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.


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.

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.


What you need to know about glaucoma

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. When found early, glaucoma can be treated and slow or prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about glaucoma, the signs and symptoms and treatment options.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions responsible for damaging the optic nerve, which is essential for good vision. It is caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye. 

Signs and symptoms

Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma have no waning signs. The change is so gradual that you may not notice anything is wrong with your vision until the condition has reached an advanced stage. 

If you have frequent, patchy blind spots in your peripheral or side vision or central vision or tunnel vision, you may have open-angle glaucoma. Acute angle-closure glaucoma presents with severe headache, eye pain, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, halos around lights and eye redness. 

Regular eye exams

If left untreated, glaucoma will eventually cause blindness. Since glaucoma often comes with no warning signs, it’s vital to have regular eye exams. An eye exam should include measurements of your eye pressure. When a diagnosis can be made in the early stages of glaucoma or any eye disease or condition, it can be treated more appropriately. If glaucoma is caught early, vision loss can be slowed or even prevented. 


In addition to getting regular eye exams, it’s important to know your family’s eye health history, as genetics play a role in glaucoma development. Follow a moderate exercise program. Take prescribed eye drops regularly, even if you don’t exhibit any symptoms. Also wear eye protection as serious eye injuries can lead to glaucoma.


If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, the damage done cannot be reversed. Treatment options may include prescription eyedrops, oral medications, laser surgery or traditional surgery. 

If you are concerned about glaucoma and want to learn more about prevention or treatment, it’s important to schedule an eye exam today by calling Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser at 808.955.3937. 

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.

Under Pressure: How to Treat Glaucoma With SLT

glaucomaGlaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. By placing a high amount of pressure on your eyes, glaucoma can cause obscured vision and even blindness if left untreated. Luckily, Dr. Jeffrey Maehara has a variety of different treatment options for glaucoma. As one of the options that he likes to use most, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT, targets specific eye cells to increase the fluid in your eye and reduce the pressure. Read on to learn more about SLT and whether or not it’s a viable option for you.

What Is SLT?

As previously mentioned, SLT targets eye cells to increase the fluid in your eye while simultaneously releasing pressure. Specifically, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty’s unique laser system targets cells containing melanin, a natural pigment found in the eye.

What Is Recovery Like?

With any procedure, one of the scariest parts for a patient to think about is the recovery. Because SLT is a non-invasive, pain-free surgical procedure, the recovery should be fast and easy. During your recovery and depending on how your surgery has gone, you may be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops.

What Are Results Like?

One of the best parts about SLT is that your eye pressure can drop in just a day or two following the procedure— leaving you with real results in virtually no time at all. Additionally, not only are your results fast, but they should also last. Although more pressure can build up in your eyes, it’s not as likely to occur when it’s taken care of early on.

Having glaucoma isn’t something you want to brag about. By causing pressure in your eyes, if left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent eye damage. And, the worst part about glaucoma is that there isn’t a cure for it yet. Luckily, with treatments like SLT, you can prevent the symptoms from getting worse. If you would like to learn more about SLT or other treatments, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!