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acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

a form of the sudden onset of severe lung dysfunction affecting both lungs, making breathing extremely difficult

airway inflammation

the swelling and clogging of the airways with mucus

airway obstruction

occurs when food or a foreign object blocks the airway and prevents air from entering or leaving the lungs

allergic rhinitis

an allergic reaction to airborne allergens that causes an increased flow of mucus


the very small grape-like clusters found at the end of each bronchiole


the absence or nearly complete absence of oxygen from the body's gases, blood, or tissues


the form of pneumoconios caused by coal dust in the lungs; also known as black lung disease


administered to prevent or relieve coughing (cough medicine)


the loss of the ability of the larynx to produce normal speech sounds


the absence of spontaneous respiration


the form of pneumoconios caused by asbestos particles in the lungs


the condition that occurs when the body cannot get the air it needs to function


any interruption of normal breathing resulting in asphyxia; also known as suffocation

aspiration pneumonia

can occur when a foreign substance, such as vomit, is inhaled into the lungs


a chronic allergic disorder characterized by episodes of severe breathing difficulty, coughing, and wheezing


a condition in which the lung fails to expand completely due to shallow breathing or because the air passages are blocked

bacterial pneumonia

often caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae; is the only form of pneumonia that can be prevented through vaccination


an abnormally slow rate of respiration usually of less than 10 breaths per minute


formed where the trachea divides into two branches known as the primary bronchi


the smallest branches of the bronchi


a medication that expands the opening of the passages into the lungs


a localized form of pneumonia that often affects the bronchioles and surrounding alveoli


an excessive discharge of mucus from the bronchi


the visual examination of the bronchi using a bronchoscope


a contraction of the smooth muscle in the walls of the bronchi and bronchioles that tighten and squeeze the airway shut


caused by inhaling cotton dust into the lungs and usually occurs after working in a textile factory

chest imaging

chest x-ray; a valuable tool for diagnosing pneumonia, lung tumors, pneumothorax, pleural effusion, tuberculosis, and emphysema

Cheyne-Stokes respiration

a pattern of alternating periods of hypopnea or apnea, followed by hyperpnea

chronic bronchitis

a condition where the airways have become inflamed and thickened, and there is an increase in the number and size of mucus-producing cells

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

a lung disease in which it is hard to breathe; COPD


the thin hairs located just inside the nostrils

collapsed lung

a lung that is unable to expand to receive air due to a pneumothorax or atelectasis

CPAP device

positive pressure ventilation device; treatment for sleep apnea that includes a mask, tubes, and a fan to create air pressure that pushes the tongue forward to maintain an open airway


an acute respiratory syndrome in children and infants characterized by obstruction of the larynx, hoarseness, and a barking cough


a bluish discoloration or the skin caused by a lack of adequate oxygen

cystic fibrosis

a genetic disorder in which the lungs and pancreas are clogged with large quantities of abnormally thick mucus


the muscle that separates the thoracic cavity from the abdomen

diaphragmatic breathing

a relaxation technique used to relieve anxiety


an acute bacterial infection of the throat and upper respiratory tract


any change in vocal quality, including hoarseness, weakness, or the cracking of a boy's voice during puberty


difficult or labored breathing; also known as shortness of breath


the progressive loss of lung function that is commonly attributed to long-term smoking


an accumulation of pus or infected fluid in the pleural cavity

endotracheal intubation

the passage of a tube through the nose or mouth into the trachea to establish or maintain an open airway


a lid-like structure located at the base of the tongue


bleeding from the nose that is usually caused by an injury, excessive use of blood thinners, or bleeding disorders; also known as a nosebleed

ethmoid sinuses

located in the ethmoid bones, separated from the orbital cavity by only a thin layer of bone


easy or normal breathing


the act of breathing out

external respiration

the act of bringing air into and out of the lungs and exchanging gases from this air

frontal sinuses

located in the frontal bone just above the eyebrows; an infection here can cause severe pain in this area

functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)

a procedure performed using an endoscope in which chronic sinusitis is treated by enlarging the opening between the nose and sinus


coughing up of blood or bloodstained sputum


an accumulation of blood in the pleural cavity


the abnormal buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood


an increase in the depth and rate of the respiratory movements


an abnormally rapid rate of deep respiration that is usually associated with anxiety


shallow or slow respiration


a condition of having below-normal oxygen level in the blood


the condition of having below-normal oxygen levels in the body tissues and cells; less severe than anoxia


an acute, highly contagious viral respiratory infection that is spread by respiratory droplets and occurs most commonly in epidemics during the colder months


the act of taking in air as the diaphragm contracts and pulls downward

internal respiration

the exchange of gases within the cells of the body organs, cells, and tissues

interstitial fibrosis

another name for the inflammation and thickening of the walls of the alveoli

interstitial lung diseases

a group of almost 200 diseases that cause inflammation and scarring of the alveoli and their supporting structures


the surgical removal of the larynx


an inflammation of the larynx


the third division of the pharynx, is shared by both the respiratory and digestive systems


the surgical repair of the larynx


paralysis of the larynx


the visual examination of the larynx using a laryngoscope


the sudden spasmodic closure of the larynx


the voice box; a triangular chamber located between the pharynx and the trachea

left lung

has 2 lobes: superior and inferior

lobar pneumonia

affects larger areas of the lungs, often including one or more sections, or lobes, of a lung


