Screening for Retinopathy of Prematurity

When infants are born prematurely the blood vessels in the retina (inner most layer of the eye) have not completed their development. In certain infants these blood vessels can grow abnormally once the baby is outside of the womb.

There are multiple stages of abnormal blood vessel growth, the most severe of which can lead to significant vision loss.

 If a baby is determined to have higher stages of retinopathy of prematurity, treatment such as laser applied to the retina can often prevent vision loss.

Infants born at 30 weeks gestational age or under and babies born with a birth weight of less than 1500 grams are at risk for developing retinopathy of prematurity.

Our ophthalmologists offer screening eye exams for retinopathy of prematurity in several neonatal intensive care units on Long Island and in Manhattan and in the office once your child is discharged. Development of the retinal blood vessels is often complete by your due date or shortly after in most infants.