ERIC Number: EJ726476
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 38
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Steinweg, Sue Byrd; Griffin, Harold C.; Griffin, Linda W.; Gingras, Happy
RE:view: Rehabilitation Education for Blindness and Visual Impairment, v37 n1 p32 Spr 2005
The eyes of premature infants are especially vulnerable to injury after birth. A serious complication is called retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), which is abnormal growth of the blood vessels in an infant's eye. Retinopathy of prematurity develops when abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina, which is the nerve tissue at the back of the eye. The scarring, and bleeding, caused by the excess growth of blood vessels can lead to retinal detachment, resulting in vision loss. Visual problems associated with ROP can range from minimal visual damage to complete blindness, and include strabismus, myopia, and astigmatism (Buysse, Casteels, Dieltiens, Eggermont, & Missotten, 1994). Acute forms of ROP that result in severe visual impairment or blindness can often affect a child's motor, language, conceptual, and social development (Wheatley, Dickinson, Mackey, Craig, and Sale, 2002). This article explains the history and causes of ROP. It describes a standardized scheme for classifying ROP, which includes the stage, extent, and location of the condition and the presence of engorged retinal blood vessels (plus disease), developed in 1984 by ophthalmologists. Surgical interventions and management strategies to minimize further retinal damage are discussed, as well as effects that impact education, and possible educational interventions. The article concludes with a case study of a visually impaired 3 year old who is currently receiving educational interventions in mobility and eye-hand coordination, demonstrating that through varied interventions, children with ROP can learn to lead independent and productive lives.
Descriptors: Pathology, Visual Impairments, Premature Infants, Ophthalmology, Child Development, Classification, Early Intervention
Heldref Publications, Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1319 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1802. Web site: http://www.heldref.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A