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Retinopathy of Prematurely (ROP) is commonly seen in premature born infants. It chiefly causes the disease of the retina.

Causes of Retinopahy of Prematurity:

It mainly consists of abnormal retinal vessels that grow mostly in an area where normal vessels have grown in the retina. It has been known that the area of the retina affected by this disease is divided into three main zones. Moreover ROP is also divided into stages 1 to 5. Stages 1 and 2 usually do not require treatment. Whereas, babies who develop stage 3 ROP, generally requires treatment.

Symptoms of ROP

As the retinal area affected by ROP is divided into three main zones. Zone 1 is centrally located and ROP develops in this zone if the retina in this are is most underdeveloped. Disease as compared to the disease seen in Zone 2 or 3.

It has been observed that the timing is an important factor that makes the treatment successful in Retinopathy of Pre-maturity. It is because the disease can advance quickly and delayed treatment often reduces the chances of success. The rapidly progressing disease and it is usually associated with very extensive or abnormal blood vessels.

Abnormal dilatation of retinal veins may lead to a disease known as Plus disease. In stage 1 ROP the retinal blood vessels fail to reach the retinal periphery and multiply abnormally. After a normal birth, the retinal blood vessels fill the anterior periphery zone 1 is the most posterior retina, which contains the optic nerve the macula.

Zone 2 is the intermediate zone where blood vessels often stop in ROP. Zone 3 is the peripheral zone of the retina where the vessels are absent in ROP. Retinal detachment is a serious consequence of stage 4 and 5 of ROP. The scar produced in the abnormal vessels inside the eye is the main cause. The scar pulls the retina away from the eye.

Treatment of ROP

The treatment is usually performed either by laser or cry therapy, which is freezing. Laser is more commonly used than cry therapy because of various advances in the laser treatment. The treatment for ROP in stage 3 generally causes threshold disease.

The majority of the babies, who require cry therapy, develop threshold disease between 32 and 42 weeks after conception. The conceptational age is calculated from the presumed day of conception. The main treatment goal is to destroy the retina that is deprived of retinal vessels.

This helps to generate the new vessels and prevent the formation of dense scars, which usually follow. The dense scar causes traction on the retina. The result is distortion of the normal orientation of the retina and thus leading to impairment of vision. In other cases, the retina detaches from the wall of the eye. The proper treatment extinguishes the fire of growing abnormal vessels in the eye and thus ultimately preventing the retinal detaching or form being severally distorted.


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