Education Center - ENT Glossary

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Below you will find a list of words that you may have heard your doctor use. Here is an easy to understand definition for each word.

Adenoid
Lymphoid tissue located in the back of the nose

Ankyloglossia
A foreshortened or tethered lingual frenulum commonly known as "tongue-tie" in which the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth.

Apraxia
A motor speech impairment

Audiogram
Hearing test

Branchial
A term used to describe cysts or sinus tracts that are derived from indentations in the fetus.

Bronchoscopy
The surgical procedure performed to examine the windpipe and lungs. This is the procedure used to remove foreign bodies lodged in the airway.

Cerumen
Ear wax

Cholesteatoma
Skin cells growing in areas that they do not belong can be destructive due to enzymes produced by the skin cells or by pressure from the mass of cells. This term is commonly used to describe skin growing in the middle ear and mastoid causing significant infection and erosion.

Cilia
Small hairs that move mucous in the nose sinuses and windpipe.

Cochlea
Part of the inner ear which looks like a snail. It is the essential organ of hearing. This organ is filled with tiny hair cells which transmit sound to the brain.

Culture
A growth of microorganisms for identification purposes.

Dermoid
A special kind of cyst.

Dysphagia
Difficulty swallowing.

Ear drum
A translucent fibrous drum which separates the external ear from the middle ear and is directly attached to the ear bones. This structure vibrates and helps conduct sound waves thru the ear bones and into the inner ear.

Epiglottis
A small flap of tissue made of cartilage that closes over the voice box during a swallow. This flap helps prevent food from going down the wrong pipe.

Esophagus
Swallowing tube which connects the throat to the stomach.

Ethmoid
The sinuses located between the eyes.

External Otitis
Infection of the external ear canal commonly known as "swimmer's ear".

Frontal
The sinus located in the forehead

Hyoid
A small bone in the neck suspended between muscles that help produce the swallowing motion.

Incus
The middle ear bone between the malleus and the stapes, commonly known as the anvil.

Laryngomalacia
A term used to describe the noisy breathing caused from floppiness of the voice box which creates a noise when the child breathes in. This noise is usually high pitched and is worse during feeding or when the baby is lying on his or her back.

Larynx
Voice box, a structure which contains the vocal cords and the structures used to help make sound.

Lymphadenopathy
Enlargement of the lymph nodes usually associated with inflammation or infection, commonly known as "swollen glands".

Malleus
The first ear bone that connects to the ear drum, commonly known as the "hammer".

Maxillary
The two sinuses located behind the cheeks.

Ossicle
Ear bone.

Otitis Media
Infection of middle ear, commonly known as an "ear infection".

Otolaryngologist
An Ear Nose and Throat specialist.

Otorrhea
Drainage from the ear

Palate
Roof of the mouth.

Parotid
One of the three major salivary glands that supply saliva to the mouth.

Rhinitis
Inflammation of the nasal lining which can cause a runny nose or a stuffy nose.

Rhinorrhea
Drainage from the nose.

Sinusitis
Infection involving one or more of the sinuses.

Sphenoid
The sinus located in the middle of the head behind the nose.

Stapes
The smallest of the three ear bones that connect the ear drum with the inner ear, commonly known as the "stirrup"

Stridor
Noisy breathing usually associated with inflammation or narrowing of the voice box.

Tonsil
Lymphoid tissue located on each side of the throat.

Trachea
The wind pipe or breathing tube which connects the back of the mouth with the lungs.

Tracheotomy
A temporary outside opening made through the neck into the trachea in order to bypass the mouth and throat. Commonly used when significant obstruction exists in the voice box. Also used for people who will need prolonged help from a breathing machine.

Turbinate
Structure inside the nose that humidifies and filters air.

Tympanic membrane
Ear drum.

Tympanic membrane perforation
A hole in the ear drum.

Tympanogram
Part of the hearing test which measures how well the ear drum moves.

Uvula
That small piece of tissue that dangles in the back of your throat.

Vocal Cord nodules
Small thickenings found on the vocal cords which produce hoarseness. They are often caused from voice abuse thereby earning their nickname of "screamers nodules".

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Education Links

» ENT Glossary
» ENT Problems
» Speech & Hearing
» Common Surgeries
» Post-Op Instructions

 

Clinic Locations

Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
University Hospital Clinics Building
1005 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas

Ear, Nose & Throat Consultants
Brittany Plaza
1600 West League City Parkway, Suite D
League City, Texas

Family HealthCare Center
Mainland Crossing
9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, Texas

For an appointment,
please call:

281.338.0829