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Michael's Medical Observership

On the plane, where I was planning to relax, I quickly learned that this was not going to be the vacation I had planned it to be. Dr. Ohanesian came over to my seat, showed me some statistics about eye disease in Armenia, briefly went over the goals of the AECP, and then asked me to come up with a curriculum to train doctors…I was confused, he was amused. He then gave me the patented “eyebrow” and walked to his seat, while I, completely lost, took the pen and pad he handed me and started to jot down ideas regarding a training curriculum. The advantage, of course, was that this did make the trip seem short.

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48% of parents in the U.S. with children under 12 have never taken their child to an eye care professional

the percentage is much higher in Armenia.

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Which of the Middle Circles Looks Bigger?

Are the Circles the Same Size?

Are the Parallel Lines the Same Length?

Diabetic Eye Diseases

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. If you have diabetic retinopathy you may not notice any changes in your vision initially. However, over time, diabetic retinopathy can become worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.

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1.6 million Americans aged 50 years and older have age related macular degeneration.

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Lisa Volunteers

“The most valuable experience of my AECP internship was the general seeing, learning, and doing of the project’s objectives. The statistics compiled in the surveys came to life in Goris, where I sat in on meetings with the Ministers of Health, and edited grant proposals. I learned that change requires action, and action calls for dedication.”

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In developing countries, it is believed that 60-80% of children who become blind die within 1-2 years.

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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.

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: People with blue eyes see better than people with brown eyes.

Fact: The iris color has no link with the visual sharpness.

Armenia's Population

In a country characterized by a high degree of ethnic homogeneity, there are an estimated 3 million people living in Armenia. Armenians constitute more than 95 percent of the republic’s population, with Yezidis comprising the largest minority and few Russian, Ukrainians, Georgians, Greek, Assyrians remaining.

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