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Eye Disease

Arshaluis’s Story

Arshaluis Nerkarayan was just one month old when his parents, Gayaneh Matevosyan and Arthur Nerkararyan, were told that he had a congenital cataract in both eyes and could not see. Gayaneh and Arthur immediately decided that they would do everything in their power to help their son lead a normal life.

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19% of people in the U.S. use contact lenses.

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Myth: Safety goggles are more trouble than they are worth.

Fact: Using safety goggles prevents many eye injuries – injuries that can potentially blind you or damage your eyes.
Keep safety goggles handy and use them.

Myth: Only boys are color-blind.

Fact: It's estimated that up to 8% of boys have some degree of color blindness, whereas less than 1% of girls do.

Myth: Using glasses or contacts will weaken eyesight or eyes will become dependent on them.

Fact: Your eyes will NOT grow weaker as a result of using corrective lenses. Your prescription may change over time due to aging or the presence of disease, but it is not because of your current prescription.

Lilit Mkrtchyan, M.D.

Born into a family of physicians, Mkrtchyan describes herself as a hereditary doctor. Her father, Gevorg, is an abdominal surgeon, mother, Ivetta, is an ophthalmologist, and older sister, Nune, is a pediatrician.

“I grew up in an atmosphere of concern for patients, discussing treatment and medical issues [with my family],” she says. “My decision to become a doctor, I think, was a logical and emotional outcome of these circumstances.”

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An estimated 3.1% of deaths worldwide are directly or indirectly due to cataract, glaucoma, trachoma & onchocerciasis.

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Cataracts

As the population begins to age and life expectancy increases, it is imperative that Armenia address cataract surgical coverage. Today, approximately 91,000 Armenians — or 30 percent of the population — aged 65 and over have cataracts in one or both eyes, causing partial or complete blindness. By 2050, that number will more than double – leading to roughly 221,200 Armenians affected. Because cataract surgery is so limited in Armenia – just 24 percent coverage – most people (the remaining 76 percent) go without care, leaving thousands visually disabled. In the United States people accept cataract surgery as a part of aging and is a very common procedure. Sadly, in Armenia, many people accept blindness as a part of growing older because they have no access to cataract surgery.

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