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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. 


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. 


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.


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 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.

Commonly asked questions about Botox

Botox is the first and only FDA-approved treatment to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines in adults. 

How does it work?

Botox targets the underlying cause of frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead lines by temporarily reducing muscle activity. Facial expressions such as frowning, squinting, raising the eyebrows and smiling, all lead to these unwanted lines and wrinkles. 

Who is a good candidate for Botox? 

If you have dynamic wrinkles caused by repeated muscle contractions in the upper third of the face, then you would be a good candidate for Botox injections. There isn’t a specific age. Often, patients are in their early 30s when they start getting Botox. Genetics and environmental factors also contribute to the level of wrinkle severity and when you can benefit most from Botox injections. 

How long is treatment?

After a thorough consultation, your treatment may take place on that same day and only consist of 15-30 minutes. You may have ice or topical numbing cream applied to the area before treatment to help with any discomfort. 

Is there any downtime?

Botox treatment requires minimal to no downtime. Most people return to their routine immediately after their treatment session. The convenience is one of the reasons it’s such a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment. 

When will I see results?

Most people see results within 24-48 hours after treatment. Full results appear in 30 days and last for 3-4 months. 

Will I look like I’ve had work done?

Botox injections deliver predictable, subtle results that smooth out lines and wrinkles while you still look like yourself. No one should notice that you’ve had anything done, but they may ask you what you’re doing to stay looking so young. 

If you’ve been thinking about Botox treatment and wondering if it’s right for you, set up a consultation by calling Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808.955.3937. 

9 things you need to know about medical marijuana use

Chronic health conditions make up the majority of qualifying medical conditions to obtain medical marijuana. The application process for a medical marijuana card can be overwhelming.

Here are nine things you need to know about medical marijuana and how to complete the application process:

  1. Cannabinoids in medicine have hundreds of therapeutic uses to improve function and quality of life. 
  2. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the two main chemicals that are sought after for medicinal use. 
  3. Some of the more common qualifying medical conditions are glaucoma, cancer, lupus, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and other chronic or debilitating diseases. 
  4. Cannabis is especially helpful for patients who have glaucoma, as it lowers the eye pressure but for a limited amount of time. 
  5. Cannabis is also effective for eye conditions that come with chronic pain or nausea. 
  6. Some patients have used medical marijuana for long-term treatment of anxiety, chronic pain and other conditions. Some patients who have seizures have said that medical marijuana is the only effective treatment for this condition. 
  7. The State 329 Medical Marijuana license card is necessary for the legal possession and use of marijuana products in Hawaii. This card is recognized only in Hawaii. 
  8. The application process consists of an online application and a physician evaluation. The medical marijuana evaluation takes about 15-20 minutes. After completing both the application and evaluation, the State will issue and mail the 329 medical marijuana license card. It may take 2-4 weeks to get the card. 
  9. You can use your 329 card in one of several medical marijuana dispensaries in Hawaii. There are many ways to use medical marijuana, and it all comes down to personal preference. It can be smoked, inhaled through a vaporizer, eaten in baked goods such as brownies or cookies, placed in drop form under the tongue or applied to the skin as a lotion or cream. 

There is much more to know about medical marijuana. If you are interested in learning more about registering for a medical marijuana license, call 808.955.3937 for an evaluation. 

The latest technique in corneal transplantation

The cornea is known as the “window of the eye,” protecting the eye from infection and foreign material and focusing or refracting light. The cornea needs to be clear and the correct shape for you to see accurately. When it becomes cloudy or misshapen, a cornea transplant may be necessary. Read on to learn about the latest technique in corneal transplantation called the DSAEK procedure.

What is DSAEK?

DSAEK is short for Descemet-Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty. It is a less-invasive procedure that gives the patient clear vision and a shorter recovery time than with traditional corneal transplantation methods. Conventional surgery requires 16 surgeries and a prolonged recovery time, plus many patients experience astigmatism after surgery, with full recovery taking up to two years.

What happens during the DSAEK Procedure?

During this outpatient procedure, the patient is given topical anesthesia so they don’t feel anything. The damaged endothelial layer is replaced, while the remainder of the cornea is left undisturbed. The new cornea is inserted through a tiny incision that needs one suture for closure. The surgeon then injects an air bubble underneath the cornea to make sure it is centered on the eye.

What is recovery like?

The DSAEK Procedure offers a shorter post-op recovery, fast visual recovery and less chance of rejection than conventional surgery. Patients will take antibiotics and steroid eye drops and return the next day for post-surgical follow-up. Some patients may need a second air bubble injection to re-center the cornea. Patients will need to use eye drops for several years to help with anti-rejection.

What will my vision be like after surgery?

You can expect blurry vision immediately after surgery due to swelling and the air bubble used to center the cornea. When the bubble dissolves and swelling dissipates, your vision will improve. Some patients will need to wear new glasses during healing.

When can I expect full results?

It may take up to three months for your best vision to reveal itself.

If you are interested in learning more about corneal transplants and the DSAEK Procedure, set up a consultation by calling Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808.955.3937.

What’s the difference between Botox and Dysport for wrinkle treatment?

Botox is a household name and consistently the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment around. But what about Dysport, which is often compared to Botox. Here, we break down where the cosmetic injections are similar and how they differ.

  • Botox and Dysport injections are both made from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
  • Both are considered safe, non-surgical ways to temporarily reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Both cosmetic injections work on dynamic wrinkles, which are wrinkles that form over a contracting muscle.
  • Dysport is FDA-approved for treating moderate to severe glabellar wrinkles, which are the wrinkles between your eyebrows. Also known as “11 lines,” they are especially noticeable when someone frowns. Dysport isn’t recommended for mild glabellar lines.
  • Botox is FDA-approved for treating glabellar lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet around the eyes.
  • Both Botox and Dysport treatments are done in about 15 minutes or less in your doctor’s office.
  • Both wrinkle treatments result in little to no recovery time. You can return to your regular activities after you leave the doctor’s office.
  • Patients may experience temporary side effects, including slight pain, soreness, bruising, numbness or headaches. This applies to both Botox and Dysport.
  • You will start to see results within a few days after Botox or Dysport. Full results appear in 1-2 weeks, and results dissipate after about four months on average. You’ll want to schedule follow-up appointments to get additional treatments to maintain results.
  • Dysport is less expensive than Botox on average, and insurance doesn’t cover either type of cosmetic injection.

Cosmetic injectables are great ways to temporarily turn back the hands of time on your face and help you achieve a rejuvenated appearance without having to go under the knife or endure a lengthy recovery. If you are interested in learning more about Botox, Dysport or cosmetic fillers, set up a consultation by calling Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808.955.3937.