Can Zika Affect Your Eyesight?

eye healthThere are two things that are taking over the news as of late: the presidential election and Zika Virus. And although the prospect of both things may be a bit frightening, Zika Virus boasts to be a bit more so because doctors are still learning new things about it everyday. And with recent research available, there is evidence that Zika can even affect your eyesight. Read on to learn more.

Red Eyes
One of the symptoms of Zika virus is that of red eyes, which can also be a bit swollen and itchy. Oftentimes mistaken for common seasonal allergies, however, red eyes are a symptom of Zika that can easily be overlooked. If you notice that your red eyes simply aren’t improving with sleep, over-the-counter eye drops, or an antihistamine, then visit your primary care physician right away or contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara to have any other eye conditions ruled out.

Uveitis
There are some studies and articles that are calming that Zika can also cause an eye disease called Uveitis. As a disease that causes your eyes to become inflamed, uveitis can affect one or both eyes at once. Symptoms of uveitis include redness, blurred vision, and even eye pain that can occur from simply blinking. If left untreated, uveitis can result in blindness. However, if caught early on, there are several treatment options to treat uveitis, so if you exhibit any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Maehara right away.

Much like with anything that is still being studied, it can be hard to know just how detrimental the impacts of Zika virus truly are. One things we do know for certain is that if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it’s important that you avoid regions of the country and the globe that are experiencing outbreaks. Additionally, if you do happen to be travelling out of the country to areas that have been infected, make sure to wear a bug spray that contains DEET.

To learn more about eye conditions that may be influenced by Zika virus, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!

3 Tips to Get Your Child to Take Care of Their Glasses

optical servicesTaking care of glasses as an adult can sometimes be a bit iffy, however, getting your child to take care of their glasses is a whole other process. As your child gets used to not only getting into the habit of wearing their glasses everyday, your child also needs to get into the habit of taking care of their eyeglasses everyday. From placing them in their proper case to taking precautions before taking sports, this article will discuss a few of the ways you can teach your child to care for their glasses.

Place Them in the Proper Case
Kids can fall asleep at the weirdest times in the weirdest positions, especially after a long day either in the car or at school. However, now that your child has glasses, it’s important to teach your child how to take care of their glasses before they go to bed every night. Specifically, make sure that your child puts their glasses in their proper case before bed, and if they fall asleep with their glasses on, either wake them up to take them off or gently take them off yourself— this will ensure that they don’t roll onto their glasses.

Don’t Let Them Play With Them
Kids are notorious for touching just about everything they see— making a trip to the store feel virtually impossible at times. And although your child will likely want to take their glasses on and off and play with them, they will more than likely become damaged if they do continue to do so. Make sure to emphasize to your child the importance of not playing with their glasses.

Take Precautions Before Sports
One of the most common ways that your child can break their glasses is by playing sports, specifically contact sports. Specifically, if your child plays sports like basketball, football, soccer, or baseball, make sure that your child either wears some sort of protective eyewear over their glasses, that they don’t play in their glasses at all, or that they wear contact lenses during sports.

To learn more about how your child should care for their new eyeglasses, contact D. Jeffrey Maehara’s office today!

How to Properly Take Care of Your Contact Lenses

contact lensesContact lenses aren’t also somewhat expensive but they can also cause eye infections if you don’t properly take care of them. From washing your hands to using the right contact solution, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of taking care of your contact lenses. Read on to learn more.

Always Clean Your Hands

No matter what time of day or night it is, one of the most important precautions you can take when dealing with your contact lenses is to wash your hands before you touch them. Although they might not be clearly visible, things like oil and dirt can build-up on your fingers, get on your contacts, and ultimately lead to some sort of eye infection. When cleaning your hands, make sure to use soap and warm water— hand sanitizers won’t necessarily do the trick.

Soak Your Lenses

Another important step to take is to soak your lenses overnight in a clean solution when you take them out. Simply pour the old solution down the drain, rinse out the contact lens container with warm water, refill the container with contact solution, and place your lenses in the solution overnight. This will not only help to ensure that they get clean but that they don’t dry out either.

