It is known that drinking during pregnancy is prohibited. There are now lots of cases that can be considered as examples showing the effects of consuming alcohol while pregnant. It is such an unfortunate thing since the unborn child is the one that suffers the effects. Among the conditions caused by drinking while pregnant is the fetal alcohol syndrome. This condition involves effects on the physical and mental aspect of the child.
Children who are born with the condition may be severely handicapped resulting in the need of lifetime special care. The condition develops due to alcohol consumption between the pregnancy’s tenth and twentieth week. Mental and physical defects are the effects of this. Physical defects include growth deficiencies and facial abnormalities. There are more things to know regarding fetal alcohol syndrome facial features.
The List of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Facial Features
The facial features of a child with FAS include having small eyes with upper lids that are drooping and short and upturned nose. They also have flattened cheeks, upper lip that is thin and a small jaw.
These facial features indicate that there is brain damage. However, there are cases when even without the facial features, brain damage still occurs. It is among the conditions that specialists have studied. From these studies, diagnostic criteria have been made. In the criteria, 3 distinctive as well as diagnostically facial features that are significant are distinguished as the effects of drinking during pregnancy. These are features that distinguish the disorder from others that also show almost the same characteristics. These are:
Small Palpebral Fissures - It is the effect that happens as more exposure to alcohol occurs – the eye width starts decreasing.
Smooth Philtrum - This is the groove or divor seen between the upper lip and nose. As prenatal exposure to alcohol increases, that part gets more flattened.
Thin Vermillion - As more exposure to alcohol during pregnancy occurs, the more the upper lip gets thinner.
These facial features are measured by trained physician to determine whether the child has the disorder or another condition that shows almost the same characteristics. It is measured using a standard guide. Measurement of the facial features is also done to determine the severity of the condition. Rank 1 is the normal and the severe is rank 5. The ranking of the fetal alcohol syndrome facial features are:
None - The mentioned 3 facial features are on the normal limit.
Mild - Facial features recognized in the mild severity rank is covering a wide range of combinations. 2 of the facial features are in the severe ranking while the remaining one is on the normal limits. 1 of the facial feature is ranked severe while the other 2 are in moderate rank. One of the facial features is ranked severe, the other as moderate and the last in the normal limits.
Moderate - In this level of severity, the 2 facial features are in the severe rank and the last one in moderate.
Severe – This level of severity shows all three of the facial features independently ranked as severe.
These are the things entailed in the fetal alcohol syndrome facial features subject. The information mentioned is used by physicians in determining the condition and its severity.