Take the Asthma Quiz Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Take the Asthma Quiz article.

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

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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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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Allergen: A substance that can cause an allergic reaction. Common allergens include ragwee...

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Allergic reaction: The hypersensitive response of the immune system of an allergic indiv...

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Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, an allergic reaction that mimics a chronic ...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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

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Bronchi: The plural of bronchus.

Bronchiolitis: Inflammation of the bronchioles, usually due to viral infections.

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains 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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Chronic disease: A disease that persists for a long time. A chronic disease is one lasting...

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Critical care: The specialized care of patients whose conditions are life-threatening and ...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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Cystic fibrosis: A common grave genetic disease that affects the exocrine glands and is ch...

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Dander: Tiny scales shed from human or animal skin or hair. Dander floats in the air, sett...

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Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a sign of serious...

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

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Edema: The swelling of soft tissues as a result of excess fluid accumulation. Edema is oft...

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Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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Exercise-induced asthma: Asthma triggered by vigorous physical activity. It primarily affe...

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Feces: The excrement discharged from the 'intestines.

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

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Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by itchy eyes, runny nos...

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Immunology: The study of all aspects of the immune system, including its structure and fun...

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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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Metered dose inhaler: See: Metered-dose inhaler.

Microscopic: So small it cannot be seen without the aid of microscope. As opposed to macro...

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Mite: A tiny eight-legged creature belonging to the Order Acarina related to spiders and t...

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Mucous: Pertaining to mucus, a thick fluid produced by the lining of some tissues of the b...

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National Academy of Sciences: A nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scho...

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Nebulizer: A device for administering a medication by spraying a fine mist. Also known as ...

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

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pediatric: Pertaining to children.

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

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Protein: One of the three nutrients used as energy sources (calories) by the body. Protein...

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Public health: The approach to medicine that is concerned with the health of the community...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Rad: Radiation absorbed dose, a measurement for a dose of ionizing radiation.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Rhinitis: Irritation of the nose.

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

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

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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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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Viruses: Small living particles that can infect cells and change how the cells function. I...

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Wheezing: A whistling noise in the chest during breathing. Wheezing occurs when the airway...

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Medical Dictionary