What is Oka Ori in babies: Causes and Recommended Treatments

Oka ori is a major cause of concern for every Nigerian mother. Oka Ori goes by many names such as Ntwia Isi, hole in the head, and many others. Medically, it is known as sunken fontanelle which appears on the anterior or frontal part of the baby’s head.


No matter what you call it, be it Oka Ori, Nkuwa Isi, or sunken fontanelles, it is a significant source of worry for women and their infants. Regardless, mothers no longer recognize the need for a medical expert's guidance when their newborn is suspected of having Oka Ori due to the centuries-long attitude toward Oka Ori and its remedies.

This article seeks to explore the specific definition of oka Ori and the real therapies to subside the condition.



What is Oka Ori?

Oka Ori, also known as sunken fontanelle, is referred to as the baby's soft area on the head. The area between the skull appears to be somewhat low and sunken. This hollow region is often at the front or back of the head and is held in place by a soft tissue membrane and skin since it lacks bones.


All of the fontanelles, which are soft places on newborns, are not necessarily sunken. The fontanelles that are submerged and most easily recognized are those that are visible.



Is Oka Ori bad?

Oka Ori is a significant and essential part of a baby's developmental milestone. The soft spot is beneficial during childbirth because it makes it easier for the baby to pass through the birth canal. Oka Ori typically closes between the ages of 9 to 18 months for the anterior fontanelles and between the ages of 3-6 months for the posterior fontanelles


Oka Ori enables your child's brain to develop and expand appropriately, allowing for healthy growth in head size as the child gets older. Some doctors also utilize Oka Ori to identify children's head anomalies.



Causes of Oka Ori or the Sunken Fontanelle

Oka Ori can be caused by certain factors, which include: 

  1.   -Kwashiorkor
  2.   -Dehydration
  3.   -A Toxic Megacolon
  4.   -Diabetes Insipidus


Each of these factors causes deep sunken fontanelles, but the most prominent among them is dehydration. However, sunken fontanelles are expected in a healthy child.



Treatment for Oka Ori

Before taking any further action, it is advised that you see your paediatrician if you observe that your child has sunken fontanelles. Although several herbal pastes, oils, and therapies are regarded by some to be effective for Oka Ori, it is advised that you see your doctor.


This is typically due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of these herbal pastes. Meeting with the paediatrician would also assist in determining how deep and wide the fontanelle is and offer answers for any potential issues. Fontanelles can also be problematic; some of them may bulge, be excessively wide, or close very early. If you see any of these symptoms, see your medical practitioner right away because they could lead to more severe problems.





Preventing Sunken Fontanelles

If predominantly the deep sunken fontanelles are caused by dehydration, then giving your child the fluids they require to avoid dehydration is essential. It helps to maintain a normal water balance. If they are normal, then there are no ways to prevent them because they are predominant in all babies.




As a mother, it would be advisable to take your newborn for a checkup if you suspect your baby doesn't have sunken fontanelles, even if there are different ideas in Nigeria regarding Oka Ori

For the sake of resolving a scenario involving delicate infants, dear mothers, be cautious with the herbs you offer your child to consume.

Leaving "Oka Ori" is the best course of action for treatment.

Keep your hands off it. It is very typical. Remember always to see your paediatrician first!

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