Eye Disease

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.



Louis Braille

Braille was invented by a man named Louis Braille in 1922 who wished to help blind people have the chance to read just like everyone else. Today, it is possible for just about anything in print to be published in Braille. There are Braille typewriters and printers so that blind people can use computers to print out their work in the format. Braille is written with a combination of six raised dots on stiff white paper. If you look at the model to the right, you can see how the dots are labeled. In real Braille, they are not labeled or colored in, but it’s included here to help you learn the dot names. The dots are named from one to six. By making different combinations of the raised dots, the letters of the alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks can be formed.

Lilit Mkrtchyan, M.D.

When you ask Lilit Voskanyan which of her many roles – mother, doctor, wife, teacher, daughter, medical chief, friend – she likes best, she responds, “All of them!”

In her capacity as Chief of Glaucoma Surgery at the Republican Eye Hospital in Yerevan for the past four years, Dr. Voskanyan sees more than 50 patients a day. In her role as a surgeon, she performs about 15-17 surgeries a week.



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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