Complicated Terms For 10 Minor Illnesses

To make something sound more complicated than it is – use medical terminology. With Latin beginnings, medical terms are pretty much a language all its own. The good news is the conditions may not be as severe as they sound.

10. Onychocryptosis

Ingrown toenail after surgery
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Pronounced as “oh knee coh crypt oh sis”. Commonly known as an ingrown toenail. This is one of the most common forms of nail disease. The nail literally grows into the toe. It is a painful condition usually caused by wearing tight shoes. In fact, it only occurs in shoe wearers.

It is not just the growth of the toenail that is an issue. The skin around the toenail can grow over the nail causing the same pain. Eventually, infection and inflammation set in. Any pressure against the toe can cause pain; even the weight of socks or bed sheets. The treatment is to catch it early. Groom in a way that gives room to the nail. Treatments range from foot baths to surgically removing part of the nail.

9. Muscae Volitantes

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Commonly known as “flying flies” or “floaters”. These are deposits found in the clear gel that fills the eyeball. This gel is called the vitreous humour and it is the major substance in the eye.

The floaters suspended in the vitreous humour are only seen because of the shadow they cast on the retina. They appear as spots and wiggly lines. Floaters are caused by the shrinkage of the vitreous humour and other damage to the eye. The optometrist or ophthalmologist can see these floaters using instruments. The only treatment is surgery and this is reserved for very severe cases.

8. Orthostatic Hypotension

Blood pressure measuring.
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Also known as a head rush, during orthostatic hypotension, the blood pressure drops suddenly upon standing or stretching. The systolic blood pressure (the one on top) must drop at least 20 mm Hg while the diastolic blood pressure (the number on the bottom) must drop at least 10 mm Hg.

So, 120/80 mm Hg to 100/70 mm Hg upon standing means a quick head rush. Blood pools in the legs leaving too little in the upper body to maintain whole body blood pressure. It is characterized by dizziness or lightheadedness. Sometimes it can lead to fainting and it is quite normal to experience this once in awhile. Check with your doctor if you experience these symptoms frequently.

7. Veisalgia

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A complex way to say hangover. The Norwegian word kveis means discomfort caused by overindulgence. The Latin word algia means pain. The nausea, headache, dizziness, and fatigue are not the only symptoms of veisalgia. A hangover also has psychological side effects including anxiety and feelings of regret.

The cause is a given – drinking too much alcohol. The process in which a hangover physiologically develops is still unknown. There is no sure cure; just time and hydration.

6. Obdormition And Paresthesia

Diagnosis Paresthesia and stethoscope.
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Obdormition is numbness in the arms and legs after sleeping in an awkward position. The Latin term obdormire means to fall asleep. In other words, this is when your limb “goes to sleep”. Paresthesia is commonly known as “pins and needles”. This tingling sensation usually occurs after obdormition. The Greeks are responsible for this term: para means abnormal and aesthesia means sensation.

Most people have experienced these feelings in their hands, legs, feet, or arms. Hitting the “funny bone” or the ulnar nerve is another way to experience it. If it occurs chronically, this may be a sign of a more serious issue such as poor circulation or joint inflammation.

5. Aphthous Stomatitis

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Also known as a mouth ulcer or canker sore. These terrible little sores occur within the oral cavity: on the gums, lips, tongue, cheeks. The exact cause is not well known. There are a lot of factors that contribute to their development including anything from stress to nutritional deficiencies. It is thought that some people are genetically predisposed to getting canker sores.

Most people just suffer through the pain and eat on one side of their mouth. There are ointments to help numb the sore. If it grows to be a very large ulcer, then it can be surgically removed, however, there is no underlying condition associated with aphthous stomatitis.

4. Nocturnal Enuresis

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Commonly known as bed-wetting. This is condition is not typically an emotional issue or a physical illness, but rather a developmental delay. Children are not the only ones who suffer from it. Adults also suffer from nocturnal enuresis. Certain psychological effects include poor self-confidence, social degradation, etc.

This condition is still being studied. Many cases are due to the inability to easily awake in the middle of the night combined with excessive amounts of urine. Treatments range and depend on the trigger, but a sleep specialist may be able to help.

3. Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS)

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Shin splints. The most common lower leg injury, this condition is caused by repetitive stress to the tissue surrounding the tibia bone. Physically active people of all types are prone to MTSS.

Shin splints are characterized by an achy feeling along the shin. This is caused by over-pronation during running or other activity which is when the ankles roll inward to allow for more of the foot to contact the ground. Over-pronation leads to more stress being placed on the tibia. Unlike the nickname suggests, the bone is not splintering, however, there is a lot of soreness and inflammation. The treatment is ice and rest.

2. Vasovagal Syncope

Inappropriate giving water after fainting
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The most common type of fainting. Vasovagal refers to the part of the nervous system that controls the cardiovascular system; including heart rate and blood pressure. Dysfunction in this leads to fainting. There are a lot of different triggers for vasovagal syncope. Anything from orthostatic hypotension to lack of sleep; the heart rate and blood pressure drop; and so does the person.

The only way to treat Vasovagal Syncope is to avoid the triggers. This could be hard when the trigger is stress or medication. If the trigger is unavoidable such as a stressful event, consuming a lot of fluid and electrolytes is needed to increase blood volume.

1. Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia

Migraine and headache people - Doctor stressed
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You may know this illness as a “brain freeze” or an “ice-cream headache”. It’s technical name means pain of the specific nerve called the sphenopalatine ganglion. This occurs after rapidly consuming a cold food product. It is thought that the act of touching the cold food or beverage to the roof of the mouth is the main cause. All of the blood vessels in the area constrict in the cold.

The local pain receptors send messages that lead to the pain. The reason these headaches only last a few seconds is because the temperature warms back up quickly. The best treatment is to place the tongue on the roof of the mouth for warmth. In seconds, it will feel like it never happened.