The Frank Stein and Paul S. May Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation at California Pacific Medical Center
Bringing greater independence to those with vision loss
Despite new technology and continuing research, partial or total vision loss remains a problem for millions of Americans. For these individuals, everyday tasks such as reading, shopping and recognizing faces are difficult because their vision impairment leaves them in a “gray zone” between normal eyesight and blindness.
Some of the most common causes of low vision include:
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Stroke or brain injury
With low vision, one’s eyesight often cannot be improved with regular glasses, medicine or surgery. Therefore, vision rehabilitation is necessary so individuals can learn compensatory visual skills, such as shifting images to a different part of the retinal anatomy. This training, combined with low-vision devices, can help one safely and independently complete daily activities that are now difficult because of vision loss.
The Frank Stein and Paul S. May Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation at California Pacific Medical Center offers a comprehensive approach to rehabilitating individuals with visual impairments. Using the latest advancements in technology and training, our physicians and therapists develop a tailored program to assist you in maximizing your vision and leading a more independent life.
Among the areas in which low vision rehabilitation can help include:
- Writing financial transactions, including balancing accounts
- Preparing meals
- Completing hobbies such as sewing and knitting
- Applying makeup and shaving
- Reading more effectively using optical devices that compensate for vision loss
- Accessing technology, including computer use
- Safer mobility, including walking in familiar or unfamiliar areas
With the right training and devices, many patients can read and write normal print material, use the telephone, and rediscover crafts such as crocheting and woodworking.
Many devices are available to help people with low vision function better. Our team will prescribe the best devices for your impairment, whether it is seeing objects at a distance, reading, viewing television or writing. Common devices or techniques that help make everyday activities easier include:
- High-contrast and large-number telephones, watches and remote controls
- Computers that can magnify printed material or pictures
- Talking watches, timers and medical equipment
- Bold-tipped markers for easy-to-read shopping lists
Donald C. Fletcher, M.D.
The Frank Stein and Paul S. May Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation is directed by Donald C. Fletcher, M.D., one of the world’s leading authorities on low vision rehabilitation. Dr. Fletcher is well known for his work as a clinician, researcher and educator. Since completing his training in 1987, Dr. Fletcher has devoted his career to the treatment of individuals with poor vision, personally providing care for more than 15,000 low vision patients. Dr. Fletcher is on staff at California Pacific Medical Center and is a scientist at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute. He holds the Helen Keller Chair for Research and Education. Dr. Fletcher is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Ophthalmology and multiple other professional organizations.
Christine A. Kent, M.A., OTR/L
Christine Kent serves as an Occupational Therapist with the Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation. In this role, she helps assess patients’ individual needs and devise a treatment plan that enables them to lead fuller, more productive lives. An Occupational Therapist for more than seven years, Christine received her masters degree from the College of Saint Scholastica in 1996. Her experience also includes Neurology Re-Education for Physical Dysfunction, Cognitive Rehabilitation and Activities of Daily Living Re-Training.
If you are having difficulty performing common daily activities because of vision loss, your physician can make a referral to the Center for Low Vision Rehabilitation at California Pacific Medical Center.
Department of Ophthalmology
2340 Clay Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, California 94115
Phone: (415) 600-3901
Pacific Vision Foundation
The Pacific Vision Foundation Opens new window is a key supporter and champion of the Low Vision Rehabilitation Service. The Pacific Vision Foundation (PVF) is a charitable non-profit 501(c) (3) and the fundraising arm of the Department of Ophthalmology. PVF is committed to the prevention of blindness, the improvement of vision and the enhancement of life for those who see imperfectly. Contributions to the Pacific Vision Foundation can be directed to vision rehabilitation. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
For more information or to help support the Low Vision Rehabilitation Program, contact us.
Pacific Vision Foundation
711 Van Ness Ave, Ste. 500
San Francisco, CA 94102