Treatment of ROP lowers the chance of blindness, but it does not always prevent it. If your baby is at risk of ROP, an ophthalmologist will check your baby’s eyes. These tests start at about four to six weeks of age and happen regularly until the eye vessels have grown to the edges.
If the ophthalmologist sees any abnormal growth of blood vessels, he or she will record the extent of ROP, called Staging. Infants who have ROP need more frequent eye tests to watch for progress of the condition.
The treatment depends on the stage of the blood vessel growth. In Stage I and early Stage II, treatment is usually not needed. These stages may resolve by themselves without further growth of the abnormal vessels. Infants with Stage III may require treatment to stop the growth of abnormal vessels.
To treat ROP, the inner lining of the eye at the ends of these vessels is killed to prevent further abnormal growth of the blood vessels. This prevents the inner lining (retina) from being pulled away from the outer lining (detached) by the abnormal vessels.