Medical
Glossary


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W.
Walleye

a condition in which one eye turns outward

Wart

a contagious, harmless growth caused by a virus that occurs on the skin or a mucous membrane

Weber's test

a test in which a vibrating tuning fork is held against the forehead to help determine the cause of hearing loss

Wegener's granulomatosis

a disorder in which nodules associated with inflammation of blood vessels develop in the lungs, kidneys, and nasal passageways

Weight-bearing exercise

exercise that puts stress on bones, such as walking, which helps build up bone density and prevent the bones from becoming brittle

Wernicke's encephalopathy

a brain disorder characterised by abnormal eye movements, difficulties with muscle co-ordination, and confusion; usually the result of chronic alcoholism

Wheeze

a high-pitched sound produced during breathing because of narrowing of the airways; common sign of asthma

Whiplash injury

injury to the ligaments, joints, and soft tissues of the neck region of the spine because of a sudden, violent jerking motion of the head

Whipple's disease

a rare disorder that has widespread effects on the body, including impaired absorption of nutrients, weight loss, joint pain, and anaemia

Whipworm

a small, parasitic worm that can live in the intestines of a human and may cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and anaemia

White blood cell

a group of colourless blood cells that are part of the immune system, helping prevent and fight infection

White blood cell count

the number of white blood cells present in a blood sample; useful in diagnosing and evaluating various diseases and infections

Whitehead

a painless, small, white bump; usually occurs in groups on the nose, cheeks, or around the eyes

Whitlow

an abscess on the end of a finger or a toe that is caused by the herpes simplex virus or a bacterial infection

Whooping cough

see Pertussis

Wilm's tumour

a type of kidney cancer that usually affects children under the age of 5

Wilson's disease

a rare genetic disorder in which copper builds up in the liver and is released into other parts of the body, eventually causing damage to the liver and brain

Withdrawal bleeding

bleeding from the vagina that occurs when hormone levels drop, such as menstruation or the bleeding that occurs at the end of each cycle of the combined oral contraceptive pill

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