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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Diabetes is a chronic illness that can do a great deal of damage over time. Some of the long-term effects include kidney and nerve damage as well as double the risk of heart disease. But, according to a report in The Journal of the American Medical Association, one of the most serious effects – vision damage – is often overlooked.

According to this study, more than half of people at risk don’t even know that diabetes can lead to blindness.

The study, which looked at a high volume of diabetics, found only 60% of diabetics in their study have ever had a detailed eye exam and, of those determined to already have evidence of eye damage from diabetes, almost a third had significant vision loss.

If you suffer from diabetes or have a family member with the condition, please let them know about the importance of controlling blood sugar and getting regular vision checks.

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