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If you have diabetes mellitus your body does not use and store sugars properly.  Blood vessels in the retina can become damaged when sugar levels are high.  The retina is the nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain.  Diabetic retinopathy is the term for when the retina is damaged as a result of high sugar levels.

Types of diabetic retinopathy

Nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy.  Tiny blood vessels within the retina leak blood or fluid at this stage.  This leaking of fluid causes the retina to become swollen and deposits or exudates may form.  Mild NPDR occurs in many patients with diabetes and initially spares the vision.  When vision is affected it may be the result of macular edema (swelling) and/or macular ischemia (poor blood flow).

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) occurs when neovascularization begins growing on the surface of the retina or the optic nerve.  Neovascularization is when abnormal new vessels grow.  Widespread closure of retinal blood vessels that prevents adequate blood flow is the main cause of PDR.  In an attempt to supply blood to the area where vessels have closed, the retina responds by growing new blood vessels.  These new abnormal blood vessels do not supply the retina with normal blood flow.  Scar tissue is also usually paired with these new vessels and may cause a detachment or wrinkling of the retina.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that involves damage to the optic nerve.  The optic nerve sends visual signals to the brain.  When damaged the brain does not receive all the signals that are being sent.  Pressure build up is proven to be one of the major risk factors associated with glaucoma.  It can lead to gradual loss of vision and if not managed, can lead to blindness.  Your vision may be preserved with early detection and a commitment to following a treatment plan recommended by Dr. Davé or Dr. Parikh.

Types of Glaucoma:
Open Angle glaucoma is nicknamed the "sneak thief of sight".  Open angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma.  It is slow to progress and without routine eye exams may not be diagnosed until there is loss of vision.

Closed Angle glaucoma symptoms can include severe pain, nausea, headache, and blurry vision.  These symptoms are usually noticed immediately and caused by the blockage of the angle resulting in an increase of intraocular pressure.

Low or normal tension glaucoma occurs in patients that have normal eye pressure.  Medication is used to lower the eye pressure and can slow the disease.