Dysphagia Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Dysphagia article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abdominal: Relating to the abdomen, the belly, that part of the body that contains all of ...

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Achalasia: A disease of the esophagus that mainly affects young adults. Abnormal function ...

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Acid reflux: A common condition and an abnormal one in which acid in the stomach rises up...

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Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Aphagia: Inability to eat.

Aspiration: Removal of a sample of fluid and cells through a needle. Aspiration also re...

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Aspiration pneumonia: Inflammation of the lungs due to aspiration.

Bacterial: Of or pertaining to bacteria, as in a bacterial lung infection.

Barium: 1. A metallic element belonging to the alkaline earths with an atomic numbe...

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Barium swallow: A test that involves filling the esophagus, stomach, and small intestines ...

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Benign: Not malignant. A benign tumor is one that does not invade surrounding tissue or sp...

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Botox: A highly purified preparation of botulinum toxin A, a toxin produced by the bacteri...

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Botulinum toxin: A toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum that is th...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Capsule: Capsule has many meanings in medicine including the following:

  1. In medici...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cerebral: Of or pertaining to the cerebrum or the brain.

Cerebral palsy: An abnormality of motor function (the ability to move and control movement...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chills: feelings of coldness accompanied by shivering. Chills may develop after exposure t...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Compression: 1. The act of pressing together. As in a compression fracture, nerve c...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

Connective tissue: A material made up of fibers forming a framework and support structure...

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Dermatomyositis: A chronic inflammatory disease of skin and muscle which is associated wit...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Dilation: The process of enlargement, stretching, or expansion. The word "dilatation" mean...

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Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is due to abnormal nerve or muscle control. It...

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Endoscopy: Examination of the inside of the body by using a lighted, flexible instrument c...

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Enteral: Pertaining to the small intestine. As in enteral nutrition. Also called enteric.

Esophageal: Related to the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer: A malignant tumor of the esophagus. The risk of cancer of the esophagus...

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Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus.

Esophagram: A series of X-ray images of the esophagus. The X-ray pictures are taken after ...

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Esophagus: The tube that connects the pharynx (throat) with the stomach. The esophagus lie...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Gastroesophageal: Pertaining to both the stomach and the esophagus, as in the gastroesopha...

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Gastroesophageal reflux: The return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus This fr...

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Gastrostomy: A surgical opening into the stomach. A gastrostomy may be used for feeding, u...

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GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Head injury: Damage to any of the structures of the head as a result of trauma. While the ...

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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Incision: A cut through skin or other tissue performed by a health care professional.

Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Laryngoscope: A flexible, lighted tube that is used to examine the inside of the larynx (v...

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Laryngoscopy: Examination of the larynx (voice box), either with a mirror (indirect laryng...

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Larynx: A tube-shaped organ in the neck that contains the vocal cords. The larynx is about...

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Lateral: 1. In anatomy, the side of the body or a body part that is farther from th...

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Lips: Aside from the lips of the mouth, there are two pairs of lips at the entrance to the...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Lymph: The almost colorless fluid that travels through the lymphatic system, carrying cell...

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Manometry: The measurement of pressure using a device called a manometer. Esophageal manom...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Multiple sclerosis: A disease that is characterized by loss of myelin (demyelinization). A...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Muscular: Having to do with the muscles. Also, endowed with above average muscle developme...

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Muscular dystrophy: One of a group of genetic diseases characterized by progressive weakne...

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Myasthenia gravis: An autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is characterized by fatigue a...

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Nasogastric: Referring to the passage from the nose to the stomach. Abbreviated NG.

Nasogastric tube: A tube that is passed through the nose and down through the nasopharynx ...

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Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Neuromuscular: Pertaining to both nerves and muscles, as in neuromuscular blockade by an a...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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Odynophagia: Pain on swallowing food and fluids, a symptom often due to disease of the eso...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Palsy: Paralysis, generally partial, whereby a local body area is incapable of voluntary m...

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Parkinson's disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease that is characterized by a fi...

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Pathologist: A physician who identifies diseases and conditions by studying abnormal cells...

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PEG: Stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a surgical procedure for placing a ...

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Percutaneous: Through the skin. For example, a percutaneous biopsy is a biopsy that is obt...

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Pharynx: The hollow tube that is about 5 inches long and starts behind the nose and ends a...

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Physical therapy: A branch of rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises...

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Pneumonia: Inflammation of one or both lungs, with dense areas of lung inflammation. Pneum...

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Posture: The carriage of the body as a whole, the attitude of the body, or the position of...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Radiologist: A physician specialized in radiology, the branch of medicine that uses ionizi...

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Reflex: An involuntary reaction. For example, the corneal reflex is the blink that occurs ...

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Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Rehabilitation: The process of helping a person who has suffered an illness or injury rest...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Saliva: a watery secretion in the mouth produced by the salivary glands that aids in the d...

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Scleroderma: A disease of connective tissue that causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to form in ...

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Sclerosis: Localized hardening of skin. Sclerosis is generally caused by underlying diseas...

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Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stricture: An abnormal narrowing of a body passage, especially a tube or a canal. The str...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Swallowing tube: Descriptive term for the esophagus. See: Esophagus.

Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body. A systemic disease such as diabetes can affect the wh...

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Tear: A drop of the salty secretion of the lacrimal glands which serves to moisten the con...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Toxin: A poison produced by certain animals, plants, or bacteria.

Trachea: A tube-like portion of the respiratory tract that connects the larynx with the br...

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Tube feeding: See: Enteral nutrition.

Voice box: The voice box, or larynx, is the portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract ...

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White blood cell: One of the cells the body makes to help fight infections. There are seve...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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