Am I a candidate for LASIK?

If you’ve been wearing glasses or contacts but are wondering what life would be like to be able to see without them, you should talk to your doctor about LASIK laser vision correction. A comprehensive consultation with Dr. Maehara will determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK or other vision correction options. Here are some criteria to consider:

  • You have a stable prescription, which means your prescription hasn’t changed for two consecutive years or longer. Once your prescription stabilizes, there is less likelihood of your nearsightedness or farsightedness progressing and negating any benefit from LASIK vision correction.
  • You are 18 years old or older and have achieved ocular maturity, which means your eyes have fully developed. LASIK is FDA-approved for people ages 18 years and older. The only way to know if your eyes have achieved ocular maturity is to have a consultation with your eye doctor to discuss laser vision correction.
  • Your eyes are healthy, free of diseases, injuries and infections, and you are in good general health. If you have an ocular disease such as cataracts, diabetes or autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, LASIK and other laser vision correction options make not be a good choice for you. It’s also important that you share your entire health history and current medical conditions with your doctor to determine whether you are a good candidate for surgery. Pregnancy and certain medications such as acne medications and corticosteroids may affect the healing process.
  • You have realistic expectations. It’s important to understand the limitation of laser vision correction and to have informed expectations for the procedure, recovery and results.

If you’re wondering if you’re a good candidate for LASIK, now is the time to have a conversation with your eye doctor and share your vision goals. Dr. Maehara will help you understand what your options are for laser vision correction and map out a plan. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today by calling 808.955.3937.

Protecting your eyes from the sun year-round

So much attention is given to protecting your skin in the sun, but it’s just as important to protect your eyes from the sun. Dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun can damage your eyes and delicate skin surrounding them. Read on to learn more about eye health and sun exposure and what you can do to protect your eyes.

Eye conditions related to sun exposure

UV radiation is a cause of several serious eye conditions. At least 10 percent of cataract cases can be attributed to UV exposure, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Cataracts cloud and yellow the lens of your eye, leading to progressive vision loss and blindness. Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60. It’s due to cumulative UV damage to the central portion of the retina.

Did you know you can sunburn your eye? UV exposure can cause a corneal sunburn, called keratitis. The cornea is the clear surface that admits light and images to the retina. This condition occurs in skiers and hikers because of how the sun reflects off of water, snow and ice.

Conjunctival eye cancers were once rare but are increasing, especially in older people.

Damage to the eyelids

UVA and UVB rays from the sun and indoor tanning produce DNA changes that can cause premature aging on the skin around your eyes and can lead to skin cancer on the eyelids. Eyelid skin cancer most often occurs on the lower lid because it receives the most sun exposure. Eyelid cancers usually respond well to surgery and post-surgical care when diagnosed and treated early. Left untreated, eyelid cancers can cause tissue damage and blindness.

How to protect your eyes in the sun

There are simple things you can do to protect your eyes and skin every day while also enjoying the outdoors:

  • First and foremost, wear sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB light. Make sure you wear them anytime you are out in the sun and year-round as sun damage can occur any time of year. Also, be aware that the sun’s harmful rays can pass through clouds, so wear sunglasses even when there’s cloud cover.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and the top of your head.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Select one that is safe and for your face and eyes.
  • Seek shade whenever possible. The sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If you’re experiencing problems with your eyes, call 808.955.3937 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser.

Risk factors for glaucoma and what you can do about them

Glaucoma is an age-related eye disease where increased pressure in the eye damages your eye’s optic nerves, getting worse over time. Too often, the people who have the most common type of glaucoma do not have any warning signs. By the time they notice symptoms, it’s usually in the later stages of the disease. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people age 60 and older. Read on for risk factors and what you can do to reduce your risk factors and protect your vision.

In healthy eyes, fluid is produced in the ciliary body, enters the eye and drains through tiny passages called the trabecular meshwork. If you have glaucoma, these passages become blocked and pressure in the eye rises.

What are the risk factors?

Risk factors for glaucoma include:

  • Ancestry is African American, Irish, Japanese, Hispanic, Russian, Inuit or Scandinavian descent
  • Over the age of 40
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes or sickle cell anemia
  • Poor vision
  • Eye injury
  • Corneas are thinner than usual
  • High eye pressure
  • Nearsighted or farsighted

 Can I prevent glaucoma?

