DUBAI // Micro premature baby Nicholas Sacramento’s laser eye treatment will help contain and prevent damage to his sight.
Now five months old, Nicholas underwent laser surgery last week that took 20 minutes for each eye. The procedure aims to prevent retinal detachment.
“The laser works basically to preserve whatever vision the child has, because if we don’t treat the peripheral retina, it causes damage to the central and mid-peripheral retina and can result in detachment in those areas,” said Dr Prasan Rao, specialist ophthalmologist at Medcare Eye Centre, who treated Nicholas since he was born last October weighing half a kilogram.
Through the treatment, doctors have tried to conserve the central and mid-peripheral retina to maintain its current function. He will continue to be monitored for retinopathy of prematurity (Rop), a disease in premature babies that involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina and can lead to retinal detachment and subsequent blindness.
While many extremely premature babies grow up with no long-term effects, some face severe lifelong health problems.
Infants can struggle with lung infections, vision and hearing impairments and challenges with cognitive skills.
ROP is the most common condition and usually seen in babies weighing less than 1.25kg or born with less than 31 weeks of gestation, said Dr Rao.
“The smaller the baby, the higher the risk,” he said.
The disease is lifelong, meaning that later in life, children born premature are prone to developing detached retinas.
They also may develop a squint, lazy eye, short-sightedness and glaucoma.
“Periodic monitoring is required to ensure vessels are growing properly,” said Dr Rao.
Source: uae news