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: If you eat carrots, you will have good eyesight.
Fact: The vitamin A in carrots helps eyes function well, but it is just one important factor for good eyesight.
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.
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.
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.”