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Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin has been deaf since she was 18 months old. To compensate for her lack of hearing, Marlee has relied heavily on her vision to live her life. But recently, she discovered she was at risk for losing her eyesight as well. In 2011, Marlee started to notice that the vision in her left eye was not as clear as it used to be. Although she knew her sight was diminishing, Marlee repeatedly put off scheduling an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Speaking through her translator, Marlee says, “I was concerned about the procedure that would involve my eye because of the fact that I can’t hear. I don’t want to be deaf and blind.” Despite her reservations, Marlee knew she had to take action before it was too late. Marlee visited ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Assil for a formal evaluation. A vision test revealed that she had a cataract, which had caused her to become legally blind in her left eye. “Because of [Dr. Assil], my vision is amazing. It has 100 percent improved,” Marlee says. She adds that the biggest lesson she learned from the experience was to not delay having her vision checked. “If you feel any of these [symptoms] happening, go to see a doctor. Have it taken care of right away,” she says.

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