Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Obesity

The state of being grossly overweight. Clinical obesity is defined as a body mass index of 30 or more.

Obtusion

The weakening of sensations. Can be the result of disease.

Occupational Therapist

A medically trained professional that treats physical and psychiatric conditions by encouraging patients to undertake activities designed to help them achieve their maximum level of function.

Oedema

The medical word for swelling. Historically known as dropsy.

Oesophagus

A tube that is lined with mucous to lubricate food as it moves from the mouth to the stomach.

Olfactory Nerve

The nerve that specialises in smell.

Oncologist

This is a special type of doctor who looks after cancer patients.

Oncology

The study of cancer, how it develops and how it can be treated.

Operating theatre

A place where operations (surgery) take place.

Operation or surgery

When doctors need to be able to get inside a body sort out problems. Most operations are carried out under an anaesthetic.

Ophthalmology

The study of eyes and diseases that affect them.

Optic

Anything relating to the eyes.

Oral

Anything relating to the mouth.

Organ

A collection of tissues joined in a structural unit to serve a common function.

Orthodontist

The name of a dentist who specialises in straightening or moving teeth.

Orthopaedics

The study of bones. Doctors who operate on bones are called orthopaedic surgeons.

OTC

Stands for ‘over the counter’ and relates to drugs that can be bought directly from a pharmacist without the need for a doctor’s prescription.

Oxygen

An odourless gas that is vital to most forms of life. It makes up one-fifth of the planet’s atmosphere and is breathed in through the lungs.