How to Lower Your Chances of Macular Degeneration

macular degenerationAs you age, your body is more prone to things like eye diseases. As one of the most common types of eye diseases, macular degeneration causes progressive loss of vision. By breaking down the light-sensitive tissue in the macula, macular degeneration can cause vision loss that cannot be restored.

One of the biggest factors of macular degeneration is having a genetic history and being of Caucasian descent, are not things you can change. However, there are other factors that can greatly contibute to and increase your chances of getting macular degeneration as well. Read on to learn more.


Smoking isn’t good for any part of your body— your eyesight include. In fact, smoking can as much as double your risk of developing macular degeneration. If you are a frequent smoker, now is the time to stop. If you need help quitting, ask your healthcare provider for advice on support groups and nicotine products like gum or patches.


Obesity isn’t just bad for your heart’s health, but it can also lead to the development of macular degeneration. Because obesity can cause an increased amount of inflammation throughout your body, it can lead to inflammation in your eyes as well— resulting in macular degeneration. If you are struggling with your weight, ask your healthcare provider about ways in which you can cut down your caloric intake and increase your exercise routine.

Exposure to Sunlight

Although the sun is a great source to get vitamin D, it can also lead to health problems like skin cancer and even eye problems like macular degeneration. Every time you go outside— even in the winter— make sure that you are wearing sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

As you can see, there are many contributors to macular degeneration. In order to protect your eyes, make sure that you quit smoking, watch your weight, and wear sunglasses when outside. To learn more about how you can best protect your eyes, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!



Allergy Season: How to Get Rid of Dry, Itchy Eyes

eye care tipsWith spring in full bloom, so are allergy causing things like dander and pollen. If you suffer from seasonal allergies and are noticing that your eyes are suddenly extremely dry and itchy, try these following tips to help you to get back to feeling like your normal self once again. Read on to learn more.

  1. Eye Drops

Either by getting prescription eye drops from Dr. Jeffrey Maehara, or by simply purchasing allergy strength over-the-counter eye drops, you can help to give your eyes that instant relief from both dryness and itching. Typically containing an antihistamine, allergy strength eye drops work to coat your eyes while stopping any sort of itching or inflammation. Simply apply the eyedrops to your eyes as directed a few times a day.

  1. Skip the Contacts

Contact lenses are one of the greatest inventions for glasses wearers since, well, glasses. However, when your eyes are itchy and inflamed due to allergies, it might be time to give your eyes a break from your contacts and wear your regular glasses for a few days. Although contacts are designed to be perfectly safe for your eyes, if things like dander and pollen get trapped in between your eye and the lens, it can further exacerbate your allergy symptoms and leave you feeling nothing shy of uncomfortable.

  1. Rinse Out Your Eyes

Another great way to get rid of eye allergies is to rinse out your eyes with cold water a few times a day— especially in the morning. Simply clean your hands with warm water and soap, and then cup a small amount of cold water into your hands and then splash your eyes with the cold water. This will help to get any allergens out of your eyes and will also help to make you feel better.

Suffering from seasonal allergies can make your eyes feel beyond uncomfortable. However, by using eye drops, taking a break from wearing your contact lenses, and rinsing your eyes out with cold water, you can help to feel like your normal allergy-free self once again! To learn more contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!



Shield Your Eyes from Cataracts With 3 Easy Steps

eye healthCataracts is an eye disease that affects over half of Americans over the age of 65. Causing cloudy and blurred vision, cataracts can leave you feeling hopeless and unlike yourself. If your family has a history of cataracts or you’re just worried about what old age will bring you, try these following tips to help keep your eyesight running as smoothly as possible.

  1. Eat Right

You’ve likely heard it your whole entire life: carrots help to protect your eyesight and prevent against things like going blind. And although you might have shrugged that concept off as a child, diet does in fact play a large role in your vision health and care. When looking for a diet to help enhance your eyesight, look for foods that are rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E— all of which may help to prevent against the development of cataracts.

  1. Schedule Exams with Your Eye Doctor

You won’t really be able to know if your eyes are in good health and condition unless you visit your eye doctor. Scheduling yearly appointments with your eye doctor will help your doctor to evaluate your eyes for the premature development of cataracts so that you never have to feel blindsided— literally.

  1. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

Although the real culprit of cataracts is old age, shading your eyes from the sun is one of the best ways to ensure that your eyes stay as healthy as possible. When going outside during the day— even in the heart of winter— be sure to wear sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection. Because the sun can cause permanent eye damage or can even burn your eyes, it’s important to constantly shield them when you are outside.

The best way to determine whether or not you have cataracts is through an eye exam from Jeffrey Maehara. However, by eating right and shielding your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays, you can help to offer your eyes the protection needed to prevent any further damage and hopefully to help protect against cataracts in the future. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara’s office today!



Protect Your Eyes from the Sun: A Guide to Picking the Right Sunglasses

sunglassesWith so many unique and diverse styles of fashion sunglasses available, it can be overwhelming to not only pick a pair of sunglasses that will good on you but that will also do their job and protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. If you’re shopping for sunglasses and want to ensure that you are buying a pair that will give you the most coverage possible, read on to learn more.

