When a premature baby develops Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP), it's not uncommon for new parents to be completely unfamiliar with the term. However, as surprising as it may seem, ROP is the considered to be the leading causes of blindness in children that are living in developed countries. This is because when premature babies are born, the blood vessels in the back of their eyes are not fully developed and cannot properly provide the retina with nutrients and oxygen. The babies are placed under oxygen therapy to support their lungs and then the high levels of oxygen can release free radicals in the retina and cause damage in the tissue. Once the babies are able to breath on their own, their blood vessels begin growing uncontrollably in all directions, resulting in bleeding and irreversible damage that can result in vision loss.
There is, however, good news on the horizon. Scientists at Australia's Vision Centre have found that treating premature babies with near-infrared (NIR) light can prevent the development of ROP. They believe that treatment using NIR is less invasive and also inexpensive and free of side effects because it prevents long term damage to the retina by halting incorrect vessel growth from occurring in the first place. As of now the experiments have only been conducted on animals, but the scientists are very optimistic and have started a trial to treat newborns with NIR at the Canberra Hospital.
Is your newborn baby suffering from ROP in Texas, Arkansas or Oklahoma? Contact the Retinopathy of Prematurity lawyers at The Girards Law Firm today for a free consultation at 888-333-9709.
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