Rub Your Lenses

As another way to properly clean your contact lenses, it’s advisable to rub your lenses with your forefinger and a small amount of solution (and with clean hands, of course). By rubbing your contact lenses with a solution, you are helping to get off any sort of dirt or particles that may have adhered to your lenses while they were soaking overnight.

Replace Often

Daily contact lenses have taken the industry by storm because they eliminate the need to clean your lenses and they also eliminate the spread of eye infections. However, if you are like most people and still use regular contact lenses then you should know the importance of replacing them every few weeks— or sooner if you lead a very active lifestyle. By replacing your contacts, you can eliminate the spread of germs that may cause an infection or other sort of eye problem.

Taking care of your contact lenses is a great way to maintain good vision health. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara.

 

 

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.

How to Lower Your Chances of Macular Degeneration

macular degenerationAs you age, your body is more prone to things like eye diseases. As one of the most common types of eye diseases, macular degeneration causes progressive loss of vision. By breaking down the light-sensitive tissue in the macula, macular degeneration can cause vision loss that cannot be restored.

One of the biggest factors of macular degeneration is having a genetic history and being of Caucasian descent, are not things you can change. However, there are other factors that can greatly contibute to and increase your chances of getting macular degeneration as well. Read on to learn more.

Smoking

Smoking isn’t good for any part of your body— your eyesight include. In fact, smoking can as much as double your risk of developing macular degeneration. If you are a frequent smoker, now is the time to stop. If you need help quitting, ask your healthcare provider for advice on support groups and nicotine products like gum or patches.

Obesity

Obesity isn’t just bad for your heart’s health, but it can also lead to the development of macular degeneration. Because obesity can cause an increased amount of inflammation throughout your body, it can lead to inflammation in your eyes as well— resulting in macular degeneration. If you are struggling with your weight, ask your healthcare provider about ways in which you can cut down your caloric intake and increase your exercise routine.

Exposure to Sunlight

Although the sun is a great source to get vitamin D, it can also lead to health problems like skin cancer and even eye problems like macular degeneration. Every time you go outside— even in the winter— make sure that you are wearing sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.

As you can see, there are many contributors to macular degeneration. In order to protect your eyes, make sure that you quit smoking, watch your weight, and wear sunglasses when outside. To learn more about how you can best protect your eyes, contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!

 

 

Allergy Season: How to Get Rid of Dry, Itchy Eyes

eye care tipsWith spring in full bloom, so are allergy causing things like dander and pollen. If you suffer from seasonal allergies and are noticing that your eyes are suddenly extremely dry and itchy, try these following tips to help you to get back to feeling like your normal self once again. Read on to learn more.

  1. Eye Drops

Either by getting prescription eye drops from Dr. Jeffrey Maehara, or by simply purchasing allergy strength over-the-counter eye drops, you can help to give your eyes that instant relief from both dryness and itching. Typically containing an antihistamine, allergy strength eye drops work to coat your eyes while stopping any sort of itching or inflammation. Simply apply the eyedrops to your eyes as directed a few times a day.

  1. Skip the Contacts

Contact lenses are one of the greatest inventions for glasses wearers since, well, glasses. However, when your eyes are itchy and inflamed due to allergies, it might be time to give your eyes a break from your contacts and wear your regular glasses for a few days. Although contacts are designed to be perfectly safe for your eyes, if things like dander and pollen get trapped in between your eye and the lens, it can further exacerbate your allergy symptoms and leave you feeling nothing shy of uncomfortable.

  1. Rinse Out Your Eyes

Another great way to get rid of eye allergies is to rinse out your eyes with cold water a few times a day— especially in the morning. Simply clean your hands with warm water and soap, and then cup a small amount of cold water into your hands and then splash your eyes with the cold water. This will help to get any allergens out of your eyes and will also help to make you feel better.

