Earache Glossary of Terms

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

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute otitis media: Inflammation of the middle ear in which there is fluid in the middle ...

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American Academy of Pediatrics: AAP. Its member pediatricians "dedicate their efforts and ...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) ...

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

Barotrauma: Trauma caused by rapid or extreme changes in air pressure, especially affectin...

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Blister: A collection of fluid underneath the top layer of skin (epidermis). There are man...

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Bulla: A fluid-filled blister more than 5 mm (about 3/16 inch) in diameter with thin walls...

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Bullous: Characterized by blistering, such as a second-degree burn.

Cartilage: Firm, rubbery tissue that cushions bones at joints. A flexible kind of cartilag...

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Compress: Cloth or another material applied under pressure to an area of the skin and held...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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Drain: A device for removing fluid from a cavity or wound. A drain is typically a tube or ...

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Ear: The hearing organ. There are three sections of the ear, according to the anatomy tex...

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Ear drum: See: Eardrum.

Earache: Pain in the ear. This can occur because of conditions within the ear itself, the ...

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Eardrum: The tympanic membrane of the ear, or tympanum. The eardrum separates the middle e...

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Encephalitis: Inflammation of the brain, which may be caused by a bacterium, a virus, or a...

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Eustachian tube: The tube that runs from the middle ear to the pharynx. The function of th...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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

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Fungus: A single-celled or multicellular organism. Fungi can be true pathogens (such as hi...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Immunocompromised: Having an immune system that has been impaired by disease or medical tr...

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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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Influenza: The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divide...

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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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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Liver disease: Liver disease refers to any disorder of the liver. The liver is a large org...

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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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Malaise: A vague feeling of discomfort, one that cannot be pinned down but is often sensed...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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

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Membrane: A very thin layer of tissue that covers a 'surface.

Meningitis: Inflammation of the meninges, the three membranes that envelop the brain and t...

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Middle ear: A part of the ear that consists of the eardrum (tympanic membrane) and, beyond...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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

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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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Otitis: Inflammation of the ear. Depending upon which part of the ear is inflammed, there ...

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Otitis externa: Infection of the skin covering the outer ear canal that leads in to the ea...

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Otitis media: Inflammation of the middle ear characterized by the accumulation of infected...

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Otolaryngologist: A physician specialized in diagnosing and treating diseases of the head ...

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Otoscope: An instrument for looking in the ear.

Outer ear: The part of the ear that is visible along the side of the head. The outer ear c...

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Pacifier: An artificial nipple, usually made of plastic, upon which an infant can suck to ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pediatrics: The field of medicine that is concerned with the health of infants, children, ...

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Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions and, in the case of a compounding pharm...

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

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Predispose: To make more likely or render susceptible. Smoking predisposes to a number of ...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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

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Recur: To occur again; to return. For example, a symptom, sign, or disease can recur.

Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Scrape: An abrasion or cut caused by something rubbing roughly against the skin. To treat ...

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Secondhand smoke: Smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette or that is exhaled ...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Sore: 1. (adjective) A popular term for painful, such as a sore throat. 2. (...

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Sore throat: Pain in the throat. Sore throat may be caused by many different causes, inclu...

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Steroid: One of a large group of chemical substances classified by a specific carbon struc...

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Supine: With the back or dorsal surface downward. A person who is supine is lying face up....

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Swimmer's ear: Infection of the skin covering the outer ear canal that leads in to the ear...

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

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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Symptomatic treatment: Therapy that eases the symptoms without addressing the basic cause ...

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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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Tonsillitis: Inflammation of one or both tonsils, typically as a result of infection by a ...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Tympanic: 1. Pertaining to the tympanum (the eardrum).
2. Pertaining t...

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Tympanic membrane: The eardrum, a thin membrane that serves as a partition between the ext...

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Vertigo: Aside from being the name of a classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film (with Jimmy St...

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Viral: Of or pertaining to a virus. For example, if a person has a viral rash, the rash wa...

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Virus: A microorganism that is smaller than a bacterium that cannot grow or reproduce apar...

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