Manya Sargsyan was cleaning up after dinner on a September evening in 2004 when a “horrible blow” shook the adjacent room, leaving her 15-year-old son Pavel covered in blood and screaming. A minute before, she had noticed her son sitting on the sofa playing with a flashlight. In fact, he had been playing with an electrical detonator. As Pavel later explained, “I did not realize it was dangerous. It had a string on it, and I thought that if I connect the string to a bulb and plug it in I would have a nice flashlight.”
Myth: Holding a book too close is harmful to your eyes.
Fact: Children and adults who are nearsighted might need to get closer to a book. Doing so does not cause or worsen nearsightedness or any other kinds of eye problem.
Myth: Using your eyes too much will wear them out.
Fact: We wouldn't lose our sense of smell by using our nose too much or our hearing by using our ears too much. The eyes were made for seeing. We won't lose our vision by using our eyes for their intended purpose.
Myth: An eye examination is necessary only if you are having eye problems.
Fact: Everyone should follow proper eye care, including regular eye exams, whether or not you're having any noticeable signs of problems. For adults, the frequency depends on your doctor's advice and may be every two years or more often. If you have diabetes or an eye disease, you should have a comprehensive eye exam every year.
Louis Braille was a French educator who developed the Braille system of printing and writing for the blind. Himself blinded at the age of three, in an accident, he went to Paris in 1819 to attend the National Institute for Blind Children, and in 1826, started teaching there. Braille adapted a method created by Charles Barbier to develop his own simplified system.
Six dots. Six bumps. Six bumps in different patterns, like constellations, spreading out over the page. What are they? Numbers, letters, words. Who made this code? None other than Louis Braille, a French 12-year-old, who was also blind. And his work changed the world of reading and writing, forever.
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.
“Many people in Armenia, including lots of children, need help because of their glaucoma disease. When you can save their sight, and even restore their vision, that’s great,” says Dr. Voskanyan, describing the rewards of her work. As Chief of Glaucoma Surgery, one of her most important responsibilities is teaching. She supervises ten doctors in the glaucoma clinic. “With our doctors there are about 10 residents in our Department for each academic period. I have special lectures for medical students as well – about 120 students per year.” What is most rewarding about teaching? “The result which you have when the new doctor becomes more skillful.”