Suffering from seasonal allergies can make your eyes feel beyond uncomfortable. However, by using eye drops, taking a break from wearing your contact lenses, and rinsing your eyes out with cold water, you can help to feel like your normal allergy-free self once again! To learn more contact Dr. Jeffrey Maehara today!

 

 

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!

 

 

Protect Your Eyes from the Sun: A Guide to Picking the Right Sunglasses

sunglassesWith so many unique and diverse styles of fashion sunglasses available, it can be overwhelming to not only pick a pair of sunglasses that will good on you but that will also do their job and protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays. If you’re shopping for sunglasses and want to ensure that you are buying a pair that will give you the most coverage possible, read on to learn more.

Size of Frames

Large oversized frames found their way into the fashion world when celebrities were trying to shade their eyes from the constant flashing of the paparazzi’s cameras. These oversized frames are also great at protecting not just your eyeball itself but the sensitive skin that surrounds your eyes as well. When trying on some new frames, make sure that the area both above and under your eyes are being protected— as this skin is very delicate and prone to things like sun damage and injury.

UVB Protection

If you buy a pair of sunglasses that doesn’t have UVB protective lenses then you are doing yourself a giant disservice— in fact, you might as well not wear sunglasses at all. UVB rays are the most damaging types of rays that can cause you to have vision problems— that’s why it’s important to make sure you are wearing the right protective eyewear.

Dark Lenses

Although currently popular, dark colored lenses aren’t always in style. However, when shopping for sunglasses, make note that the darker your lenses, the more protection you will receive from the sun, even if your lighter colored lenses have UVB protection in them.

By shopping for sunglasses with the above three things in mind, you can help to ensure that your eyes receive the protection that you deserve. To learn more about your vision health and how to ensure that your eyes are receiving the best possible protection contact our office today.

 

 

5 Common Eye Injuries and How to Deal With Them

eye careEye injuries come in many variations, from minor surface scratches to deep puncture wounds. The severity of the injury, of course, dictates the best course of treatment. Here, we list some common conditions associated with eye injuries and what you can do to determine your next step if you have an accident:

  • Swelling

One of the most common eye injuries is a black eye. The good news is it that the best form of treatment is simply an ice pack. If you experience a black eye, it will typically reduce in appearance over time with no complications, but it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any internal damage.

  • Eye Bleeding

Subconjunctival hemorrages (eye bleeding) is when blood from one or more blood vessel in the eye leaks, causing a blotchy red spot in your eye. This eye injury is painless and typically looks worse than it really is. In time, the blood will clear and the eye will return to its normal appearance without the need for treatment.

  • A Foreign Object in the Eye

If something like metal or a fish hook penetrates your eye, don’t attempt to remove the object yourself. Loosely tape an eye shield or even a paper cup over your eye to protect it, then go to the emergency room immediately.

  • Corneal Abrasion

A scratch on the eye’s surface (or corneal abrasion) is generally caused by getting poked in the eye or rubbing the eye when something like dust or sand is in it. Corneal abrasions can cause eye redness and light sensitivity. Scratches can also cause infection from bacteria or fungus. If you feel like something has scratched your eye, don’t rub it and avoid using an eye patch. Instead, keep your eye closed as much as possible and visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.

  • Chemical Burns

If you get splashed in the eye by anything other than water, it can be alarming. While some liquids only cause temporary burning or stinging and are harmless overall, others can lead to serious injury. Acids, for example, can cause significant burning and redness but can usually be flushed out. If you’re splashed in the eye, put your head under a small stream of lukewarm water and let it run into your eye and down your face. Substances that contain alkali, like oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners are much more serious. They can cause blurriness and redness that doesn’t go away. If you experience these symptoms and rinsing the eye with water is ineffective, seek medical attention.

To learn more about maintaining optimal eye health, contact Maehara Eye Surgery & Laser today for a consultation:  or by calling 808.955.3937.

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.