Size of Frames

Large oversized frames found their way into the fashion world when celebrities were trying to shade their eyes from the constant flashing of the paparazzi’s cameras. These oversized frames are also great at protecting not just your eyeball itself but the sensitive skin that surrounds your eyes as well. When trying on some new frames, make sure that the area both above and under your eyes are being protected— as this skin is very delicate and prone to things like sun damage and injury.

UVB Protection

If you buy a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t have UVB protective lenses then you are doing yourself a giant disservice— in fact, you might as well not wear sunglasses at all. UVB rays are the most damaging types of rays that can cause you to have vision problems— that’s why it’s important to make sure you are wearing the right protective eyewear.

Dark Lenses

Although currently popular, dark colored lenses aren’t always in style. However, when shopping for sunglasses, make note that the darker your lenses, the more protection you will receive from the sun, even if your lighter colored lenses have UVB protection in them.

By shopping for sunglasses with the above three things in mind, you can help to ensure that your eyes receive the protection that you deserve. To learn more about your vision health and how to ensure that your eyes are receiving the best possible protection contact our office today.



5 Common Eye Injuries and How to Deal With Them

eye careEye injuries come in many variations, from minor surface scratches to deep puncture wounds. The severity of the injury, of course, dictates the best course of treatment. Here, we list some common conditions associated with eye injuries and what you can do to determine your next step if you have an accident:

  • Swelling

One of the most common eye injuries is a black eye. The good news is it that the best form of treatment is simply an ice pack. If you experience a black eye, it will typically reduce in appearance over time with no complications, but it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any internal damage.

  • Eye Bleeding

Subconjunctival hemorrages (eye bleeding) is when blood from one or more blood vessel in the eye leaks, causing a blotchy red spot in your eye. This eye injury is painless and typically looks worse than it really is. In time, the blood will clear and the eye will return to its normal appearance without the need for treatment.

  • A Foreign Object in the Eye

If something like metal or a fish hook penetrates your eye, don’t attempt to remove the object yourself. Loosely tape an eye shield or even a paper cup over your eye to protect it, then go to the emergency room immediately.

  • Corneal Abrasion

A scratch on the eye’s surface (or corneal abrasion) is generally caused by getting poked in the eye or rubbing the eye when something like dust or sand is in it. Corneal abrasions can cause eye redness and light sensitivity. Scratches can also cause infection from bacteria or fungus. If you feel like something has scratched your eye, don’t rub it and avoid using an eye patch. Instead, keep your eye closed as much as possible and visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.

  • Chemical Burns

If you get splashed in the eye by anything other than water, it can be alarming. While some liquids only cause temporary burning or stinging and are harmless overall, others can lead to serious injury. Acids, for example, can cause significant burning and redness but can usually be flushed out. If you’re splashed in the eye, put your head under a small stream of lukewarm water and let it run into your eye and down your face. Substances that contain alkali, like oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners are much more serious. They can cause blurriness and redness that doesn’t go away. If you experience these symptoms and rinsing the eye with water is ineffective, seek medical attention.

To learn more about maintaining optimal eye health, contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today for a consultation:  or by calling 808.955.3937.

Understanding Cataract Surgery: Before, During and After

CataractsAs we grow older, the lens of our eye can gradually lose its clarity and become cloudy, which can obstruct vision. When this happens, it may be time to consider cataract surgery to restore your vision and your quality of life. Read on to learn what you need to know before, during and after the procedure.

Before Cataract Surgery
Your doctor will discuss your medical and family history with you to make sure you are in good health before surgery. Approximately a week prior to the procedure, your doctor will perform an ultrasound test to measure the shape and size of your eye in order to determine the right type of lens implant. You will be asked to stop taking any medication that may increase your risk of bleeding during surgery, and you will be instructed to forego eating or drinking anything 12 hours beforehand.

During cataract surgery
It is likely that you will be given a sedative to help you relax and may remain awake during the procedure. After putting dilating eye drops in your eye, your doctor will remove the clouded lens and, in most cases, implant a clear artificial lens in its place, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). An IOL, made of silicone, acrylic or plastic, requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye. You won’t be able to feel or see the lens. Sometimes a cataract is removed without IOL replacement. Afterwards, you can typically go home the same day as the procedure, but you will need someone to drive you. It’s also a good idea to arrange for someone to stay with you once you’re home to help with daily activities. You will be prescribed antibiotics to take after surgery and will likely be advised to wear an eye patch for the first week or so.

After Cataract Surgery
Following surgery, you can expect your vision to be blurry, but it will begin to improve within a few days. For a couple days after surgery, it’s not uncommon to feel mild discomfort and itching, but it’s important to avoid rubbing your eye. The discomfort usually subsides within a few days, and you should heal completely in eight weeks.  As with any surgical procedure, cataract surgery carries some risks. Contact your doctor if you experience increased eye redness, persistent pain that doesn’t go away with medication, vision loss, nausea and vomiting, or flasher of floaters (spots) in front of your eye.

Could you benefit from cataract surgery? Contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today for a consultation: or by calling 808.955.3937.