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!



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.