What is Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)?

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is when the retinal blood vessels do not develop normally in babies that are born prematurely. It can cause a serious loss of vision if it isn't diagnosed and treated early.

The reasons why babies develop ROP is complicated, but ROP is more likely to occur in babies that:

  • are born very prematurely - particularly less than 32 weeks
  • have a low birth weight (less than 1500 grams)
  • have needed oxygen treatment.

Advanced ROP requiring treatment affects only around six percent of premature babies.

More information can be found on our retinopathy of prematurity web page.

We also have a retinopathy of prematurity factsheet:

For further information and support about retinopathy of prematurity and other eye conditions please contact our Helpline:

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