 You can help slow the progress of glaucoma or detect it in its early stages by doing the following:

  • Get comprehensive eye exams. You should get one every 5-10 years if you’re younger than 40; every 2-4 years for those ages 40-54; everyone 1-3 years for those ages 55-64; and every 1-2 years for those 65 and older. If you’re at risk of glaucoma, you’ll need more frequent screening. Your doctor can recommend the right screening schedule for you.
  • Regular exercise can help prevent glaucoma by reducing eye pressure. Ask your doctor for recommendations.
  • Know your family health history. Glaucoma tends to run in families, so you may need more frequent screening if you are at increased risk.
  • Wear eye protection. Eye injuries can lead to eye conditions and diseases such as glaucoma, so protect your eyes when playing certain sports or using power tools.

 Glaucoma treatment

Some cases can be treated with medication. Other cases may require laser or traditional surgery to lower eye pressure.

Regular eye exams will help you stay on top of any eye conditions or diseases so you can address them at the earliest, most treatable stages. Call 808.955.3937 today to schedule an appointment at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser.

6 simple steps to improve your eye health

It’s essential to be good to your eyes, especially as you age. Even if your eyes feel healthy and you don’t wear glasses or contacts, you need to think about how to maintain and improve your eye health. Here are six simple steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy and stave off age-related vision problems for as long as possible:

Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating well has many health benefits. Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc and vitamins C and E may help prevent or delay the onset of vision problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Green leafy vegetables, oily fish such as salmon and tuna, eggs, nuts, beans and oranges or other citrus fruits are easy ways to get those essential vitamins and nutrients.

Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, which is a leading cause of cataracts and diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision loss and blindness in adults.

Watch your blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase your risk of some eye diseases such as hypertensive retinopathy. This is when hypertension causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina of the eye.

Quit smoking. Smoking makes you more prone to getting cataracts and other eye diseases. Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation programs and medications to help you kick the habit.

Wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats. Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is an easy way to maintain eye health, as too much UV exposure increases your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays are most helpful. Polarized lenses are designed to reduce glare while you’re driving.

Take a break from your computer and phone. Staring at a computer or phone screen for too long can cause eye strain, blurry vision, dry eyes, trouble focusing at a distance, and more. Be sure you take breaks every 20 minutes to rest your eyes. Look 20 feet away for 20 seconds at a time.

Get an eye exam. Regular eye exams are essential to staying on top of any problems and spotting any diseases and conditions early, when they’re easier to treat. To learn more about improving the health of your eyes, schedule your next exam with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today by calling 808.955.3937

Can you prevent cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding in the lens of the eye that blurs vision and increases sensitivity to glare from lights. They develop as we age or when an injury to the eye changes the tissue that makes up the eye’s lens. Aging, family history, smoking, high blood pressure, having certain medical conditions like diabetes are some of the biggest risk factors for developing cataracts. There are no studies showing how to prevent or slow the progression of cataracts, but doctors do believe the following tips can help:

Have regular eye exams. Make sure you have a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years depending on your age and risk factors and whether you currently wear glasses or contacts. These exams are important as your eye doctor can diagnose and treat problems in the earliest stages.

Choose a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants like vitamins C and E that can help maintain the health of your eyes.

Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption. Smoking and excessive alcohol use are associated with various health problems. If you smoke, there is a higher risk of developing cataracts. And studies show an increase in cataracts in those who consume more than two drinks per day.

Manage your health problems. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you have a higher risk for cataracts. Sugar levels that are too high for a long period can cause the lens of the eye to swell and cause damage. It’s important to discuss your medical history with your eye doctor and let him know whenever your medical history has changed.

Protect your eyes from the sun. Ultraviolet light from the sun can damage your eyes and contribute to the development of cataracts. It’s important to wear sunglasses that block UVB rays when you’re outside.

More than half of all Americans have a cataract or have cataract surgery by age 80. It’s important to schedule regular eye exams and see your eye doctor when you have vision changes to stay on top of your eye health. Schedule your next eye exam with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today by calling 808.955.3937.

Differences between LASIK and PRK vision correction options

While laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most popular procedure to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) was the first and most common type of laser surgery for vision correction and is still performed frequently today. So what are the differences? Here, we break down them down: 

 

Both LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors. With LASIK, a corneal flap is created using a laser or blade. A computer-controlled surgical laser reshapes the layers of the cornea to correct distorted vision. The flap is then put back into place over the cornea and heals over the next few days. With PRK, the outer layer of the cornea called the epithelium is removed to gain access to the cornea for the laser to reshape it. After surgery, the epithelium grows back over time. 

