What is Retinopathy Of Prematurity (ROP)?
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is an eye problem that can cause blindness and is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina in premature infants. The retina is a part of the eye that lines the inner wall of the back of the eye and receives light and turns it into visual messages that are sent to the brain. When a baby is born prematurely, the retinal blood vessels are not full-grown and can grow abnormally. Most ROP goes away without causing damage to the retina. When ROP is severe, it can cause the retina to pull away or detach from the wall of the eye and possibly cause blindness. Babies born at a weight of 1500 grams or less and born before 31 weeks gestation are at highest risk.