Today’s medicine can help more premature babies survive. But that translates to more babies with Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), a condition that affects the blood vessels in the eyes of a premature baby (Vascularisation of Retina). In many children, Retina matures (develops normally) & ROP resolves on its own. However in about 10 % of such infants, with more severe forms of ROP, there is a serious risk of blindness.

  • Retinopathy of Prematurity causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the periphery of Retina, the light-sensitive nerve tissue that lines the inside back wall of the eye.
  • Doctors now understand that more premature the baby (born before 7th month of pregnancy) and the lower the birth weight, the greater the risk for developing ROP.
  • How serious the ROP is depends on what part of the eye is affected (the zone), how far the disease has progressed (the stage) and whether the blood vessels themselves are markedly abnormal (plus disease).
  • About 90 percent of babies with ROP have a less serious form of the condition and improve without treatment.
  • Infants with more severe ROP may need laser rays therapy, cryotherapy (a freezing procedure) or rarely eye surgery.
  • All Prematurely born children require a detailed examination of retina 2 weeks after birth and follow up evaluation till the risk of ROP is ruled out.
  • To prevent blindness, those infants who have received treatment are followed up till the age of 10 years.