ROP is a blinding disease of retina which can occur in premature and low weight babies, and it can cause permanent loss of vision if not detected and managed timely.
When low birth weight babies or premature babies are given oxygen, they develop a risk of retinal disorder in which vessels are abnormal and retinal folds and traction occurs, which eventually causes retinal detachment. This disease progresses in stages and if detected early, progression can be stopped and vision can be protected.
Proper knowledge of disease, proper advice of neonatologist/ pediatrician and timely coordination with ophthalmologist is key in fighting this disease.
All newborns, who are premature (specially less than 32 weeks) and low birth weight (specially less than 1.3 kg) should get their eye check up done by ophthalmologist for ROP. Apart from this, neonates who have been in ICU for long, who have been on oxygen (specially if high percentage oxygen) should also get screened.
Screening and laser therapy for retina can control the progress of disease. At advanced stages, surgery may be done.