National Children's Eye Health and Safety Month
Learning About Retinopathy Of Prematurity (ROP)
Children with ROP are at a higher risk for developing certain eye problems later in life, according to the National Eye Institute. Retinopathy of Prematurity is a potentially blinding disorder that typically develops in both eyes, and primarily affects premature infants. The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby will develop ROP. However, not all premature babies will develop ROP. Classified by 5 stages ranging from mild to severe, a mild case of ROP typically improves, leaves no permanent damage and will not require treatment. However, in more severe cases, infants can develop impaired vision or blindness. Retinopathy of Prematurity occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina. These vessels are fragile and can leak, scarring the retina and pulling it out of position. This causes a retinal detachment. The most effective treatments of ROP are laser therapy or cryotherapy; both treatments destroy the peripheral areas of the retina in order to slow or reverse the abnormal growth of blood vessels.
ROP is one of many conditions that our Pediatric Retina Specialist treats. It is important to monitor your child's health and seek medical attention if you discover any abnormalities with your pregnancy or in your child's vision.