Does My Child Really Need to Wear These Glasses? A Review of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Long-Term Outcomes

Dawn R. Kuerschner, MS, NNP, RNC

Disclosures

NAINR. 2003;3(3) 

In This Article

Parent Education

Parents of infants with ROP need to have a basic understanding of the disease process, the possibility of complications, and further interventions. Given the broad range of potential complications from ROP, parents of premature infants need to understand the importance of consistent care and follow-up with a pediatric ophthalmologist who is familiar with ROP and the complications that may arise. Consistency in follow-up appointments is crucial because complications can present at any time. The frequency of eye examinations depends on the severity and progression of the ROP. Initially, infants may require one or more examinations per week. Examinations will be scheduled less frequently as the disease regresses and the retina matures. Surveillance for complications and assessment of visual acuity requires frequent evaluation, ranging from every month to a minimum of once a year.

Parents must realize the importance of having their child wear corrective lenses as much as possible. Children may resist this initially and remove the glasses frequently; parents must be vigilant about enforcing the need to wear the glasses. Compliance with eye patching also needs to be encouraged, because vision can be lost when the eye is not patched as prescribed.[46]

ROP is a common diagnosis in premature infants, which may result in visual deficits or blindness. It is a disorder that requires vigilant surveillance and timely intervention. Prevention and treatment of ROP are crucial factors in optimizing the child's long-term outcome.

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