One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Abnormal proliferation of fibrous tissue immediately behind the lens of the eye, leading to blindness. It affected many premature babies in the 1950s, owing to the excessive administration of oxygen.
- ‘Through his involvement in the tragic saga of retrolental fibroplasia (retinopathy of prematurity), his devotion to rooting out weaknesses in clinical research methodology became more than an intellectual exercise.’
- ‘It is known that excessive oxygen can damage the retina of a premature baby leading to a condition called retrolental fibroplasia which results in blindness.’
- ‘Retrolental fibroplasia is the most common cause of preschool blindness.’
1940s: from retro- + Latin lens, lent- ‘lentil’ + -al.
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