ROP Screening

What is Retinopathy of Prematurity?

Premature infants (born early) or those who weigh less than 3 pounds at birth may develop retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), which is an ophthalmic condition.

Infants with ROP occasionally only have slight instances that heal on their own. Some infants, however, need medical care to ensure healthy eyesight for years to come.


ROP is not observable in any way. In more severe cases of ROP, the retina may partially or entirely separate from its usual location. It is referred to as retinal detachment and has been associated with blindness and vision loss.

If your baby experienced ROP that resulted in harm, you might, later on, make some observations in its eyes:

  • Flitting, trembling, or other peculiar behaviours.
  • Inability to track things.
  • Pale or chalky appearance.
  • The baby struggles to identify faces.

Diagnosis of ROP

Babies suffering from ROP tend to develop additional eye conditions as they grow in age. Some of these conditions include:

  • Retinal separation
  • Nearsightedness
  • A lazy eye, which could contribute to dim vision
  • Squinting of the eyeballs


ROP, an eye condition, is divided into five stages. Doctors use these stages to monitor the severity of ROP. Stages 1 (moderate) through 5 (severe) are the various levels:

  • Stages 1 and 2: Infants in stages 1 and 2 typically recover without medical intervention and go on to have normal vision. Doctors will closely monitor babies' ROP to determine if it worsens.
  • Stage 3: Some infants with stage 3 blindness improve independently and have normal vision. However, some people require medical attention to prevent aberrant capillaries and veins from harming the retina and leading to retinal detachment (another ophthalmic problem that can cause vision loss).
  • Stage 4: Babies in this stage require therapy since their retinas are partially detached.
  • Stage 5: At this point, the retina has detached. Babies in stage 5 may lose their vision or become blind, even with treatment.

Stages 4 and 5 are both severe. Babies in these stages frequently require surgery, but even with the best care, they may lose their vision. Doctors typically begin treatment at stage 3 for this reason.

Additionally, babies at any time could rapidly deteriorate and require medical attention. Making sure your child has their follow-up exams on time is crucial because of this. The most excellent method to reduce the likelihood of ROP creating severe issues is to identify it and treat it as soon as possible.


Many infants suffer from minor cases of ROP, which improve on their own. However, some infants require treatment to prevent the progression of ROP. Early treatment is crucial to promote healthy eyesight for a longer period. Options for treatment include:

Laser therapy: For babies with ROP that is hard to treat, retinal-side laser therapy is best. This medication inhibits the progression of ROP and protects the eyes from any damage.

Immunizations: The doctor may administer anti-VEGF immunisations directly to your baby. These drugs prevent the development of new veins.

Ophthalmic surgery: For infants with wholly or partially detached retinas (stages 4 or 5), there are two forms of retinal surgery:

  • Scleral buckle surgery: In this surgical process, a tangible band is wrapped around the ivory part of the eye. Wrapping a band around the eye helps support the detached retina until the eye starts to grow normally again. Once it does, the band gets removed.
  • Vitrectomy: During a vitrectomy, the glassy fluid that is present in the eyes gets removed and replaced with another saline solution. Further, the retinal scar tissue gets removed. Additionally, the doctor might use laser therapy to heal and fix the retina.

Prevention of ROP in Premature Infants

Make sure your child has routine checkups and ophthalmic exams if they were diagnosed with ROP at a younger age. Early detection and treatment of ophthalmic issues can help maintain good eyesight in children for a longer period.


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a condition that affects the eyes of premature babies. It occurs when the blood vessels in the retina do not develop properly and can lead to vision impairment or even blindness. Early detection and treatment can help reduce the risk of severe vision loss.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, DELHI-NCR - Chirag Enclave. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Does my infant have an ROP risk?

Babies born before 30 weeks of pregnancy or who are underweight are at risk for ROP. A doctor of ophthalmology will examine your infant for ROP if they are at risk.

2. What effect does ROP have on my baby?

Most infants who suffer from ROP are born with "age-appropriate" vision. Vision is only in danger when ROP has reached its most advanced stages. Thankfully, most cases of ROP don't result in visual loss. The issue is that no one can forecast which infants will thrive and which will experience issues. Effective screening and prompt treatment are critical elements in preventing vision loss due to ROP.

3. How many children have ROP?

Each year, 3.9 million babies are born in the United States. ROP affects around 14,000 people, 90% of whom only have a minor illness. In the United States, 400–600 infants experience ROP yearly, and about 1,100–1,500 people experience severe illnesses requiring medical attention.

4. How well does an ROP therapy work?

The few newborns who require such therapy typically benefit from effective medications that stop vision loss. Keep all scheduled appointments and follow your doctor's instructions following any treatment. It is the most crucial thing parents can do to assist their children in achieving the best results.

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