Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)



CLICK HERE to read article.

..close follow-up and ablation of peripheral avascular retina should be considered in patients with ROP, regardless of treatment history, to decrease lifelong risk of severe complications, including retinal detachment decades later.
[Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2018;49:625-628.].


If your teenager was diagnosed with ROP as an infant in the NICU it is still recommended that they receive follow-up eye exams to check for eye changes. Although there is a very low risk for retinal detachment at this time, eye changes have been reported as late evolution of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Your teen will need regular eye exams by a specialist as often as recommended. If the doctor detects a problem early on, he/she can treat most of these conditions without any vision loss.

Some of the changes that can evolve are:

  • Myopia (near-sightedness)
  • Strabismus (misalignment of the eyes)
  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment

Therefore, close follow-up should be considered in patients with ROP, regardless of treatment history, to decrease lifelong risk of severe complications in the future as an adult.

Also teaching your child the steps to good eye health and care is important for them to have and keep good vision.


Attending follow up eye exams can be a stressful time because it can remind you of the time when this diagnosis was given in the NICU. This a normal reaction and it is important to know that it is completely ok to allow yourself to approach this appointment for your teenager when you are feeling good and able to be your child’s best advocate. It is also important to find the right person to do these exams in a relaxed fashion who can give you clear information and clear follow-up guidelines and referrals to other healthcare providers that fit your child’s needs. If you feel that your child needs further investigation the health care provider should be listening to you concerns. Writing out questions ahead of time is helpful if you have noticed problems in your child’s vision. Most of all you should feel that your history of the premature birth should be taken seriously and they should help you feel comfortable during this time.

 Questions for the health care provider:

  • Could the ROP return?
  • Is it only the retinal detachment that could return?
  • How often does my child have eye exams, is this a lifelong follow up visit?
  • Can the vision improve or does stabilize and remain the same?
  • Are there natural things like vitamins that can help eye health?

“Every eye exam my mother’s guilt returned.  It took me a while to accept it just is!  I then also saw this amazing daughter who just took it all in her stride. Her challenges are part of her story and have made her the strong and resilient teenager she is today.”  - Kylie, Mum to Scarlet born at 25 weeks

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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances.To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].