dr. Maehara is a board-certified ophthalmologist who runs our practice with his son, Dr. Dennis Maehara. Together, they offer patients the most specialized care to support their vision at every stage of life.

If you would like to discuss LASIK with Allegretto Wave for your nearsightedness, please visit our contact page or call 808-955-3937.


Helpful Tips for the Prevention of Pterygium

It’s inarguable how vital one’s eyes are to a normal and comfortable life. That’s why it’s essential to keep them healthy by taking care of them throughout your life whenever possible. However, even with proper attention and protection, eyes can sometimes still develop troublesome issues. One such issue, which has earned the nickname “Surfer’s Eye” due to its frequent occurrence in patients who frequent the ocean in long surf sessions, is known as a pterygium.

A pterygium is a small, elevated growth that typically grows out from the inner corner of the eye on the sclera (the white of the eye). Though they are non-cancerous and only a visual disturbance in the earlier stages, they can eventually grow, causing vision issues and, in worse cases, permanent disfigurement. That’s why catching pterygium early and finding quality pterygium treatment is crucial.

Thankfully, there are some standard eye care tips you can implement in your life to help prevent the growth of pterygium.

#1. Refrain From Excessive or Prolonged Sun Exposure

First and foremost, the best way to avoid the development of pterygium is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun and its harmful UV rays. Of course, this is difficult for those with outdoor jobs and hobbies such as surfing. Plus, who doesn’t want to go outside and enjoy a lovely sunny day?

That leads to the next tip.

#2. Always Wear Adequate Sun Protection

If you can’t reduce the amount of time you spend outside, then ensuring that your eyes are adequately protected is nearly as helpful. Whether you choose a hat with a sufficiently large brim and opt to wear sunglasses that are equipped with the right level of UV protection for your eyes, just don’t let your eyes take a direct beating from those bright solar rays.

#3. Use Lubricating Eye Drops as Needed

Frequent outdoor exposure to sand, smoke, wind, and pollen are common risk factors for this condition. Are you noticing the trend here that makes surfers highly susceptible to developing pterygium?

When this exposure can’t be avoided, it’s recommended to use doctor-approved eye drops to ensure that your eyes have the moisture they need to stay healthy throughout all your outdoor activities.

Seek Quality Pterygium Treatment in Honolulu, HI

Whether you’re an avid surfer looking to check up on your eyes or someone simply concerned that they may need pterygium treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808-955-3937. Under the friendly and expert care of Dr. Maehara and his team, surfers and other outdoorsy types can receive top-notch pterygium treatment in Honolulu, HI.


5 Important Facts About Glaucoma

Around 3 million people have glaucoma in the United States. As the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, early detection is key when it comes to taking the steps needed to slow the progression of the disease. There are five important facts that you should know about glaucoma.

5 Important Facts About Glaucoma

1. There Are No Symptoms of Glaucoma Until the Damage Is Irreversible

Early on, there are no symptoms of glaucoma. In fact, people do not typically experience any signs of the disease until it has resulted in irreversible damage. At this point, individuals may notice some problems with their vision.

2. There Is No Cure, but There Are Treatments

Even though the damage that has been done as a result of glaucoma is not able to be reversed, having the ability to treat the condition early can help slow the progression. Treatments can help to reduce the pressure on your eyes and resolve any drainage issues.

3. Some People Have a Higher Risk of Developing Glaucoma

There are certain people who may have a higher risk of developing glaucoma. In general, individuals who are over 60 and have a family history of glaucoma are at higher risk than others. Additionally, Mexican Americans and African Americans are also more likely to develop glaucoma than those in other ethnic groups. This makes it important for individuals of these ethnicities to schedule regular eye exams.

4. Glaucoma Is Caused by Excess Fluid Buildup

Glaucoma tends to develop as a result of fluid accumulating in the eye. This puts pressure on the eye and can cause damage to the optic nerve if it becomes compressed.

5. You Can Catch Glaucoma Early With Regular Eye Exams

Having regular eye exams can help you detect glaucoma early on. This provides you with the best chances of getting treatment before the damage progresses to impact your vision.

Schedule an Eye Exam Today

Living with glaucoma can be challenging. However, early detection is key to ensuring you can start treatment early. Contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser to schedule an appointment at their Honolulu, HI, office at 808-955-3937 or complete the form online.

cornea transplant

Why You Might Need a Cornea Transplant

cornea transplantOver 12.7 million people across the world suffer from cornea disease, including blindness. As one of the leading causes of avoidable blindness, it can create significant problems for individuals when it comes to work, school, or even life. Dealing with a disease of the cornea can be devastating, so it is important to seek treatment immediately. Depending on your specific circumstances, a cornea transplant may be the best option.

Reasons Why You May Need a Cornea Transplant

A cornea transplant is a surgery that involves using a specialized surgical tool to cut through the diseased cornea to remove the tissue. The new cornea is then sized and sewn into place. There are several reasons why you may need a cornea transplant.