 

Because PRK doesn’t create a flap, it could be a better procedure for patients with thin or irregular corneas. PRK is also a good option for patients who have large pupils or concerns about complications related to the flap created during the LASIK procedure. 

 

PRK recovery is somewhat more involved than with LASIK. This is because the epithelium is removed with PRK. Recovery can vary from a few days to a few weeks as the epithelium grows back. In most cases, you can drive a car in one to three weeks, but it can take up to six months for your final results to stabilize. With LASIK, the flap that’s created in the corneal stroma has to heal, which happens more quickly. Most patients see normally within several hours after surgery, and it takes only a few days to return to functional vision after LASIK. 

 

The “Wavefront” technology with LASIK improves not only how much you can see but also how well you can see. This state-of-the-art technology creates a three-dimensional corneal map to guide the laser to treat your specific visual irregularities rather than a “one size fits all” approach to patients with the same prescription. This reduces the risk of post-surgery complications such as glare, halos, and problems with night vision. 

 

Both LASIK and PRK are safe and effective surgeries. Your consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara will help you determine which option is best for you. To learn more about your options for permanent vision correction, call 808.955.3937 today. 

Jeffrey Maehara, MD

Why choose Dr. Maehara for your LASIK procedure?

If you are considering LASIK surgery for vision correction, choosing your surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make as he or she will be operating on your eyes. You want to select someone who has a lot of experience with the procedure and meets industry standards for selecting and screening outpatients, as not everyone is a good candidate for surgery. Also, you will want to choose a surgeon who invests in new technologies as it is always evolving and improving. And be sure to keep the staff in mind as a comfortable, safe environment is paramount to achieving the best outcome.

Here are six reasons why you should choose Dr. Jeffrey Maehara to perform your LASIK procedure:

  1. Raised in Honolulu, Dr. Maehara returned home to practice with his father Dr. Dennis Maehara after studying under three of the world’s top LASIK and refractive surgeons at Tulane University in New Orleans.
  2. Your surgeon must be board certified to practice his or her specialty. Dr. Maehara is board-certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is a fellowship-trained Anterior Segment-Glaucoma Specialist, which means he has extensive experience with complex and advanced glaucoma management, LASIK, cataract and corneal transplants, and other refractive procedures.
  3. Dr. Maehara stays abreast of the latest technological advances in a constantly evolving field. He specializes in Bladeless LASIK eye surgery performed with the Allegretto Wave and IntraLase FS lasers.
  4. Safety is his team’s #1 priority, followed by providing the absolute best value for your money. Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser offers competitive prices and physician-only care, which means you will get a personal consultation with Dr. Maehara to discuss your options, complete your pre-operative evaluation, perform your surgery and carry through all post-operative care.
  5. Working together with friendly professional staff, Dr. Maehara continues to lead the way with new eye-care technology to ensure patients achieve the best possible vision.
  6. Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser is located in Honolulu with a satellite office in Waipahu, offering an array of services in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

If you are considering LASIK vision correction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today by calling 808.955.3937.

Why Choose Dr. Maehara for Your LASIK Procedure?

If you are considering LASIK surgery for vision correction, choosing your surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make as he or she will be operating on your eyes. You want to select someone who has a lot of experience with the procedure and meets industry standards for selecting and screening out patients, as not everyone is a good candidate for surgery. Also, you will want to choose a surgeon who invests in new technologies as it is always evolving and improving. And be sure to keep the staff in mind as a comfortable, safe environment is paramount to achieving the best outcome.

Here are six reasons why you should choose Dr. Jeffrey Maehara to perform your LASIK procedure:

  1. Raised in Honolulu, Dr. Maehara returned home to practice with his father Dr. Dennis Maehara after studying under three of the world’s top LASIK and refractive surgeons at Tulane University in New Orleans.
  2. It’s important that your surgeon must be board certified to practice his or her specialty. Dr. Maehara is board certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is a fellowship-trained Anterior Segment-Glaucoma Specialist, which means he has extensive experience with complex and advanced glaucoma management, LASIK, cataract and corneal transplants, and other refractive procedures.
  3. Maehara stays abreast of the latest technological advances in a constantly evolving field. He specializes in Bladeless LASIK eye surgery performed with the Allegretto Wave and IntraLase FS lasers.
  4. Safety is his team’s #1 priority, followed by providing the absolute best value for your money. Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser offers competitive prices and physician-only care, which means you will get a personal consultation with Dr. Maehara to discuss your options, complete your pre-operative evaluation, perform your surgery and carry through all post-operative care.
  5. Working together with friendly professional staff, Dr. Maehara continues to lead the way with new eye-care technology to ensure patients achieve the best possible vision.
  6. Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser is located in Honolulu with a satellite office in Waipahu, offering an array of services in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere.

