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 gestation
  • have a low birth weight of less than 1500 grams
  • have needed oxygen treatment.

There are only around six percent of premature babies that will have advanced ROP requiring treatment.

We have produced a factsheet with more information on ROP:

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

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