Premature babies are at a greater risk for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a retinal disorder that is a common cause of vision loss in childhood and can lead to lifelong impairment and blindness. At Children's National Health System, our ophthalmology team is recognized for its experience in screening and treating this highly complex disease.
Retinopathy of prematurity is common in premature babies. About half of infants with more severe cases may develop serious eye damage and blindness if left untreated. That's why it's important you trust your child's care to a team of pediatric ophthalmologists who specialize in ROP. We offer:
We routinely screen all infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) who are at risk for ROP. We consider the following premature infants to be at risk:
We perform eye examinations every one to two weeks until the retina is fully mature or needs treatment. These exams take less than 15 minutes. We are sensitive to the needs of the most extreme premature babies, and their stress level.
Children with ROP may need glasses early in life, or experience other problems such as strabismus (misaligned eyes), amblyopia (“lazy eye”), glaucoma, and cataracts. These problems can be easily treated and controlled, if detected early. Our team is here to provide all of your long-term pediatric ophthalmology needs.
For more information, call us at 202-476-4636.
Our team of pediatric ophthalmologists is highly trained to identify infants needing urgent treatment. Our treatment options include:
Vitrectomy: Procedure that delicately removes scar tissue and allows the retina to reattach
Our specialized pediatric ophthalmologists are experts at recognizing and treating complex eye conditions in infants and children.
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Other than the scar on the right side of his neck, there are no visible signs that he went through such grave trauma at birth."
Read More of Timothy's Story
As your child’s vision system develops, the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the eyes is complex because neurological complications may contribute to problems with sight and eye function.