What is retinopathy of prematurity?
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) refers to a potential blinding eye disorder that mainly affects premature infants. The smaller a baby is at birth, more are the chances that the baby will be suffering from ROP. This disorder generally develops in both eyes and is one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood that leads to lifelong vision blindness and impairment. There are usually five stages to ROP, these stages are listed below:
•Mildly abnormal blood vessel growth
•Moderately abnormal blood vessel growth
•Severely abnormal blood vessel growth
•Partially detached retina
•Completely detached retina
What causes ROP?
ROP occurs due to the abnormal growth of blood vessels which spreads throughout the retina. Retinal detachment occurs when these abnormal blood vessels scar the retina due to which it gets pulled out of its position. Retinal detachment is one of the main causes of visual impairment and blindness in ROP.
How is ROP treated?
The most effective way to treat ROP is the cryotherapy or the laser therapy. In Laser therapy, the peripherals of the retina are burnt away, which have no normal blood vessels. Talking of cryotherapy, it is used by physicians as an instrument which generates freezing temperatures in order to touch spots on the surface of eye that cover the periphery of retina. Both laser and cryotherapy devastate peripheral areas of the retina, in order to reverse and slow down abnormal growth of blood vessels.
What is Laser Treatment?
One of the most preferred laser treatments is Photocoagulation that involves usage of Laser beam which prevents growth of blood vessels and also reduces clotting of blood. Laser treatment is generally considered as an outpatient procedure. The patient is given anesthesia so as to prevent any type of discomfort and is then positioned in front of a slit lamp. The doctor then directs laser beam specifically on the target with the help of slit lamp. The laser treatment results in destruction or vaporization of diseased tissue.
Some patients can experience some side effects after laser treatment. The list of possible side effects includes mild headache, double vision, watering eyes, or blurred vision. These side effects are usually temporary in nature and if it stays for a long time then you need to contact the doctor immediately.
Is there any surgical treatment for preventing retinal disease?
Vitrectomy is the most preferred surgical operation that is used for preventing retinal diseases. In this procedure the vitreous is removed and is replaced by saltwater solution. In this operation blood and debris is removed so as to place retina in its normal position. Furthermore it also replaces scar tissues, any object that is struck in the eye that helps in improving vision and sight. This procedure lasts for long hours due to which you can get hospitalized for certain hours.