Eye Exam for Retinopathy of Prematurity

During this exam, an eye doctor examines the interior of the eyes through a special lens. The doctor checks for any damaged blood vessels in the retina inside the eye.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After arriving home, contact the doctor if any of the following occurs in your infant:

    • Discharge from the eye
    • Redness or swelling
    • Does not respond to objects, movement, or light or is not tracking with their eyes
    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Any new symptoms

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    During this exam, an eye doctor examines the interior of the eyes through a special lens. The doctor checks for any damaged blood vessels in the retina inside the eye.

    Normal Anatomy of the Eye
    IMAGE
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    This exam is done to look for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP is an abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina. It is a rare conditions that that can occur in premature infants or those that have a low birth weight. ROP will usually go away on its own but some can cause vision loss or blindness. This exam will help determine if ROP is present and if treatment is needed.

    If your infant is at risk for ROP, this eye exam will be scheduled at regular intervals until the blood vessels of the eye are fully developed.

  • Possible Complications

    Your infant may need eye drops during the exam. Your doctor will discuss the complications that may be caused by eye drops, such as:

    • Stinging or discomfort in the eye
    • Light sensitivity
    • Blurred vision
    • Lid swelling
    • Red eyes

    Be sure to discuss these risks with the doctor before the eye exam.