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.
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: Using a nightlight in your child's room will contribute to nearsightedness.
Fact: There is not enough evidence to support this claim. Keeping a nightlight on in your baby's room may actually help them learn to focus and develop important eye coordination skills when they are awake.
Myth: Doing eye exercises will keep you from needing glasses.
Fact: Eye Exercises do not enhance or preserve vision or diminish the need for glasses. Your vision relies on the shape of your eyes, the health of your eye tissues, and many other factors, none of which can be appreciably altered with eye exercises.
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.”
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.