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Treatment Of Retinopathy Of Prematurity From Retina Surgeon In Mumbai

Treatment Of Retinopathy Of Prematurity From Retina Surgeon In Mumbai

September 9, 2019

Retinopathy of Prematurity is a serious condition and requires immediate medical intervention. A comprehensive eye check is advised in premature babies which should be conducted at best retina hospital in Mumbai.

What Is Retinopathy Of Prematurity?

Premature babies are born before completing the gestation period. The babies who are born before 31 weeks of gestation are termed as premature babies. Due to the early birth of such babies, they may suffer from various birth abnormalities. Some organs require complete gestation period to get fully developed.

One of the abnormalities that may be present in premature babies is Retinopathy of Prematurity. This is a disease which has the potential to cause blindness in children. Smaller the baby, higher is the risk of developing this condition.

This condition normally occurs in both the eyes and is one of the common reasons for blindness in children. The condition was first diagnosed in 1942.

Retinopathy of Prematurity is classified into various stages depending upon the severity of disease from stage I to stage V. Fortunately most infants have the mild condition and does not require medical intervention. Some cases with severe retinopathy of prematurity require immediate medical intervention.

What Causes Retinopathy Of Prematurity?

The exact cause of retinopathy of prematurity remains unknown but researchers believe that retinal detachment is the primary cause of poor vision in children due to this condition. Blood vessels are in the developmental stage during the last few weeks of birth. Various factors affect the development of blood vessels. These include medications, bright light, temperature variations and level of oxygen supplied. The development of blood vessels becomes abnormal due to the birth of the baby earlier than the full gestation period. This is because the blood vessels do not reach the edges of retina thus making retina devoid of essential nutrients and oxygen. These abnormal blood vessels grew throughout the retina. It is believed that new blood vessels grow in response to poor nutrition. These vessels are highly fragile and may leak. This causes scarring and pulling of the retina from its position.

What Is The Treatment Of Retinopathy Of Prematurity?

The treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity depends upon the stage of the disease. Following are the treatment options:

  • Laser Photocoagulation: This treatment has opted for patients who are in stage III of the disease. This treatment involves burning of the abnormal blood vessels in the peripheral region of the retina. This treatment causes loss of peripheral vision but is effective in preserving the central vision. More importantly, it prevents the progression of retinal detachment.
  • Scleral Buckle: This treatment is done to treat Retinopathy of prematurity of stage IV or V. This treatment involves the placing of a silicon band in the middle of the eye. This results in flattening of the retina which prevents retinal detachment. However, some studies conclude that this treatment results in severe myopia.
  • Vitrectomy: This treatment is advised in patients with stage V of Retinopathy of Prematurity. In this technique, the vitreous is removed and replaced with a saline solution. The scar tissue of the retina is removed and the retinal is allowed to stabilize on its wall. This helps in preventing further retinal detachment.

What If Retinopathy Of Prematurity Is Not Treated Appropriately?

Untreated Retinopathy of Prematurity results in the progression of retinal detachment. This results in complete or partial vision loss. If the treatment is not provided to the patient or the treatment is not able to prevent its progression it has the potential to cause blindness. Thus, it is advised to the parents of a premature baby, who is less than 200 grams of weight, to get a comprehensive evaluation of the eye of their baby.

Which Infants Are More At Risk For Developing Retinopathy Of Prematurity?

Various factors increase the risk of developing Retinopathy of Prematurity. Low birth weight and premature delivery are one of the common reasons for this condition. Other risk factors include respiratory distress, breathing difficulties, blood transfusions, oxygen, and anemia. In the past, when the technology of monitoring the oxygen supply is not available, an increased supply of oxygen was one of the primary factors of retinopathy of prematurity.

How Retinopathy Of Prematurity Affects The Overall Development Of Child?

Response to treatment varies among children. Some respond significantly and lead a healthy life while some either loss partial vision or may get completely blind. In such children, there is a delay or lack of cognitive development. The child misses developmental milestones because of the complications due to prematurity such as deafness and cerebral palsy and due to loss of vision.

Ojas Eye Hospital A Center of Excellence Retina Surgery in Mumbai, India.