WHAT IS RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY?
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), also known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is a process of blood vessel formation and intraocular scar tissue level. It affects the retina (membrane we see in the back of the eye), usually in newborn infants of low birth weight.
WHAT CAUSES OF PREMATURE RETINOPATHY?
The causes are complex and not fully clarified. Factors that may influence the onset of this condition are first, the degree of prematurity and birth weight. Other associated factors include respiratory problems, anemia, heart problems, bleeding in the brain and the need for oxygen helps to save the baby's life. Initially it was thought that oxygen therapy could be the cause of RDP, but there is no 100% evidence that this is so.
DO ALL BABIES WITH RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY END WITH BLINDNESS?
No, only a small percentage ends in blindness. Retinal changes may or may not lead to visual impairment depending on their location, severity and progression.
Sometimes, without any apparent cause, the overgrowth of blood vessels and stop scars themselves. This happens on many occasions and the explanation remains unknown. Unfortunately, a small percentage is progressing with a vision impairment that can reach blindness.
CAN YOU PREDICT THE OUTCOME OF A BABY IN VISUAL AT DIAGNOSIS?
It is impossible to predict accurately the outcome of retinopathy of prematurity in a particular baby. Successive tests are needed to determine the progression of the disease and treating its complications.
CAN IT BE PREVENTED RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURE?
Despite the progress and sophistication of neonatal units and pediatric hospitals Intensive Care, ROP continues to occur. It can not be considered a disease that we can prevent, as it is the price we must pay, in some cases, to ensure the survival of very sick preterm infants.
COULD BE TREATED RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURE?
Although there is no medical evidence or fully effective surgical treatments for primary box, new alternatives are being investigated for their prevention and treatment. Sometimes you may see associated problems such as myopia, glaucoma, retinal detachment or strabismus. Most of them are treatable, although moderately satisfactory results are achieved.
WHY ARE IMPORTANT VISUAL CONTROLS?
Eye disease can occur at any age. Some changes do not cause symptoms until the disease has produced irreversible damage. Regular eye exams are important because most of blindness are preventable if a diagnosis and early treatment.