Anil Eye Care Hospital

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a potentially serious eye condition that can affect premature infants, which when unchecked, can lead to blindness. In this blog post, we will discuss what ROP is, how it is diagnosed, and what treatment options are available for parents and caregivers in India.

What is retinopathy of prematurity?

ROP is a disease which affects blood vessels of retina. The retina of these premature babies is not fully developed, and blood vessels in the retina may not form properly. In some cases, abnormal blood vessels can grow and cause scarring, leading to vision problems.

Anatomical structure of ROP

Who is at risk?

A full term pregnancy is about 38-42 weeks. A baby born before 31 weeks of gestation is said to be premature baby.

  1. Premature birth: Infants born before 31 weeks of gestation are at higher risk of developing ROP.
  2. Low birth weight: Infants weighing less than 3.3 pounds at birth are at higher risk of developing ROP.
  3. Oxygen therapy: Infants who require oxygen therapy to support their breathing are at higher risk of developing ROP.



Infants who are born prematurely and/or have low birth weight should be screened for ROP by a pediatric ophthalmologist or a retina specialist. The doctor will examine the infant’s eyes to look for signs of abnormal blood vessel growth or scarring in the retina. The doctor may also perform other tests, such as an ultrasound, to determine the extent of the condition.

The ophthalmologist will continue screening of the baby at fixed interval of time till the retinal vessels reach a complete maturity.

Timing of examinations are very important in ROP!!


Eye tests


The treatment of ROP depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, the infant may not need any treatment, and the condition may resolve on its own. In more severe cases, treatment options may include:

  1. Laser therapy: The doctor may use a laser to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
  2. Intravitreal Injections : The doctor may inject special injection into the eyes of baby to prevent growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels.
  3. Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace damaged parts of the eye.
  4. Combination of laser, injections or surgery may rarely be required in severe ROO cases.
Laser Therapy

Follow-Up Care

As babies with ROP grow up, they need to get regular comprehensive eye check up done by a Paediatric Ophthalmologist in view of vision related problems. These includes :


  1. Amblyopia or lazy eye
  2. Refractive error, commonly myopia
  3. Squint
  4. Cataract
  5. Glaucoma
  6. Retinal detachment
  7. Cortical visual impairment



In conclusion, Retinopathy of Prematurity is a serious eye condition that can lead to vision problems or even blindness in premature infants in India. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent the condition from progressing and improve the infant’s chances of having good vision. It is important for parents and caregivers of premature infants in India to be aware of the risks of ROP and to ensure that their infant receives proper eye care. If you notice any abnormal symptoms in your baby’s eyes, consult with a pediatric ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

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