 If you are considering LASIK vision correction, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara at Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today by calling 808.955.3937.

Lasik Surgery Honolulu HI

5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor about LASIK

Tired of wearing contact lenses or glasses? You may be wondering if LASIK surgery would be right for you. Here are 5 questions you should ask your surgeon about this laser vision correction:

  1. What does LASIK surgery correct?LASIK can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Nearsightedness is when you see nearby objects clearly but objects in the distance are blurry. Farsightedness is when you see far objects clearly, but close objects are blurry. Astigmatism causes overall blurry vision. It does not prevent presbyopia, the age-related vision changes that occur usually after the age of 40. If you have this condition and you get LASIK, you may still need reading glasses.
  1. What is LASIK surgery?Short for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, LASIK js a commonly performed refractive surgery procedure that can safely and efficiently improve vision by reshaping the cornea. During LASIK surgery, the surgeon uses a femtosecond laser that creates a corneal flap, which gently lifts the surface of the cornea so that an excimer laser can reshape the cornea. After reshaping, the flap is set back into place, which should heal without stitches.
  1. Am I a good candidate for LASIK surgery? During your consultation, Dr. Maehara will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine if bladeless LASIK or another type of refractive procedure would be best for you. This procedure is ideal for people over the age of 18, have had stable vision for at least six months, have a healthy cornea thick enough for a flap, and have refractive errors that fall within the treatable range.
  1. Will I see immediate results?Most patients will notice significant improvement in their vision immediately after the LASIK surgery, but it could take several months for full results. Most patients will eventually achieve a vision that is 20/20 or better, reducing or eliminating the need for glasses or contact lenses.
  1. What can I expect during recovery from LASIK surgery? After surgery, patients will rest in the office for a little while before having someone else drive them home to rest for the remainder of the day. Most people can return to work the next day but should avoid strenuous exercise for at least one week. There should be very little pain, but medication can be prescribed to relieve any discomfort from the procedure.

To learn more about Bladeless LASIK Surgery, call Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808.955.3937 to schedule a consultation.

Lasik Eye Surgery Honolulu, HI

What Should I Know Before Undergoing LASIK?

Questions to Ask Before A LASIK Procedure

Are you considering LASIK? Here are some quick answers to commonly asked questions about LASIK and what to expect from this popular procedure.

  1. Are LASIK results permanent?

Yes, LASIK permanently corrects errors in a person’s vision. Your cornea is reshaped permanently correcting the cause of refractive errors.

  1. Are you awake during the procedure?

Yes, you are awake. You will be given medicine to help you relax and given numbing eye drops so you won’t feel a thing. It’s important that you’re awake though to focus on a point of light. This helps keep your eye fixed while the laser does its work on your cornea.

  1. Does the procedure hurt?

No, there should not be any pain with LASIK. Patients are given numbing medicine before the procedure. There may be itchiness or burning after and your vision will be blurry, but it’s mostly an irritating feeling rather than pain.

  1. Can LASIK fix astigmatism?

Yes, LASIK can fully correct astigmatism in most cases. Astigmatism is caused by the cornea being shaped more like a football than a normal round shape. Ultra-precious lasers can be programmed to reshape the cornea to be more symmetrical. In most cases, this will fully correct astigmatism.

  1. How much does LASIK cost?

At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, LASIK usually ranges from $1,500 to $1,850 per eye. The reason for the range is that every situation is different and there are certain conditions like astigmatism that may cause it to be more. We also provide discounts for active military personnel and their immediate families.

  1. What is the recovery like?

It typically takes about 24 hours to recover from LASIK. You will rest in the office for a short time before being driven home by a friend or family member. You will likely need to rest a few hours but most patients return to regular work and activities the next day. Strenuous activities should be avoided for up to a week though.

We hope these answered some of your questions about LASIK. For more information about LASIK or to set up a consultation with Dr. Maehara, call us at 808-995-3937.