Babies Born Prematurely may have a Greater Risk of Retinal Detachment

Research conducted in Sweden has revealed that babies born prematurely face a greater risk of retinal detachment later on in life. According to EyeSmart, these babies are 19 times more likely to develop retinal detachment than others.

infants and retinal detachment

Source: Danilo Rizzuti via

Researchers studied national registries to find individuals who were born at less than 8.6 months gestation from 1973 to 2008. These individuals were then divided into two groups; one of those born between 1973 and 1986, prior to the establishment of the national retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening program. The group contained those born between 1987 and 2008 and individuals that received ROP screening. The study revealed the following results:


– The risk of retinal detachment for those born extremely premature (approximately 6.5 months) was 19 times greater for those born prior to 1987
– Individuals born very prematurely (approximately 6.5 to 7.2 months) had a risk of retinal detachment four times greater prior to the establishment of the ROP screening program
– The risk is three-fold for those born between 6.5 and 7.2 months after the ROP screening program was created.


As babies born prematurely are at a greater risk for ROP and other eye and vision problems, it’s important that their eyes are monitored closely and regularly with advanced technology. As we have shared before, Optos’ non-contact ultra-widefield (UWF) imaging is capable of capturing high-quality images in ROP that cover a larger area quickly and efficiently, with improved pediatric patient cooperation and no need for anesthesia.


Practitioners that treat individuals who were born prematurely can contact us to learn more about how our technology can benefit your patients, as well as your practice. request a consultation with a representative.