Do all babies need an eye (retinal) examination for ROP?

All babies younger than 32-35 weeks gestation or weighing less than 1600-1700 gm at birth needs immediate eye check-up to rule out any kind of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) – which usually develops in both eyes – is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness.

Any other preterm baby who has had problem after birth (lack of oxygen / infection / blood transfusion / breathing trouble, etc.) is also vulnerable. 


What is the treatment for ROP?

ROP is treated with laser rays or a freezing treatment (cryopexy). The treatment helps stop further growth of abnormal vessels thus preventing vision loss.

ROP can progress in 7-14 days and, therefore, needs a close follow-up till the retina matures.

The retinal examination should be completed before "Day-30" of the life of a premature baby. It should preferably be done earlier (at 2-3 weeks of birth) in very low weight babies (<1200 gm birth weight).