You Have Inflammation or an Infection in Their Eye

If you experience an infection in the eye, it can lead to scarring of the cornea. The scarring can impact your vision, which can lead to needing surgery in order to correct the issue. In some cases, individuals develop eye infections due to having a weakened immune system, contact lens use, or from rubbing their eyes.

You Have Fuch’s Dystrophy

If you have Fuch’s Dystrophy, you may need a cornea transplant at some point in your life. This disease causes the endothelial layer to die, which results in inflammation of the cornea. This can lead to cloudy and blurred vision, as well as pain. A cornea transplant can help to correct the problems that sufferers experience and restore their vision.

You Have a Thin Cornea

A thin cornea can be caused by some chronic medical conditions. When the cornea is too thin, it can cause light to appear out of focus. This can result in blurry vision and can make it difficult for individuals to text, read, or even drive.

See if a Cornea Transplant Is Right for You

If you are experiencing vision problems and believe you may benefit from a cornea transplant, contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today. You can schedule an appointment by calling the Honolulu, HI, office at 808-955-3937 or by filling out the online form to get started.

Medical marijuana

Who Qualifies For A Medical Marijuana License In Hawaii?

Medical marijuanaStudies have shown that the therapeutic effect of cannabinoids, the chemicals that make up cannabis, have beneficial therapeutic effects. From clinically significant reductions in pain to functioning as an antiemetic for those suffering from chemotherapy related vomiting, medical marijuana can help.

The process of getting approved for a medical marijuana license in Hawaii is a simple one. Let’s take a look at who can benefit from medical marijuana and what you need to qualify for a license.

What Can Medical Marijuana Help With 

Cannabis has a long history of being used for its medicinal effects, dating back nearly two millennia. In fact, marijuana was used in US history as a medicine until its removal. Cannabis can help with a variety of issues that include but aren’t limited to:

  • Chemotherapy related nausea
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Lupus
  • Epilepsy
  • Mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder

Speaking to a doctor can help you understand how medical marijuana may help bring relief to you and your condition.

What To Know About Medical Marijuana Licenses in Hawaii

Some important information to know about medical marijuana licenses in Hawaii is that your license pertains only to Hawaii. So even if other states have medical marijuana available, your license would not allow you to purchase medical cannabis in that state.

Obtaining a medical marijuana license can take up to four weeks and even if you’ve been assured for approval you may not purchase medical marijuana until you have your card.

If you have any further questions, consulting with a doctor is a certain way to obtain any answers you need.

What Do You Need To Qualify For A Medical Marijuana Licence In Hawaii? 

There are clear guidelines to getting a medical marijuana license in Hawaii. To begin, you must register with the Medical Cannabis Registry Program. Then, working with a doctor to determine your qualifying medical condition. The medical marijuana evaluation carried out by a professional typically takes 15 to 20 minutes.

At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, we understand the need for pain relief. That is why we are proud to offer medical marijuana license assessments.

In the state of Hawaii, yearly renewal is required for medical marijuana licenses. If you are looking to obtain a license or renew your current one contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808-955-3937 or schedule an appointment today.

BOTOX treatment

Understanding the Science Behind BOTOX® Results

BOTOX treatmentAging is a natural part of life. Unfortunately, aging also comes with the loosening of the skin, which leads to facial wrinkles and fine lines. Thankfully, BOTOX can help alleviate these issues. BOTOX is a popular injectable used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, and other conditions. BOTOX may seem like magic, but there is some serious science behind why it works so well. Let’s explore the science behind a BOTOX treatment so you can understand if it’s right for you.

Understanding BOTOX Cosmetic

BOTOX is an injectable that is often used for facial treatments. BOTOX consists of a solution containing purified botulinum toxin. Botulinum is a neurotoxin that applies paralyzing effects to the facial muscles. While this may sound dangerous or alarming, this neurotoxin is FDA-approved to treat facial wrinkles. The neurotoxin blocks certain chemical signals from reaching the nerves in the muscle.

This stops the muscle from contracting and relaxes the treatment area. It is commonly used for cosmetic purposes, but BOTOX is used in various treatments. Some examples of other treatments include hyperhidrosis treatments, lazy eye treatments, muscle spasm treatments, certain types of migraines, and some urinary issues. The treatment is normally done in a single session, and results are apparent in as few as four days.

How Long Does It Last?

BOTOX usually lasts up to four months. However, you may see some lingering effects past then. It entirely depends on how quickly your body metabolizes the neurotoxin. Your body will naturally disperse and remove the toxin that is affecting your nerves. This means BOTOX is not permanent, which can be beneficial if you decide that BOTOX isn’t for you.

Seeking Treatment

BOTOX is a powerful and transformative cosmetic treatment that is non-invasive and has no downtime. That means you can get back to doing what you love while looking your best. At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, our team brings compassion, efficiency, and expertise to every treatment to ensure you get the best results. If you’re considering BOTOX, contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808-955-3937 today.