A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother’s body. Most birth defects happen during the first 3 months of pregnancy. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.
A birth defect may affect how the body looks, works or both. Some birth defects like cleft lip or neural tube defects are structural problems that can be easy to see. To find others, like heart defects, doctors use special tests. Birth defects can range from mild to severe. Causes can include
For most birth defects, the cause is unknown.
Health care providers can diagnose certain birth defects during pregnancy, with prenatal tests. That’s why it important to get regular prenatal care. Other birth defects may not be found until after the baby is born. Sometimes the defect is obvious right away. Other times, the health care provider may not discover it until later in life.
Babies with birth defects often need special care and treatments. The treatments may include surgery, medicines, assistive devices, and therapies.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
You may only think of tears as those salty drops that fall from your eyes when you cry. Actually, your tears clean your eyes every time you blink. Tears also keep your eyes moist, which is important for your vision.
Tear glands produce tears, and tear ducts carry the tears from the glands to the surface of your eye. Problems with the tear system can include too many tears, too few tears, or problems with the tear ducts. Treatment of the problem depends on the cause.