Eye Conditions and Treatment

Retinopathy of Prematurity is treated in the Pediatric & Adult Strabismus Service and the Retina Service

Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a developmental disease of the eye that affects premature infants. When a baby is born, the retinal blood vessels have not completed their development. In patients with ROP, the blood vessels stop growing and new, abnormal blood vessels grow instead of normal retinal blood vessels. The developmental arrest and blood vessel maldevelopment may be temporary or permanent, minimal or severe. The most severe complication of this disease is bilateral blindness in early childhood.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Initial signs
    • visible only by ophthalmoscopic examination
  • Signs after the disease is severe
    • white pupils (leukocoria)
    • abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)
    • crossed eyes (strabismus)
    • severe nearsightedness (myopia)

Treatment and Prevention

  • Early stages of ROP need observation-many return to normal
  • Freezing treatments (cryotherapy)
  • Laser therapy

Eye Facts logo linkFor a deeper understanding of the diagnosis and treatment plan for retinopathy of prematurity, see Retinopathy of Prematurity Eye Facts.