The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the latanoprost, Xalatan article.
Aqueous humor: In medicine, humor refers to a fluid (or semifluid) substance. Thus, the aqueous humor is the fluid normally present in the front and rear chambers of the eye. It is a clear, watery fluid that flows between and nourishes the lens and the cornea; it is secreted by the ciliary processes.
Bacteria: Single-celled microorganisms that can exist either as independent (free-living) organisms or as parasites (dependent on another organism for life). The plural of bacterium. Examples of bacteria include Acidophilus, a normal inhabitant of yogurt; Gonococcus which causes gonorrhea; Clostridium welchii, the most common cause of gangrene; E. coli, which lives in the colon and can cause disease elsewhere; and Streptococcus, the bacterium that causes the common throat infection called strep throat.
Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any portion of the eye, the optic nerve, or the area of the brain responsible for vision can lead to blindness. There are numerous (actually, innumerable) causes of blindness. The current politically correct terms for blindness include visually handicapped and visually challenged.
Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine detail. Blurred vision can occur when a person who wears corrective lens is without them. Blurred vision can also be an important clue to eye disease.
Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It functions as a primary receiver, organizer, and distributor of information for the body. It has a right half and a left half, each of which is called a hemisphere.
Breast milk: Milk from the breast. Human milk contains a balance of nutrients that closely matches infant requirements for brain development, growth and a healthy immune system. Human milk also contains immunologic agents and other compounds that act against viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Since an infant's immune system is not fully developed until age 2, human milk provides a distinct advantage over formula.
Conjunctivitis: Inflammation of the membrane covering the surface of the eyeball. It can be a result of infection or irritation of the eye, or it can be related to systemic diseases, such as Reiter syndrome. Also known as pinkeye.
Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vagina.
Eyelash: One of the familiar stiff hairs that project from the margin of the eyelid.
Eyelid: The lid or cover of the eye, a movable fold of skin and muscle that can be closed over the eyeball or opened at will. Each eye has an upper and a lower lid. Also known as a palpebra.
FDA: Food and Drug Administration.
Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after conception, when the major structures have formed) until birth.
Generic: 1. The chemical name of a drug. 2. A term referring to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug may be sold. 3.A term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises because of slowed fluid drainage from the eye. If untreated, it may damage the optic nerve and other parts of the eye, causing the loss of vision or even blindness.
Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg -- a systolic pressure above 140 with a diastolic pressure above 90.
Intraocular: In the eye. For example, intraocular pressure is the pressure within the eye.
Intraocular pressure: The pressure created by the continual renewal of fluids within the eye. The intraocular pressure is increased in glaucoma.
Iris: The circular, colored curtain of the eye. The opening of the iris forms the pupil. The iris helps regulate the amount of light that enters the eye.
Itching: An uncomfortable sensation in the skin that feels as if something is crawling on the skin and makes the person want to scratch the affected area. Itching is medically known as pruritis; something that is itchy is pruritic.
Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory and motor information from one body part to another. The fibrous portions of a nerve are covered by a sheath called myelin and/or a membrane called neurilemma. (Note that entries for specific nerves can be found under the names of the particular nerves. For example, the optic nerve is not under 'nerve, optic' but rather under 'optic nerve.')
Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintenance and restoration of health by attending the needs of sick persons. 2) Feeding a infant at the breast.
Ocular: Having to do with the eye.
Open-angle glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that leads to progressive atrophy of the optic nerve in the presence of an open angle. It is accompanied by changes in the appearance of the optic disc, loss of peripheral vision and has historically been associated with elevated intra-ocular pressure.
Ophthalmic: Pertaining to the eye. For example, an ophthalmic ointment is designed for the eye.
Optic: Having to do with vision.
Optic nerve: The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries the impulses formed by the retina, the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye and senses light and creates impulses. These impulses are dispatched through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as images. Using an ophthalmoscope, the head of the optic nerve can be easily seen. It can be viewed as the only visible part of the brain (or extension of it).
Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia. Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
Pigment: A substance that gives color to tissue. Pigments are responsible for the colors of skin, eyes, and hair.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. This condition can be indicated by positive results on an over-the-counter urine test, and confirmed through a blood test, ultrasound, detection of fetal heartbeat, or an X-ray. Pregnancy lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman's last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long.
Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.
Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or device for a patient. A prescription has several parts. They include the superscription or heading with the symbol "R" or "Rx", which stands for the word recipe (meaning, in Latin, to take); the inscription, which contains the names and quantities of the ingredients; the subscription or directions for compounding the drug; and the signature which is often preceded by the sign "s" standing for signa (Latin for mark), giving the directions to be marked on the container.
Prostaglandin: One of a number of hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range of body functions such as the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, control of blood pressure, and modulation of inflammation. Prostaglandins are derived from a chemical called arachidonic acid.
Prostaglandin F2-alpha: One of the prostaglandins, a group of hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range of body functions such as the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, control of blood pressure, and modulation of inflammation. Prostaglandin F2-alpha(PGF-2 alpha) is a stable prostaglandin that stimulates the contraction of uterine and bronchial smooth muscle and produces vasoconstriction (tightening) in some blood vessels.
Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cell) that selectively receives and binds a specific substance. There are many receptors. There is a receptor for (insulin; there is a receptor for low-density lipoproteins (LDL); etc. To take an example, the receptor for substance P, a molecule that acts as a messenger for the sensation of pain, is a unique harbor on the cell surface where substance P docks. Without this receptor, substance P cannot dock and cannot deliver its message of pain. Variant forms of nuclear hormone receptors mediate processes such as cholesterol metabolism and fatty acid production. Some hormone receptors are implicated in diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. A receptor called PXR appears to jump-start the body's response to unfamiliar chemicals and may be involved in drug-drug interactions.
Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming (afferent) nerve impulse in that part of the brain called the sensorium, which is capable of such perception. Therefore, the awareness of a stimulus as a result of its perception by sensory receptors. (Sensory is here synonymous with sensation.)
Thimerosal: A mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930's. No harmful effects were reported from thimerosal at doses used in vaccines, except for minor local reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. There was specifically no evidence that thimerosal increases the risk of developing autism or any other behavior disorder. However, in 1999 it was agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure. Today, all routinely recommended pediatric vaccines in the US contain no thimerosal or only trace amounts.
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