By  Larry Kane

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –America is facing a health crisis – diabetes. It causes heart problems and much more including a potential loss if vision.

Dr. Richard Kaiser of Wills Eye and Mid Atlantic retina doesn’t like what he’s seeing. He is seriously concerned about people with diabetes who wait too long to act and wind up threatening their health and their vision.

“Early on in the disease they’re living with it and they’re trying to manage their diet and their life style. But 10-12 years into the disease that’s when the organ system starts to fail particularly the eyes. Diabetic Retinopathy is an epidemic. It’s a major problem. It’s actually the leading cause of blindness in people between the ages 25 and 75. It is a severe condition.”

For the millions of Americans, the wrong food can cause untold consequences for life. That’s why Abington Health nutritionist Eileen Sturner says it’s critical to act quickly.

“When we are thinking about meal planning first we want to look at them as an individual and ask them what they are currently eating and then making small modifications that match their lifestyle. If they’re having large portions with any food, we ask them to be a little bit more mindful of portions.”

Listen to extended interview:

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