A hopeful view on eyesight

Grateful patient celebrates Dr. Kuldev Singh’s 30th anniversary in 2022

Arlene Coffman

Arlene Coffman has faced eyesight challenges since childhood, and the spectre of irreversible vision loss from glaucoma, but with the superb long-time care of Kuldev Singh, MD, MPH, professor of ophthalmology, she has kept her vision and now only needs corrective lenses while reading, something she hadn’t been able to do since she was 12 years old.

Arlene became near-sighted as a young child, first fitted for glasses in sixth grade and requiring a strong prescription thereafter. She grew an even deeper appreciation for quality eye care as she witnessed her father battle severe eye troubles.

“My father was a midwestern farmer who worked outside in the sun all day, before today’s awareness of the need for eye protection,” Arlene said. “He developed ocular cancer in one eye, requiring its removal, and then later in life had glaucoma and other eye problems in his remaining eye.”

Nearly 20 years ago, Arlene and her husband moved to the Bay Area and she was referred to Singh.

“I had deferred my check-ups to address my vision deterioration, which was slow and gradual, but I love reading and found I could only read a couple pages before having to put down the book due to tired eyes,” Arlene said.

She even considered relinquishing her driver’s license due to difficulties seeing before being referred to Singh, but under his expert care her hope was restored. Singh used preventative measures to keep her glaucoma at bay, despite a lifetime of high eye pressures, and Arlene said his surgical intervention, when required, has been transformative.

“I was amazed how quickly my sight improved from the surgery,” Arlene said. “I noticed small discoveries. I could see the hands on the wall clock in the recovery room, whereas before I couldn’t even see the clock. I discovered a green pattern in the floor tile at my home, which I’d never noticed before, and I could see the soap instead of searching in the shower.”

Arlene said Singh’s continuing care has preserved her good eyesight to this day and she heartily recommends him to family and friends.

Singh also co-directs the department’s glaucoma fellowship program, training the next generation of glaucoma leaders, and the Coffmans are proud long-time supporters.

To honor Singh, Arlene has joined a group of friends and colleagues to plan a special recognition for Singh’s upcoming 30th anniversary year at Stanford in 2022, to celebrate him as a recognized leader nationally and internationally across glaucoma, ophthalmology, and vision public health. 

“Even with his remarkable tenure and leadership in our field, he shows no signs of slowing down—indeed his work and contributions continue to accelerate,” Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, the Blumenkranz Smead professor and chair of ophthalmology said.

“We’re encouraging everyone to go to our website med.stanford.edu/ophthalmology/Singh-anniversary to post an online message or send a card for a congratulations book to be presented to Dr. Singh,” Arlene said.

“Dr. Singh is a fantastic eye doctor, a world leader in his field, and a wonderful person,” Arlene said. “His impact on my eyesight through all these years has truly been a treasure. I encourage friends and colleagues to add their message to the congrats book—and also don’t delay going in for your eye check-ups!”


Kathryn Sill is a web and communications specialist for the Byers Eye Institute in the Department of Ophthalmology, at Stanford University School of Medicine. Email her at ksill@stanford.edu.