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Otolaryngology - Common ENT Terms

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  • Salivary Glands

  • Glands are found in and around the mouth and throat. The major salivary glands are the parotid, submandibular, and sublingual glands. They all secrete saliva into your mouth, the parotid through tubes that drain saliva, called salivary ducts, near your upper teeth, submandibular under your tongue, and the sublingual through many ducts in the floor of your mouth.

  • Semicircular Canals

  • The body's balance organs, they detect the body's movement and communicate its position to the brain

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • Hearing loss caused by damage to the sensory cells and/or nerve fibers of the inner ear.

  • Septal Deviation

  • Leaning of the septum to one side or the other of the nose; may create blockage of a nostril.

  • Septoplasty

  • Reconstruction of the septum to correct septal deviation.

  • Septum

  • The cartilage and skin that separates the two nostrils.

  • Sign Language

  • A method of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing in which hand shapes, hand movements, gestures and facial expressions convey grammatical structure and meaning.

  • Sinus

  • A connection from one cavity to another or a cavity that is connected to another cavity; usually refers to the air spaces in the skull that connect to the back of the nose.

  • Sinusitis

  • Infection involving one or more of the sinuses.

  • Sleep Apnea

  • Obstruction of breathing by the palate, tongue and/or nose during sleep; also called obstructive sleep apnea.

  • SLI

  • Specific Language Impairment .

  • Smell

  • To perceive odor or scent through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves.

  • Smell Disorder

  • The inability to perceive odors. It may be temporary, caused by a head cold or swelling or blockage of the nasal passages. It can be permanent when any part of the olfactory region is damaged by factors such as brain injury, tumor, disease, or chronic rhinitis.

  • Somnoplasty

  • Narrowing of the palate with radiofrequency energy to decrease snoring and sleep apnea.

  • Sound Vocalization

  • The ability to produce voice.

  • Spasmodic Dysphonia

  • The momentary disruption of voice caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx or voice box.

  • Specific Language Impairment

  • Difficulty with language or the organized-symbol-system used for communication in the absence of problems such as mental retardation, hearing loss, or emotional disorders.

  • Speech

  • Spoken communication. Making definite vocal sounds that form words to express thoughts and ideas.

  • Speech Disorder

  • Any defect or abnormality that prevents an individual from communicating by means of spoken words. Speech disorders may develop from nerve injury to the brain muscular paralysis, structural defects, hysteria, or mental retardation.

  • Speech Processor

  • Part of a cochlear implant that converts speech sounds into electrical impulses to stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing an individual to understand sound and speech.

  • Speech-Language Pathologist

  • A health professional trained to evaluate and treat people who have voice, speech, language, or swallowing disorders (including hearing impairment) that affect their ability to communicate.

  • Sphenoid

  • Sinuses located behind the nose.

  • Stapedectomy

  • Removal of the stapes bone when it is not functioning, and replacing it with an artificial stapes.

  • Stapes

  • Smallest of the three middle ear bones that connect the tympanic membrane with the inner ear. Commonly referred to as the "stirrup" bone.

  • Stoma

  • Opening from an organ to the outside such as the tracheal stoma that is present after a tracheotomy.

  • Stomal Stenosis

  • Narrowing of a stoma by scar tissue.

  • Stridor

  • A term used to describe noisy breathing associated with inflammation or narrowing of the voice box or breathing tube (trachea).

  • Stroke

  • Lack of blood to the brain, resulting in the sudden loss of speech, language, or the ability to move a body part and, if severe enough, death. Also known as a cerebrovascular accident.

  • Stuttering

  • Frequent repetition of words or parts of words that disrupts the smooth flow of speech.

  • Sudden Deafness

  • The loss of hearing that occurs quickly due to such causes as explosion, a viral infection, or the use of some drugs.

  • Swallowing Disorders

  • Any of a group of problems that interferes with the transfer of food from the mouth to the stomach.

  • Syndromic Hearing Impairment

  • Hearing loss or deafness that, along with other characteristics, is inherited or passed down through generations of a family.

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Common ENT Terms

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