Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is an eye disease that occurs in a small percentage of premature babies where abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina — the light-sensitive layer of cells lining the back of the eye that helps us see. As part of the routine follow-up care for premature infants, we specifically check for retinopathy of prematurity. ROP occurs more frequently in smaller premature babies with very low birth weight or of an earlier gestational age. For instance, a 28-week premature baby has a greater risk of developing ROP than a 32-week premature baby. Thomas Eye Group’s pediatric eye care specialists perform an examination to ensure the retina is developing normally, then re-check in six months and start to evaluate the development of the vision. Retinopathy of prematurity, if present, will often resolve on its own over time, but requires frequent monitoring. If a baby is found to have ROP, they will have examinations every one to two weeks until the ROP resolves; if the ROP worsens, they will be referred to a pediatric retinal specialist for further evaluation and treatment.