Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disorder that primarily affects premature infants weighing about 2¾ pounds (1250 grams) or less that are born before 31 weeks of gestation. The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby is to develop ROP. This disorder—which usually develops in both eyes—is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness. ROP was first diagnosed in 1942
HOW IS ROP DIAGNOSED?
An ophthalmologist also skilled in evaluating and examining the eyes of infants would be able to diagnosis this disorder by dilating the eyes. Infants born before 31 weeks undergo eye examinations to help diagnose this disorder early.
HOW IS ROP TREATED?
Laser surgery, the standard treatment for advanced ROP, saves sight in the main part of the visual field, but at the cost of side (peripheral) vision. Laser surgery also requires general anesthesia, which may be risky for preterm infants.
DID YOU KNOW?
Prognosis of ROP depends on the prompt treatment given to the child