Medical Terminology's Articles Archives
Tracheitis is the inflammation of the windpipe (trachea). Most cases of tracheitis are due to a bacterial infection, however, a number of other factors, both infectious and non-infectious, may also cause inflammation of the trachea. Usually these other factors do not affect the trachea in isolation but may also involve other structures higher up and lower down the respiratory tract.
The bronchi (singular ~ bronchus) are the two branches (left and right) at the bottom of the trachea that lead into the lungs. These main bronchi then divide into lobar and segmental bronchi. Together the trachea and the main left and right bronchi, along with all its subdivisions, are referred to as a the tracheobronchial tree.
The main bronchi are tube like structures that allow for the passage of air between the trachea and lung. It enters the hilum of the lung and divides into a number of branches and further subdividions. It eventually terminates in the bronchioles which lead into the alveolar sacs of the lung.
Trachea –> Main Bronchi –> Lobar Bronchi –> Segmental Bronchi –> Conducting Bronchiole –> Terminal Bronchiole –> Respiratory Bronchiole
A finger or digit pulse oximeter is a non-invasive device for measuring the oxygen content of blood, also known as oxygen saturation. It is a highly portable device, which is indispensable for any emergency room or operation theater. Oxygen saturation is a measure of the body’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to all parts. Falling values of oxygen saturation may result from circulatory or respiratory failure and have to be instantly corrected. Inability to do so results in prompt loss of consciousness and even death due to insufficient supply of oxygen to brain. Hence, a finger pulse oximeter is a life-saving device !
continue reading Finger Pulse Oximeter
The trachea is the part of the respiratory tract that leads from the larynx and ends lower down in the thoracic cavity where it divides into the two main bronchi (left and right).
Location of the Trachea
The trachea starts where the larynx ends – at the level of the C6 vertebra – and run down the middle of the neck anterior to the esophagus. Tracheal deviation, where the trachea shifts from this middle position (media plan) indicates some disease of the respiratory system or thoracic cavity. The trachea ends around the level of the T4 to T5 vertebrae. The point where it terminates also correlates with the sternal angle – the junction of the manubrium and body of the sternum (breastbone).
What is laryngitis?
Laryngitis is the medical term for inflammation of the larynx (voice box). This is the part of the respiratory tract that connects the pharynx (throat) to the trachea (wind pipe) and contains the vocal apparatus to produce sound. The most common causes of laryngitis are an infection and trauma (chemical and mechanical injury including vocal strain).
Most cases of laryngitis are acute, meaning that it last for a short period of time, anywhere from a few days (usually 7 to 10 days) to 2 to 3 weeks. Chronic laryngitis is inflammation of the larynx that lasts for more than 3 weeks and may sometimes be due to serious and even life threatening illnesses.
What is dysphonia?
Dysphonia is the medical term for a speech disturbance (phonation), usually resulting in a hoarse voice or whispering voice, due to problems with the larynx (voice box). Spasmodic dysphonia is a form of dystonia where there is involuntary spasms of the vocal cords. This causes interruptions in speech , or the voice may appear to be strained.
The most common cause of dysphonia is laryngitis and this causes a temporary disturbance in phonation (sound production). Dysphonia may also be due to a structural problem with the larynx (cartilage, muscles, cavities) or disorders of the nerves innervating the laryngeal muscles, namely the vagus nerve (CN X) and its branches. In these cases, the problem is longer lasting or even permanent.
Location of the Larynx
The larynx is the short tube that connects the pharynx (throat) to the trachea (wind pipe). It runs at the front of the throat at the level of C3 to C6 vertebrae and lies anterior to the esophagus.
Function of the Larynx
- It allows air to be directed into the respiratory organs for gas exchange.
- The larynx is also the organ that is responsible for producing vocal sounds (phonation) and therefore it is commonly known as the voice box.
- In addition, the larynx also plays a role in preventing food and drink from entering the respiratory system.
Esophagitis (UK ~ oesophagitis) is the medical term for inflammation of the esophagus, the long muscular tube of the gut which leads from the throat to the stomach. Esophagitis is a broad term to describe swelling of the esophagus, irritation of the mucosal lining or even lacerations of the esophageal wall. This may be a result of chemical irritation, medication, infections, trauma from retching or vomiting, temperature, radiation or autoimmune conditions.
What is hematemesis?
Hematemesis (UK ~ haematemesis) is the medical term for the vomiting of blood either mixed with partially digested gastrointestinal contents and mucus or consisting entirely of blood. Blood in the vomit can vary in color from fresh and bright red to degraded maroon blood or even dark brown to black vomit resembling coffee grounds. Clots may be clearly visible in the vomit. Hematemesis may be associated with melena, which are black, tarry stools, as a result of an upper gastrointestinal bleed.
There are two medical terms that are used to describe the presence of blood in the stool.
- Melena (UK ~ melaena) is the passage of black, tarry stools which is indicative of blood that has degraded.
- Hematochezia is the passage of bloody stools, where the blood appears fresh and red to maroon in color.
Color of Blood in Stool
The normal color of stool varies from light to dark brown. This is due to the presence of bilirubin and the decomposition of food. If the stool is black or red, bleeding within the gastrointestinal tract needs to be excluded, especially if it is ongoing. Certain foods, drinks and drugs may cause discoloration of stool ranging from black to red or maroon. This discoloration may not be due to any bleeding. A small amount of blood in the stool is usually not visible and therefore goes unnoticed (occult) until it is detected upon a fecal occult blood test. The color of blood in the stool may vary depending on the site of the hemorrhage and transit time.
What is Respiration?
The process of respiration involves four stages - ventilation which we know as breathing (inhalation or inspiration and exhalation or expiration), exchange of gases between the air in the lungs and blood stream (pulmonary diffusion), transport of gases in the blood (perfusion) and exchange of gases between the blood and tissues (peripheral diffusion).
Breathing is only one part of the respiration process where the lungs take in air for oxygen absorption and passes out air thereby expelling carbon dioxide. This is an essential process to maintain the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and expel some of the waste substances in the blood. Difficulty with breathing, like shortness of breath (dyspnea), is only symptom of a disturbance in the respiration process.
Understanding the process of respiration is essential for identifying possible causes of trouble with breathing.
Dyspnea is the medical term for difficulty breathing, typically presenting as shortness of breath or labored breathing. The term dyspnea encompasses a number of different breathing difficulties, which may be vary in sensation and experience among patients. Despite the differences, the sensation is usually that of strained or uncomfortable breathing that is not normal for the patient. Dyspnea may or may not present with any abnormal breathing sounds, like a stridor or wheeze.
- ABCD – First Aid: Injuries, Poisoning
- Addiction: Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
- Blood and Immunity
- Bones, Joints, Muscles and Connective Tissue Diseases
- Children's Health
- Current Health Articles
- Diagnostic Procedures
- Ears, Nose and Throat
- Eyes and Vision
- Gastro-Intestinal Diseases
- Genetic Diseases
- Heart and Vessels
- Hormones and Metabolism
- Infections and Infestations
- Kidneys and Urinary Tract
- Liver and Gallbladder
- Medical Questions
- Medical Terminology
- Medication, Supplements
- Men's Health
- Mental Health
- Mouth and Teeth Diseases
- Neurological Diseases
- Skin, Hair, Nails
- Sleep Related Disorders
- Surgery and Other Procedures
- Upper and Lower Limb
- Women's Health and Pregnancy