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.

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.


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.

Cataract surgery

Cataract Surgery: How It Can Benefit You

Cataracts can have a profound effect on your eyesight and negatively impact your ability to see clearly. Living with cataracts can blur your vision and take out the enjoyment in life. With today’s technologies and treatments, however, you are able to protect your eyesight and improve your vision.

At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, our professional team of doctors have expertise in numerous different types of eye surgeries, with one of them being cataract surgery. During this surgery, we remove the clouded lens and replace it with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). We want to restore your vision and bring back the joy in your life!

How Do Cataracts Affect My Vision?

In an eye where cataracts are not present, light enters and travels through the lens. This lens then focuses the light into a sharp and detailed image on the retina, which then relays the message and picture through the optic nerve to the brain. 

In an eye where cataracts are present, the lens will be cloudy, covered with a thin and painless film. This cataract will then block light, which distorts the image being sent to your brain. Cataracts can affect your vision with blurriness, sensitivity to glare, and cause second sight. If not treated, cataracts can also eventually lead to blindness.

When Do I Know Cataract Surgery Is Right For Me?

Cataracts can affect different people at different speeds, so it’s important to keep note of the side effects and symptoms. When your eyesight begins to deteriorate and it is difficult to see things that you once viewed with ease on a day to day basis, then it is a good time for cataract surgery. 

Nobody enjoys having blurred vision and difficulty seeing, as this can make simple day to day tasks such as driving and grocery shopping difficult. Reclaim your freedom by removing your cataracts. 

We’ve Got You Covered

At Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser, we offer affordable and reliable eye care, as well as surgical procedures handled by only the best surgeons. Eye Doctor Jeffery Maehara has studied under some of the world’s top LASIK and refractive surgeons. 

With extensive experience in numerous eye surgery procedures, including cataract surgery, Dr. Maehara brings the experience and knowledge you are looking for. Call us today at 808-955-3937, or visit www.maeharaeyes.com to schedule an appointment

Senior man on his mountain bike outdoors

Tips To Recover From Cataract Surgery To Have The Best Chance of Success

The thought of losing your vision can be very concerning. Even with healthy eyes, many factors and causes cause vision issues. Although most symptoms go away on their own, other vision issues require medical or surgical intervention to reverse or cure, and some may cause complete vision loss if left untreated.

Cataracts are a condition of the eye that, although not an emergency, does require treatment by an ophthalmologist to restore lost vision. They are more common in older adults and occur when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy and distorts or blurs your sight. Some contacts or glasses may help, but cataracts generally worsen over time.

Cataract surgery is a common surgery that almost 80% of adults will undergo and a relatively straightforward procedure that takes about 30 minutes per eye. Although how commonly it is performed has increased its safety and effectiveness, there are still a few things to remember during your recovery to give the best chance of achieving the best result.

Since cataract surgery replaces the clouded or damaged lens with an artificial one, it is important to allow the body to accept the lens and begin the healing process before stressing the eye or the muscles attached to the lens. To help with this, you will likely need to wear an eye shield for the first day after surgery and while you sleep for a few weeks.

During this time, it is also essential to apply any medicated eye drops prescribed to you at the frequency of the dosage. This will help give your eyes every advantage to accept the artificial lens and speed recovery.

If you usually wear contacts or glasses, you will likely need to refrain from using them until your eyes are fully healed. In most cases, a new lens prescription will be required.

If you have cloudy vision or any other issues with your eyes or eyesight, call Maehara Eye Surgery and Laser in Honolulu, HI, at 808-955-3937 or visit www.maeharaeyes.com to schedule an exam today.

business lady perfect appearance beaming smiling taking off specs good eyesight

Resolve Cornea Issues Without a Complete Replacement

The clear outer layer of your eyes, called the cornea, is responsible for focusing light and images for the retina and optical nerve to give your sense of vision. This thin layer on the front of the eye is susceptible to damage, injury, or other condition which can make your vision cloudy or foggy.

In many cases, these conditions will subside on their own or with conservative treatments such as eye drops or other treatment methods. In more severe cases, the damaged part of the cornea must be replaced to regain clear vision.

Previously, the best option for resolving corneal issues was a complete corneal transplant using donor tissue. This was a relatively successful procedure. However, it also came with a rather extensive recovery period and was not without risks of tissue rejection or procedure failure.

Now, instead of replacing the entire cornea, ophthalmologists like Dr. Jeffrey Maehara are able to perform Descement-Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK). This new procedure delicately and precisely removes only the damaged layers of the cornea, leaving the healthy tissue intact.

Patients who undergo DSAEK are able to return home the same day of the treatment and, with the anesthetics used, feel only minor pressure during the procedure. Although patients must refrain from bending below the waist or doing any strenuous activity or exercise for the first three weeks following the procedure, recovery is relatively easy with a great success rate.

The DSAEK procedure allows Dr. Maehara to help patients regain their vision with a higher success rate and a much shorter recovery than a complete replacement of the cornea. There may be some changes in your vision, including periodic blurriness, for a few months after the procedure. Still, these are temporary, and most patients are able to see better after 3 months.

Since many of the tissues that make up the cornea do not grow back if damaged or injured, the partial replacement offered by DSAEK is a safe and effective way to regain your clear vision. If you have chronic blurriness or fogginess in your vision, call Maehara Eye Surgery and Laser in Honolulu, HI, at 808-955-3937 or visit www.maeharaeyes.com to schedule an exam today.

How Glaucoma Affects Your Vision

Your vision can be affected by any number of environmental or internal factors. Since your eyes are so delicate, it is essential to protect them as much as possible to help prevent vision issues to even a loss of your vision. Unfortunately, the causes of many eye conditions that can lead to severe vision issues are largely unknown.

Glaucoma is one such disease of the eye that, while a specific cause is unknown, can lead to serious vision issues and, if left untreated, complete vision loss. Glaucoma refers to a build-up of pressure in the eye that compresses the optic nerve. Over time, this can lead to permanent vision loss.

The most common cause of glaucoma is a water or fluid build-up that becomes trapped between the iris and the cornea. This occurs when the drainage canals become blocked, or the fluid in the eye is a different consistency or make-up than normal.

As more and more fluid fills this area, pressure begins to increase at the back of the eye, near the retina, and compresses the optic nerve. Although rare, glaucoma can also occur in patients with normal eye pressure.

Depending on the type of glaucoma, your ophthalmologist may prescribe specific medication to reduce the pressure in the eye that comes in either tablet form or eye drops. If there is a build-up of fluid in the area between the iris and cornea, laser or surgery or another procedure may be required to drain the fluid and reduce the pressure.

Although glaucoma is primarily considered a hereditary disease, there are several steps you can take to reduce the chances of it occurring and lessen the symptoms and risk of vision loss. Maintaining a healthy nutrition plan and regular exercise can help keep the fluid in the eye at a consistency where it can flow easily and reduce the chance of blockages in the drainage canals.

There is no reason to wait to contact an experienced ophthalmologist if you have any eye issues or sudden changes in your vision. Early treatment can make a difference in preserving your eyesight. Call Maehara Eye Surgery and Laser in Honolulu, HI, at 808-955-3937 or visit www.maeharaeyes.com to schedule a consultation today.