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Diabetic Eye Disease Education Can Help Prevent Blindness

Diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in adults 20–74 years of age. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), 7.7 million people age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, and it is projected to increase to approximately 11 million people by 2030. While all people with diabetes can develop diabetic eye disease, African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hispanics/Latinos, and older adults with diabetes are at higher risk of losing vision or going blind from it. The good news is that with early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up, the risk of vision loss and blindness from diabetes can be reduced. In preparation for Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day in October, the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP) of the NEI invites organizations to order free resources to educate people with diabetes about diabetic eye disease and the importance of comprehensive dilated eye exams in protecting sight. To find resources and ideas to help plan diabetic eye disease education activities, please visit the NEHEP Website at Bulk materials may be requested by contacting Neyal Ammary-Risch at

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