Retinopathy of prematurity also known as ROP and Terry syndrome is an eye disorder that affects babies that are born prematurely or babies which have been in intensive neonatal care in which oxygen therapy has been used due to the lungs not being fully developed. In this disorder the blood vessels in the retina are not fully or properly developed due to the early birth or before 31 weeks.
HOW IS ROP DIAGNOSED?
In most cases, the first exam should be within 4 to 9 weeks after birth, depending on the baby's gestational age.
• Babies born at 27 weeks or later most often have their exam at 4 weeks of age.
• Those born earlier most often have exams later.
Follow-up exams are based on the results of the first exam. Babies do not need another exam if the blood vessels in both retinas have completed normal development. Depending on the amount of abnormal blood vessel development, the baby’s condition will be graded and further examinations will be conducted every one to two weeks, depending on a variety of factors. These factors include the severity and location in the eye of ROP, and the rate of progression of blood vessel formation, called vascularization. In the majority of cases, even when ROP develops, it will resolve spontaneously with minimal effect on vision. However, a small percentage of babies screened for ROP, approximately 10%, will progress to the extent that it is no longer safe to wait for spontaneous resolution. For these babies, treatment will be offered to reverse the progression of ROP.
HOW IS ROP TREATED?
There are different approaches to treating this issue and Peripheral retinal ablation is the most common one. Certain other kinds of surgeries that are done here include Scleral buckling and/or vitrectomy surgery. Besides this, the child may also be given oral medicines like propranolol.
DID YOU KNOW?
This disease was first described in a premature baby in 1942. Between 1941–1953, over 12,000 babies worldwide were affected by it. Soul musician Stevie Wonder, actor Tom Sullivan, and jazz singer Diane Schuur are a few famous people who have the disease.