Retinopathy Of Prematurity

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease which affects immature vasculature in the eyes of premature babies with most cases occurring in infants who are born after 26 or fewer weeks of pregnancy. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) causes a disease in the retina. Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is also known as Retrolental Fibroplasia, is the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina that usually begins during the first few days of life and may progress rapidly to blindness over a period of weeks but however not all babies who are premature will have ROP..


Some cases of Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are mild and can correct themselves, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness. Newborns that are developing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) do not have symptoms, and diagnosis depends on the careful examination of back of the eyes by an ophthalmologist..


The factors that cause Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and determine its outcome are not fully known, but prematurity and the degree of retinal immaturity at birth are one of the important major factors. Retinopathy of prematurity occurs in over 16% of all premature births. The babies which are weighing less than 1,700 grams at birth, over 50% will develop ROP. Factors that are associated with Retinopathy of prematurity include:


High levels of supplemental oxygen

Weight less than1500 grams

Concurrent illnesses

Anemia

High carbon dioxide levels

Mechanical ventilation

Blood transfusions

Severe and untreated Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) causes some of the following symptoms:

Leukocoria

Abnormal eye movements

Strabismus

Severe nearsightedness


retinopathy

Treatment for Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) depends on the stage and severity of the condition. The only way to detect the presence of Retinopathy of prematurity is through an eye examination by an ophthalmologist. The middle stages of the disease will resolve by themselves, and it doesn't require treatment but however, if the disease has progressed to a point where your baby's vision is at risk, then the treatment is needed. The most common treatment for Retinopathy of prematurity is laser photocoagulation, where a laser is directed to a specific spot to destroy abnormal blood vessels and seal leaks. ROP surgery is used to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels and this is done by focusing treatment on the peripheral retina to preserve the central retina. The main aim of treatment is to reduce the risk of your baby's retina detaching, which can severely impact vision.


The most frequently used methods of ROP surgery are:


Laser surgery

Cryotherapy

Scleral buckling

Vitrectomy


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