What is Retinopathy of Prematurity?

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), as the name suggests, occurs in some children born prematurely. The lower the birth weight and/or the earlier the child is born, the greater the risk. 

As the retina develops it grows blood vessels from middle to edge which supply it with oxygen. If development is halted by early birth or damage, new and twisted blood vessels will grow, scarring the retina and eventually causing it to detach from the eye wall. This causes permanent severe vision impairment or blindness.

Who can have ROP?

Anyone born at 31 weeks’ gestation or earlier, or who waighed less than 1500 grams at birth. Retinal screening techniques for babies can aid early detection and treatment.

What can people with ROP see?

Depending on the severity of the condition, vision impairment can range from lazy or mis-aligned eyes, through severe short-sightedness to complete blindness. The condition’s outcomes nowadays depend on close monitoring and treatment of an infant who is born prematurely.

Rop may also increase the risk of developing other eye conditions such as Glaucoma.

Assistive Technology

This will be dictated by level of vision. Technology will range from simple magnifiers such as closed circuit televisions, through magnification software such as Zoomtext, to screen readers such as NVDA and JAWS, together with braille such as refreshable braille displays.

Ask Elise and the team which may be best for you.