A doctor examining a woman’s eyes for signs of cataracts

Early Warning Signs of Cataracts You Shouldn’t Ignore

Cataracts are a common eye condition that involves the lens of the eye becoming cloudy, making your vision appear blurred or dim. This happens when proteins in the lens break down and clump together.

Since cataracts develop gradually, recognizing the early signs, such as subtle changes in your vision, is essential. This slow progression allows you time to seek treatment before your vision is significantly impacted, helping you maintain a better quality of life.

Discover some warning signs of cataracts below.

Recognizing the Early Warning Signs of Cataracts

Being aware of the early signs of cataracts can help you seek timely medical advice and maintain your vision health. If you notice any of these changes, it’s important to consult with an eye care professional right away:

  • Blurred Vision: You may notice that your sight isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and things appear blurry, no matter how much you squint.
  • Difficulty Seeing at Night: Cataracts can make it harder to see in low light, affecting your ability to drive safely after dark.
  • Halos Around Lights: Bright lights might begin to halo, making nighttime driving particularly challenging.
  • Frequent Changes in Prescription Glasses: If you find yourself needing a new glasses prescription more often than usual, it could be a sign of cataracts.
  • Fading or Yellowing of Colors: Colors might not seem as vivid as before, or they may have a brownish tint.

When to Consult a Professional

If you suspect you’re experiencing signs of cataracts, it’s important to consult an eye care professional. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam is the first step in confirming if you have cataracts and discussing potential treatment options.

Early diagnosis can greatly benefit you, as treatments, including cataract surgery, are generally safe and highly effective. 

Additionally, maintaining regular eye check-ups is crucial, especially as you age or if you have risk factors linked to cataracts. These preventive measures can help preserve your vision and enhance your quality of life.

Schedule Your Cataract Consultation in Honolulu

If you’re noticing any signs of cataracts, don’t wait to seek professional advice. Jeffrey Maehara, MD, is committed to providing you with personalized care and effective treatment options.

Schedule a consultation with our experienced team in Honolulu, HI. You can also call us at 808.955.3937. Protect your vision and take the first step toward clearer sight today.

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.

Cataracts Do Not Have To Permanently Rob Your Vision

The thought of permanently losing your vision can be tough to imagine. As important as our eyes are, they are very susceptible to damage or other issues related to medical conditions. Although many of these can cause a decrease in visual acuity and clearness, some treatments and procedures may be able to restore your vision, depending on the condition being treated.

One of the most common conditions of the eyes that causes vision issues is the formation of cataracts. Cataracts are the buildup of proteins on the corneal lens of the eye. In 2020, it was estimated that over 30 million people suffered from cataracts in one or both of their eyes.

Over time, this buildup can grow larger and interfere with your vision. Although cataracts are well established when they start to show symptoms, they will first appear as cloudiness or haziness. Eventually, they will begin to distort the images in your vision and, if left untreated, can lead to permanent blindness in the affected eye(s),

There is no “cure” for cataracts. But thankfully, there is a surgical procedure to remove and replace the damaged lens and restore your vision. In a procedure performed in the office setting that takes less than 30 minutes, Dr. Jeffrey Maehara or Dr. Dennis Maehara will make a small incision and replace the damaged lens with a clear, artificial interocular lens.

Most patients report almost no discomfort during the procedure. An eye pad or protective shield is usually worn for the first few days after the surgery. Complete healing and recovery will usually happen within two months. Although there may be some itchiness and discomfort during this time, they are generally very mild and can be ignored.

If caught early enough, vision issues caused by cataracts are treatable. However, since permanent damage and blindness can occur if the symptoms are ignored, contact Maehara Eye Surgery and Laser in Honolulu, HI, if you have any vision issues. A consultation can be scheduled by calling 808-955-3937 or visiting www.maeharaeyes.com.

Beautiful senior with hand over ear listening

How To Know When You Need Cataracts

Our eyes go through a lot of change as we age. Usually, vision issues begin to creep up as people grow older. One of the most common vision issues that are most associated with aging is cataracts. Despite being so common, with an estimated 30 million people having cataracts, there is no cure or a way to stop or reverse its progression.

