Vertigo Glossary of Terms

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

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

Acoustic: Having to do with sound or hearing. The acoustic nerve (the 8th cranial nerve) i...

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Acoustic neuroma: A benign tumor that may develop on the hearing and balance nerves near t...

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Acupuncture: The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anes...

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Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arteriosclerosis: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis ...

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

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

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Blood clot: A mass of coagulated blood. A blood clot can block a major blood vessel, causi...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood sugar: Blood glucose. See also: High blood sugar; Low blood sugar.

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

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Cerebellar: Pertaining to the cerebellum, the part of the brain in the back of the head be...

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

Cerebral vascular: See: Cerebrovascular.

Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Concussion: A traumatic injury to soft tissue, usually the brain, as a result of a violent...

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Contagious: capable of being transmitted from one human to another human via direct or ind...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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

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CVA: Cerebrovascular accident.

Diabetes: Usually refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabe...

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

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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

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EBV: Epstein-Barr virus.

ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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

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ENT: 1. Abbreviation for ears, nose and throat. A field of medicine also called ot...

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Epstein-Barr virus: A virus in the herpes family that is best known as the cause of infect...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Ginger: Ginger, the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, has been used as medicine in...

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

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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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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Illusion: A perception that occurs when a sensory stimulus is present but is incorrectly p...

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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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: Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses Mo...

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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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Inner ear: A highly complex structure whose essential component for hearing is the membran...

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Internal ear: There are three sections of the ear. They are the external ear, the middle ...

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Labyrinthitis: Inflammation of the labyrinth of the ear, which can be accompanied by verti...

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Lesion: An area of abnormal tissue change. Lesions vary in severity from harmless to serio...

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Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinct...

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Low blood sugar: A low blood level of the sugar glucose. Also called hypoglycemia.

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Measles: An acute and highly contagious viral disease characterized by fever, runny nose,...

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

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

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Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Motion sickness: A disorder of the sense of balance and equilibrium and, hence, the sense ...

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

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

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

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Mumps: An acute (sudden, shortlived) viral illness that usually presents with inflammation...

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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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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neuritis: Inflammation of nerves. There are many causes of neuritis, including various vir...

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

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Neurologist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of th...

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Neuroma: A benign tumor that arises from a nerve as, for example, an acoustic glioma or op...

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Neurosurgeon: A physician who specializes in surgery on the brain and other parts of the n...

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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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Objective: In a microscope, the objective (also called the objective lens) is the lens nea...

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

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Panic: A sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought or action. The wor...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

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

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Polio: Abbreviation for poliomyelitis, an acute and sometimes devastating disease caused ...

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

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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 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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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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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.

Ringing in the ears: Medically called tinnitus, can be due to many causes including ear in...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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

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Scopolamine: A naturally occurring member of a large chemical class of compounds called a...

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

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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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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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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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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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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Tinnitus: Ringing in the ears. Tinnitus has many causes, including some medications (inclu...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vein: A blood vessel that carries blood that is low in oxygen content from the body back t...

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Vena cava: The superior vena cava is the large vein which returns blood to the heart from ...

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

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Vessel: A tube in the body that carries fluids. Examples of vessels are blood vessels and ...

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Vestibular: 1) Having to do with a structure that is a vestibule (entrance), such as the...

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Vestibular system: A system that is composed
of the vestibular apparatus, the vestibu...

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

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Vitamin D: A steroid vitamin which promotes the intestinal absorption and metabolism of ca...

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Whiplash injury: A hyperextension and flexion injury to the neck, often a result of being ...

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Medical Dictionary