the surgical removal of a lobe of the lung

lower respiratory tract

consists of the bronchial tree and lungs

lung cancer

a condition in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the lung


the organs of respiration

Mantoux PPD skin test

a more accurate skin test for diagnosing tuberculosis

maxillary sinuses

located in the maxillary bones; an infection here can cause pain in the posterior maxillary teeth


the cavity located between the lungs that contains the heart, aorta, esophagus, trachea, bronchial tubes, and thymus gland

metered-dose inhaler

mixes a single dose of the medication with a puff of air and pushes it into the mouth via a chemical propellant

mucous membranes

the specialized tissues that line the respiratory, digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems


secreted by the mucous membranes

mycoplasma pneumonia

a milder but longer lasting form of the disease caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae

nasal septum

a wall of cartilage that divides the nose into two equal sections


the first division of the pharynx, posterior to the nasal cavity and continues downward to behind the mouth


pumps air or oxygen through a liquid medicine to turn it into a vapor, which is then inhaled by the patient via a face mask or mouthpiece

olfactory receptors

nerve endings that act as the receptors for the sense of smell


the second division of the pharynx, the portion that is visible when looking into the mouth


a physician with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck; also known as an ENT

paranasal sinuses

air-filled cavities lined with mucous membrane, located in the bones of the skull

parietal pleura

the outer layer of the pleura that lines the walls of the thoracic cavity, covers the diaphragm, and forms the sac containing each lung

peak flow meter

a handheld device often used to test those with asthma to measure how quickly the patient can expel air


a contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract


an inflammation of the pharynx


the surgical repair of the pharynx


a surgical incision of the pharynx


the throat; receives the air after it passes through the nose


thick mucus secreted by the tissues lining the respiratory passages

phrenic nerves

stimulate the diaphragm and cause it to contract


a thin, moist, and slippery membrane that covers the outer surface of the lungs and lines the inner surface of the rib cage

pleural cavity

the airtight area between the layers of the pleural membranes

pleural effusion

the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pleural space


the surgical removal of part of the pleura


an inflammation of the pleura that produces sharp chest pain with each breath


pain in the pleura or in the side that occurs in relation to breathing movements


an abnormal condition caused by dust in the lungs that usually develops after years of environmental or occupational contact

pneumocystis carinii pneumonia

an opportunistic infection caused by the fungus Pneumocystis carinii


the surgical removal of all or part of a lung


a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs in which the smallest bronchioles and alveoli fill with pus and other liquid


bleeding from the lungs


the accumulation of air in the pleural space causing a pressure imbalance that prevents the lung from fully expanding or can cause it to collapse


the diagnostic measurement of physiological activity during sleep; also known as a sleep apnea study

pulmonary edema

an accumulation of fluid in lung tissue

pulmonary fibrosis

the formation of scar tissue in the lung, resulting in decreased lung capacity and increased difficulty in breathing

pulmonary function tests

a group of tests that measure volume and flow of air by utilizing a spirometer


a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the lungs and associated tissues

pulse oximeter

an external monitor placed on the patient's finger or earlobe to measure the oxygen saturation level in the blood


the presence of pus in the pleural cavity between the layers of the pleural membrane


the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide that is essential to life


an apparatus for administering artificial respiration in cases of respiratory failure

respiratory failure

a condition in which the level of oxygen in the blood becomes dangerously low or the level of carbon dioxide becomes dangerously high

respiratory system

brings oxygen into the body for transportation to the cells


the watery flow of mucus from the nose

right lung

has 3 lobes: superior, middle, and inferior


the surgical repair or alteration of parts of the nasal septum


caused by inhaling silica dust in the lungs and usually occurs after working in occupations including foundry work, quarrying, ceramics, glass work, and sandblasting


an inflammation of the sinuses

sleep apnea syndromes

a group of potentially fatal disorders in which breathing repeatedly stops during sleep for long enough periods to cause a measurable decrease in blood oxygen levels

smoke inhalation

damage to the lungs in which particles from a fire coat the alveoli and prevent the normal exchange of gases

sphenoid sinuses

located in the sphenoid bone, close to the optic nerves; an infection here can damage vision


a recording device that measure the amount of air inhaled or exhaled (volume) and the length of time required for each breath


phlegm ejected through the mouth that can be examined for diagnostic purposes

sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

the sudden and unexplainable death of an apparently healthy sleeping infant between the ages of 2 weeks and 1 year

supplemental oxygen

administered when the patient is unable to maintain an adequate oxygen saturation level in the blood


an abnormally rapid rate of respiration usually or more than 20 breaths per minute


the surgical puncture of the chest wall with a needle to obtain fluid from the pleural cavity


the surgical creation of an opening into the chest cavity to establish drainage of empyema


a surgical treatment of lung cancer by removing all or part of a lung


form a protective circle of lymphatic tissue around the entrance to the respiratory system


the tube located directly in front of the esophagus that extends from the neck to the chest; the windpipe


the surgical repair of the trachea


bleeding from the mucous membranes of the trachea


the surgical creation of an opening into the trachea and insertion of a tube to facilitate the passage of air or the removal of secretions


an emergency procedure in which an incision is made into the trachea to gain access to the airway below a blockage

tuberculin skin testing

a screening test for tuberculosis in which the skin of the arm is injected with a harmless antigen extracted from TB bacteria


an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, usually attacks the lungs

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