Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer

Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease of the retinal blood vessels, affecting infants who are born prematurely. ROP results from abnormal blood vessel growth in the developing retina. All premature infants should be screened by the neonatology personnel or an ophthalmologist comfortable examining premature infants. Babies are examined at appropriate intervals to detect ROP at an early stage. Patients with ROP are at higher risk for developing crossed eyes, lazy eye, glaucoma, cataracts and the need for glasses as they grow and mature.


ROP results in bleeding and scarring that ultimately causes retinal detachments and blindness if left untreated.


ROP is caused by complex factors that govern the development of an infant’s retinas. The more premature or smaller the infant is, the greater the likelihood of developing retinopathy of prematurity. Too much or too little oxygen may also play a role in the development of ROP.

Treatment Options

Some children with mild ROP require no treatment as the disease will spontaneously regress. For babies with advanced or severe disease, laser treatment is the most common and successful form of treatment employed. Some physicians, however, will use a freezing treatment called cryoretinopexy. In severe cases of retinal detachment, scleral buckle surgery or vitrectomy surgery may be necessary. Treatment is usually successful in stabilizing the disease and preventing severe vision loss.

Wheaton Eye Clinic sub-specialists in pediatrics and retina have extensive experience both screening and treating premature infants with ROP. They will discuss your child’s condition and help you to decide upon the best treatment options.


Wheaton Eye Clinic’s unparalleled commitment to excellence is evident in our continued growth. Today we provide world-class medical and surgical care to patients in six suburban locations—Wheaton, Naperville, Hinsdale, Plainfield, St. Charles, and Bartlett.

(630) 668-8250 (800) 637-1054
WARNING: Internet Explorer does not support modern web standards. This site may not function correctly on this browser and is best viewed on Chrome, Firefox or Edge browsers. Learn More.