However, several risk factors can be managed to at least help reduce the likelihood of cataracts in the future. These include maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding excessive sun exposure, as well as avoiding excessive alcohol use and smoking. Although genetics and heredity play a major role in the likelihood of cataracts, minimizing the additional risk factors may help.

Though cataracts are inside the eye they are somewhat noticeable from the outside when they begin to grow. A cataract is an area in the lens of the eye where proteins have started to clump up and solidify. To the outside, this looks like a dense and cloudy area in the lens. Over time, this build-up of protein continues and will start affecting vision in the affected eye.

Some symptoms to watch for include blurring vision, troubles with night vision, fading of color, and sensitivity to glares. Since cataracts are painless yet can cause a progressive loss of vision, including blindness, it is important to see your ophthalmologist if you believe you have symptoms that might indicate a cataract.

Although there is no cure for cataracts, your vision can be restored if they are caught soon enough. Cataract surgery has one of the highest success rates of any surgical procedure, with a success rate of over 99%. Best of all, the procedure is painless, takes less than 30 minutes, and requires very little recovery time.

If you have vision symptoms that are beginning to affect your way of life, contact Maehara Eye Surgery and Laser in Honolulu, HI, at 808-955-3937, or visit www.maeharaeyes.com to schedule a consultation, today. The expert team of doctors will work with you to provide the best solution to give you a perfect vision again.

Is it possible to prevent cataracts?

It’s estimated that more than half of all Americans age 80 or older have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of them. As a common cause of age-related vision loss, it’s important to know what cataracts are and what you can do to slow down the progression of this condition.

Here is what you need to know about cataracts.

  • Cataracts are a clouding of the clear lens of the eye, much like looking through a fogged-up window. This makes it difficult to read and drive a car, especially at night.
  • Patients who have cataracts not only complain of clouded vision, but also may have sensitivity to light, have a need for brighter light to read, see halos around lights, have double vision in one eye, and may have frequent changes in their prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Cataracts develop slowly and over time will interfere with vision. When this impaired vision interferes with your daily activities, you may be a candidate for cataract surgery.
  • Regular eye exams will help you and your eye doctor stay on top of any changes to your vision and detect cataracts early on to help prolong the onset of symptoms and progression of the condition. If you experience sudden vision changes, including eye pain or headache, double vision or flashes of light, see your doctor right away.
  • Cataracts develop from injury, aging or even genetic disorders. Medical conditions such as diabetes or prolonged use of corticosteroid medications can lead to cataracts.
  • Risk factors for developing cataracts include aging, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, eye injury or inflammation, previous eye surgery, excess alcohol consumption and excessive exposure to sunlight.
  • While you may not be able to prevent cataracts, there are some things you can do that may help slow down the progression such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and following a healthy lifestyle with exercise and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also wear sunglasses that block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet B rays.

Regular eye exams are important to stay on top of any changes to your eye health. Call 808.955.3937 for an appointment with Dr. Maehara.

Are you at risk for cataracts?

If your vision has been getting blurry or you have an increased sensitivity to glare, you may be starting to develop cataracts. Over time, this slow-progressing condition will interfere with your vision and may lead to cataract surgery. Can you prevent cataracts? Read on to learn more about cataracts and treatment.

What are cataracts?

The lens of your eye is normally clear. It’s positioned behind the colored part of the eye called the iris. The lens focuses light that passes through your eye and produces clear images on your retina. The retina function like the film in a camera. Age-related conditions and other medical conditions can cause tissues in the lens to break down, causing a clouding within the lens. A cataract develops slowly as the clouding becomes denser and consumes a larger part of the lens. Over time, your vision will become blurred.

What are the risk factors?

Age, smoking, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and excessive exposure to sunlight are some of the risk factors for cataracts. Previous eye injuries or surgery also increase your risk. Prolonged use of certain medications may be a factor as well.

Can you prevent cataracts?

While there isn’t a way to prevent cataracts, there are some things you can do to improve your risk factors. Be sure to have regular eye examinations based on your age and family history. If you smoke, quit. It’s important to manage certain health conditions such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure that increase your risk. Consume a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables. If you drink, reduce your use of alcohol. Be sure to wear broad-spectrum sunglasses that block ultraviolet B rays when you’re outside.

