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?
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?
Retinopathy of prematurity is most often treated with laser therapy or cryotherapy. Both these treatments are used only on infants with advanced conditions. Procedures which involve placing a silicone band around the eye or scleral buckle and vitrectomy could be performed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) generally affects preterm infants born before week 31 of pregnancy and weighing 2.75 pounds (1,250 grams) or less at birth. In most cases, ROP resolves without treatment, causing no damage. Advanced ROP, however, can cause permanent vision problems or blindness.