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National Eye Institute: Diabetic Eye Disease on the Rise

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Diabetes is a growing problem in West Virginia and now, the National Eye Institute said diabetic eye disease is also on the rise across America.

High blood sugar levels can cause capillaries in the eye to leak fluids onto the retina.

Diabetics are at a great risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy which can lead to blindness.

"Diabetes is the number one cause of new blindness in the United States," said Dr. Kenneth Mitchell, of the WVU Eye Institute. "It is to a large degree preventable and the economic burden for diabetic eye disease is enormous."

Diabetic retinopathy affects 7.7 million Americans.

The NEI said it expects that number to reach 12 million by 2030.