What are the treatment options?

Once your lenses have started to cloud, they will not stop and won’t return to their original clear condition. The only treatment for cataracts is surgery to replace the lenses. Surgery consists of replacing the clouded lens with an intraocular lens implant, or IOL. It’s a minimally invasive, small-incision, no-stitch procedure. Vision begins to improve a few days after surgery, and full healing can take up to two months. If both eyes require surgery, the second surgery will be done 1-2 months after the first surgery.

If you’re concerned about cataracts or other eye conditions, schedule an eye exam today by calling Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 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.

Cataract Surgery Honolulu, HI

Good Candidate for Phacoemulsification?

Cataract Surgery Honolulu, HIYou may enjoy having a cloudy fall day to take in the changing leaves and weather around you, but the last thing you likely want is a clouding of your vision. As a disease that affects over 24 millions Americans, cataracts is an eye disease that causes a clouding of the lens which makes it difficult for light to properly enter the eye. Luckily, cataracts can be treated with a variety of different methods including a surgical procedure called phacoemulsification.

What Is Phacoemulsification?

During a phacoemulsification surgery, an ultrasonic handpiece will be used to sculpt and emulsify the cataract while a pump simultaneously aspirates particles through the tip of the device. During this procedure, the cataract is typically broken into several pieces and then gently removed. After the cataract has been withdrawn, an intraocular lens implant will be placed into the lens capsule which will help to restore vision.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Phacoemulsification?

Depending on the severity of your cataracts and with the proper diagnosis and examination, Dr. Jeffrey Maehara will determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for this procedure.

Is Phacoemulsification Surgery Painful?

To ensure that you stay comfortable during your phacoemulsification surgery, we will apply a topical anesthetic to your eye which will help to alleviate any discomfort. Depending on your specific scenario, we may also administer some drugs intravenously. If you are worried about feeling anxious during this procedure, Dr. Maehara may be able to give you something to relax your nerves and help you feel better.

What Are the Benefits of Phacoemulsification?

The use of a smaller incision, make phacoemulsification extremely popular because it reduces the likelihood of further eye complications. Additionally, phacoemulsification is popular because it can be done without hospitalization or a lengthy recovery.

If you would like to learn more about phacoemulsification or other cataract removal procedures, contact Jeffrey Maehara today!

Cataracts? Discover more about Multifocal Lens Implants!

CataractsCataracts affect millions of people in the United States alone, and this condition accounts for the largest number of eye surgeries performed each year. One of the primary aspects of cataract surgery is the successful replacement of the clouded lens with an artificial intraocular lens, or IOL. Historically, patients treated with cataract surgery have received a monofocual IOL, which facilitates distance vision. What this means is that there continues to be a reliance on reading glasses.

Cataract surgery often works through one of two common approaches:

  • The lens in each eye is replaced with a monofocal IOL for distance, and reading glasses are worn for near vision.
  • The lens in one eye is replaced with a monofocal IOL for distance, and the other lens is replaced with a monofocal IOL for near vision.

Many patients who have cataracts removed find that one or the other of these approaches meets their needs. However, there are additional options thanks to innovation in the area of IOL technology. In some cases, patients are best served with the placement of a multifocal IOL.

What is a multifocal IOL?

Like your natural lens, the multifocal IOL is intended to focus at both near and far distance. However, the mechanism is slightly different. The healthy natural lens actually moves to accommodate multiple points of vision. As we age, the lens becomes more rigid, which is why many of us notice we need glasses later in life. The multifocal lens does not move with the eye, but has multiple points on which light is reflected in order to allow for better clarity.  Because the way a multifocal lens works is different than the natural ocular structure, there is an adjustment period during which the brain learns how to react to this new way of seeing.

Precision Technology in your Eyes

Multifocal lenses are calculated precisely using mathematical formulas to reach the most appropriate power. Certain conditions, such as high astigmatism or even previous LASIK surgery, can pose a challenge to this process. Slight inaccuracies can typically be managed with the help of eyeglasses as needed, such as for reading.

The eyes are complex structures, and we understand how to reach the best outcomes for each of our patients. To learn more about cataracts and IOLs, or to discuss your treatment options, give us a call.

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!