Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin & Roseville Today Events
Celebrating Life...
HOME

Eye Doctor Opening People's Eyes



His disability forced a major career change, one that has benefited thousands. Dr. John Shepherd since 2008 has been director of the Weigel Williamson Center for Visual Rehabilitation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. It's America's only low-vision clinic situated on a medical center campus, drawing patients from all over the Midwest.

"Low vision" occurs when a person experiences a major, permanent reduction in visual function that eyeglasses can't correct but special devises or aids can somewhat improve. The U.S. has more than 15 million people experiencing impaired vision. Shepherd's center (and others like it) offer this population such things as computer enhancement software, high-tech magnifiers, "talking" devices, and large-print books, calculators, and clocks, and practical help making in-home modifications.

In a telephone interview, 51-year-old ophthalmologist Shepherd said, "Because of chronic back and knee pain years ago, I was no longer able to do eye surgeries. Eventually, doctors were unable to fix my (back and knee) pain. I had to learn to live with it. There was a grieving in the loss I had. My passion for low-vision (work) arose out of this because it had a parallel for me."

As an ophthalmologist, Shepherd realized he couldn't do much long-term to help people with chronic, irreversible eye conditions, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, stroke or retinitis pigmentosa. And he didn't have the low-vision training to help them live best they could with those conditions. He eventually received the training and accepted his current position, one that didn't require him to do surgery.

He said, "We've helped over 3,500 people since 2008. Our 'average' patient is in their 80s and has macular degeneration. We also help people with employment issues and children who need help with IEPs, for example." The Center has Nebraska and Iowa satellite locations. Shepherd regularly speaks at American Academy of Ophthalmology meetings and is a University of Nebraska Medical Center assistant professor.

The U.S. doesn't have many low-vision clinics because so few professionals have the training or a financial incentive to enter the field. He said, "Evaluating low-vision is a time-consuming endeavor. I usually spend at least an hour with patients and see perhaps only five a day. Before coming here, I used to see up to 30." He said readers can learn more about low-vision services by asking an eye doctor or their state service for the blind or visually impaired.


Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.

Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.

Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com



Placer County News Headlines

Campgrounds Open Along Middle Fork of American RiverAUBURN, Calif. - With the arrival of Memorial Day weekend, the United States Forest Service has announced the opening of campgrounds at French Meadows and Hell Hole Reservoirs

Roseville Flash Crime Report (5.26.17)Roseville, CA- Summary digest of Roseville Police selected activity log covering the period of May 19- 26, 2017.

2017 Acura MDX: classy and versatileRoseville, CA- Now in its eighth year of production by Honda's luxury division, the 2017 Acura MDX is a midsize luxury crossover SUV that is appealing for a variety of reasons.

2017 PlacerArts Summer Concert SeriesAuburn, CA- The annual and free Auburn Summer Concert Series returns for another season beginning June 11, 2017

Affordable Housing Fee Workshops in Auburn and Kings BeachAUBURN, Calif. -- Placer County has scheduled two housing fee study workshops in June, one in Kings Beach and another in Auburn

USA Fastpitch Competition in South Placer County this JuneRocklin, CA --USA Fastpitch is coming to Roseville, Lincoln and Rocklin June 2-4 for three days of softball competition.

City of Roseville's $507 Million Proposed Operating BudgetRoseville, CA- The City of Roseville's proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 is available for review

San Juan Water District Receives Excellence in Financial Reporting AwardGranite Bay, Calif. - The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada awarded the San Juan Water District

Sports Stars Join Rocklin Golf Fundraiser at Whitney OaksHall of Famer Willie Brown, Jim Plunkett, Daryle Lamonica, Charles Woodson, Phil Villapiano, Rod Martin and several more Oakland Raiders headline a dazzling field

Silversun Pickups Summer Tour with Third Eye BlindFollowing their upcoming BottleRock Napa Valley performance, this summer, Silversun Pickups will embark on a 30-date amphitheater tour opening for Third Eye Blind. The "Summer Gods" Tour celebrates Third Eye Blind's 20th anniversary

Garland Ranch Regional Park: Tranquility in Monterey CountyCarmel Valley, California - The "granddaddy" of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District, Garland Ranch is a fine elder statesman of parks.

Roseville Firefighters Union Blast City's Proposed Staffing CutsRoseville, Calif. - With rising temperatures and fire season upon us, city leaders in Roseville have proposed drastic staffing cuts to the Roseville Fire Department


more news