Discuss different kinds of birth defects. Thousands of babies take birth each year with various kinds of birth defects. A birth defect is an external or internal problem or deficiency that may affect a kid’s internal organs, external body parts and their proper functions, the DNA structure or more than one of these. Such defects can shorten the lifespan of a person or hamper his/her normal daily routines. There are several kinds of birth defects prevalent in different parts of the world.
The chromosomal birth defect is one of the most notable kinds of birth defects that is ravaging the modern civilization. Down’s syndrome or Trisomy 21 is the most infamous of chromosomal defects. It affects 1 in every 800 children born in the US. Down’s syndrome occurs due to the division of the egg or sperm in an incorrect way, such that the fetus receives an unwanted copy of the Chromosome 21. Children born with Down’s syndrome often have problems like intellectual disability, heart disease, hearing and vision issues, dementia and memory loss, altered facial features etc. The risk of Trisomy 21 increases with the increase in pregnant mother’s age.
Structural defects include any kind of abnormalities in internal organs and physical structure of the infant. Such defects include facial defects such as small nose or ears, deformed skull structure, heart problems like congenital heart issues, hole in heart valve, congenital blood pressure problems and limb defects such as flat foot, legs and hands varying in length and weak arm and leg muscles. Reproductive structural defects are also prevalent in South American and Asian countries. These kinds of birth defects can be corrected completely or to some extent using surgery.
Oral Facial Clefts are a cosmetic type of birth defect that affects innumerable newborn babies each year. This condition occurs if the lips or mouth of the fetus does not close or fuse properly during pregnancy. Clefts can be Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate. Cleft Lip occurs when the there is a cleft or slit going from center of upper lip to nose and upper lip does not close properly. The cleft can vary in sizes. Cleft palate does not occur in conjunction with cleft lip. Cleft lip can be treated completely by surgery during the first few months of birth. Cleft Palate happens when the roof of the mouth or palate does not close. It can also be treated via surgery. If these problems are not treated, speech impairment might develop in later stages of life.
Neural tube defects are the kinds of birth defects that can affect an infant in a very severe manner. It is resulted from the Neural tube not closing properly. These problems affect brain functions and spinal chord of the baby. In most severe cases of neural tube defects, the infant dies within first few hours or mere days from birth. Other defects create partial paralysis hampering mobility.
Most kinds of birth defects can be treated completely or to a large extent, thanks to modern medical science. However, the best way to prevent birth defects is to take complete care during pregnancy and avoiding all kinds of harmful habits.