Adenoid: A mass of lymphatic tissue situated posterior to the nasal cavity where the nose blends into the throat. The adenoid is also known as a pharyngeal tonsil or nasopharyngeal tonsil.


Allergic rhinitis: An allergic inflammation of the nasal airways. Allergic rhinitis occurs when an allergen, such as pollen, dust or animal dander (particles of shed skin and hair) is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system. Symptoms vary in severity between individuals. Very sensitive individuals can experience hives or other rashes. Heredity and environmental exposures may contribute to a predisposition to allergies. It is roughly estimated that one in three people have an active allergy at any given time and at least three in four people develop an allergic reaction at least once in their lives. In Western countries between 10–25% of people annually are affected by allergic rhinitis.


Antigens: A substance that evokes the production of one or more antibodies. The term originally came from "antibody generator" and was a molecule that binds specifically to an antibody, but the term now also refers to any molecule or molecular fragment that can be bound by a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and presented to a T-cell receptor.


Congenital Disorder: Any condition existing at birth, before birth, or that develops during the first month of life, regardless of causation. A congenital disorder may be the result of genetic abnormalities, the intrauterine (uterus) environment, errors of morphogenesis, infection, or a chromosomal abnormality. The outcome of the disorder will depend on complex interactions between the pre-natal deficit and the post-natal environment.


Immunotherapy: The treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response. Immunotherapy may be used to treat allergies. While other allergy treatments (such as antihistamines or corticosteroids) treat only the symptoms of allergic disease, immunotherapy is the only available treatment that can modify the natural course of the allergic disease, by reducing sensitivity to allergens.


Laryngopharyngeal Reflux: A retrograde flow of gastric contents to the upper aero-digestive tract, which causes a variety of symptoms, such as cough, hoarseness, and asthma, among others. Although heartburn is a primary symptom among people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn is present in fewer than 50% of the patients with LPR. Other terms used to describe this condition include atypical reflux, and supraesophageal (or supra-esophageal) reflux.


Malaise: A feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness; often the first indication of an infection or other disease. Malaise is often defined in medical literature as a "general feeling of being unwell". Generally speaking, malaise expresses a patient's feeling that "something is not right", like a general warning light, but only a medical examination can determine the cause.


Nasal septum: The partition between the two nasal cavities. The nasal septum separates the left and right airways in the nose, dividing the two nostrils.


Nasolacrimal Duct: The tube that carries tears from the eyes to the nose. The nasolacrimal duct is a bony tube that begins near the inner corner of the eye, called the medial canthus. The are two small openings lacrimal punctae that lead into tiny tubules, the lacrimal canaliculi. The canaliculi merge into the lacrimal sac, and blinking action pumps the fluid down the nasolacrimal duct. The nasolacrimal duct runs down the inside wall of the nose to a space under the inferior turbinate called the inferior meatus. If the duct becomes blocked, then tears can well up and run down the cheek. This is called epiphora. Ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists) may be asked to perform an endoscopic operation called a dacryocystorhinostomy to open the blocked duct directly into the nose.


Polyps: An abnormal growth of tissue projecting from a mucous membrane. Polyps are commonly found in the nose and sinuses, and they may also occur elsewhere in the body where mucous membranes exist.


Parotid gland: A salivary gland. The parotid glands are the largest of the salivary glands. They are wrapped around the mandibular ramus, and secretes saliva through Stensen's ducts into the oral cavity, to facilitate mastication and swallowing and to begin the digestion of starches.


Rhinosinusitis: A sinus infection. See sinusitis.


Septoplasty: A corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When it deviates into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. Often the inferior turbinate on the opposite side enlarges, which is termed compensatory hypertrophy. Deviations of the septum can lead to nasal obstruction. Most surgeries are completed in 60 minutes or less, not including recovery time.


Sinusitis: A sinus infection. Sinuis inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune issues. Most cases are due to a viral infection and resolve over the course of 10 days.


Sleep Apnea: A sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Sleep apnea affects not only adults but some children as well. Common effects of sleep apnea include daytime fatigue, a slower reaction time, and vision problems. Due to the disruption in daytime cognitive state, behavioral effects are also present. This includes moodiness, belligerence, as well as a decrease in attentiveness and drive.


Turbinates: Long, narrow and curled bone shelves that protrude into the breathing passage of the nose.

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