Home > Retinopathy of Prematurity > Possible Complicatiosn of ROP
Nystagmus is a rhythmic, involuntary, often horizontal movement of the eyes. It is common in people who have been severely visually impaired since early childhood. Nystagmus as it occurs in people with ROP, called ocular nystagmus (nystagmus related to eye conditions), is thought to be an exaggerated attempt to focus when a person has poor vision. People who lose their vision later in life, however, won't develop nystagmus.
Retinal detachment occurs when the light sensitive part of the eye, called the retina, is pulled away from the back of the eye. This will, if not detected and treated early, often lead to profound vision loss. In infants with ROP, this complication is fairly common, for, even though the abnormal vascularisation may have stopped, the scar tissue which had formed around the retina will remain. This may pull the retina out of position, cause retinal folds or, in the worst case, lead to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment can also occur later in life, leading to further vision loss or blindness.
Cataract is the clouding of the eye's lens. It is common among older persons, may be congenital, but it can also occur as a complication of another eye disease. People with ROP, therefore, have an increased risk for cataracts, although the cause of the condition is unknown. Cataracts are, however, usually treatable.
Glaucoma is an excessive discrepancy between the introcular fluid and the draining of it, which results in fluid building up in the eye which raises inttraocular pressure. It may occur in several forms. In people with ROP, acute and chronic angle closure glaucoma are fairly common. It usually occurs in one's teens or early twenties.
Phthisis is not really a diagnosis in itself, but more the end result of other eye problems. It involves the involution of the eye, where the eye shrinks and pulls back into the orbit. The eye may also become painful. Phthisis may occur after long-time untreated retinal detachment or very high or low intraocular pressure.