Premature newborns with a gestational duration of less than 31 weeks and weighing less than 1,250 grams are likely to develop retinopathy of prematurity, with the risk increasing the lower the birth weight.
Retinopathy of prematurity is characterized by abnormal growth of neovascularizations in the retina, which can sometimes even create retinal detachment, leading to blindness.
Another factor that plays a primary role for the newborn is the administration of oxygen, which, if not administered at the correct density, increases the chances of the premature to manifest retinopathy.
In light cases vision may reach normal levels, while in others it may be too low, up to less than 1/10. In this case and as long as vision is maintained until the fifth year of age, the child has a good chance with the use of low vision aids to be able to perform daily activities.