Are you one of the 29 million Americans that have diabetes?
If you have diabetes mellitus, your body does not use and store sugar properly. High blood-sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the retina, the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. The damage to retinal vessels is referred to as diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of legal blindness among working-age Americans. But one third of those diagnosed with diabetes don't receive the annual eye exams that are crucial in detecting problems early - when conditions are most easily treated. So, if you have diabetes, have a dilated eye exam every year. Early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can usually prevent permanent vision loss. Each year, 12,000 to 24,000 people lose their sight due to diabetes. Remember, it's your sight for life.
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