ROP or retinopathy of prematurity is an eye condition that affects prematurely born babies. Premature babies kept in intensive neonatal care under oxygen therapy generally develop this disease. It is difficult to make out if the child has ROP by simply looking into their eyes. Symptoms are:
• Abnormal eye movements
• White pupils
HOW IS ROP DIAGNOSED?
Ophthalmologists perform specialized tests to diagnose ROP in infants. ROP screening does not begin until the infant is four to nine weeks old. The International classification of ROP divides the ROP into 5 stages. Stages 1 and 2 do not cause blindness, while other stages may lead to blindness if left untreated.
Ophthalmologists perform eye check up after dilating eye drops are administered
HOW IS ROP TREATED?
Early treatment has been shown to improve a baby's chances for normal vision. Treatment should start within 72 hours of the eye exam. Some babies with ""plus disease"" need immediate treatment.
• Laser therapy (photocoagulation) may be used to prevent complications of advanced ROP.
• The laser stops the abnormal blood vessels from growing.
• The treatment can be done in the nursery using portable equipment. To work well, it must be done before the retina develops scarring or detaches from the rest of the eye.
• Other treatments, such as injecting an antibody that blocks VEGF (a blood vessel growth factor) into the eye, are still being studied.
DID YOU KNOW?
Prognosis of ROP depends on the prompt treatment given to the child