Dr. Donald Levy, Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, Orange County Ca

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Office Location
705 W. La Veta Ave.
Suite 101
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 639-7847



Medical Glossary Index:


Oat cell carcinoma- another term for small-cell carcinoma

Obesity- a condition in which there is an excess of body fat; used to describe those who weigh at least 20 percent more than the maximum amount considered normal for their age, sex, and height

Obsessive-compulsive disorder- a mental disorder in which a person is obsessed with certain thoughts, leading them to repeatedly perform specific acts; for example, constantly washing the hands out of fear of germs and dirt

Obstructive sleep apnea- the blockage of the airways during sleep, which causes breathing to stop for very short periods of time, commonly caused by excessive relaxation of muscles at the back of the throat

Occlusion- the blocking of an opening or passageway in the body

Occult blood- blood in the feces that can be detected only by chemical tests

Occupational disease- a disease that occurs as a result of factors in the workplace

Occupational therapy- treatment to relearn physical skills lost as a result of an illness or accident

Ocular- describes something related to the eyes

Oculomotor nerves- nerves that stimulate movement of the eyeball

Olfactory nerves- nerves that play a role in the sense of smell

Oligodendroglioma- a rare type of cancerous brain tumor that occurs most commonly in the cerebrum

Oligohydramnios- an unusually small amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus in the uterus, which can lead to complications with the pregnancy

Oligospermia- a low level of sperm in the semen; one of the main causes of infertility in men

Oncogenes- genes that, when altered by environmental factors or viruses, can cause abnormal cell growth

Oocyte- an egg cell that has not developed completely

Oophorectomy- the surgical removal of one or both ovaries; used to treat the growth of ovarian cysts or tumors

Open heart surgery- any operation in which the heart is stopped temporarily
and a machine is used to take over its function of pumping blood throughout the

Ophthalmia- severe inflammation of the eyes

Ophthalmologist- a doctor who specializes in care of the eyes; treats eye diseases and disorders

Ophthalmoplegia- partial or total loss of the ability to move the eyes

Ophthalmoscopy- examination of the inside of the eye using a lighted viewing instrument

Opportunistic infection- infection by organisms that would be harmless to a healthy person, but cause infection in those with a weakened immune system (for example, persons with AIDS or chemotherapy patients)

Optic- pertaining to the eyes

Optician- a person who specializes in the making and adjustment of eyeglasses and contact lenses

Optic nerves- the pair of nerves that carry visual information from the retina to
the brain

Optic neuritis- inflammation of the optic nerve, often causing a partial loss of vision

Oral contraceptives- drugs taken in pill form to prevent pregnancy; contain synthetic progesterone and estrogen hormones

Orbit- the socket in the skull that contains the eyeball, along with its blood
vessels, nerves, and muscles

Orchiectomy- the surgical removal of one or both of the testicles

Orchiopexy- an operation to correct an undescended testicle

Orchitis- inflammation of a testicle, which can be caused by infection with the mumps virus

Organ donation- an agreement to allow one or more organs to be removed and transplanted into someone else

Organism- any single, functioning form of life

Orgasm- involuntary contraction of genital muscles experienced at the peak of sexual excitement

Orphan drugs- drugs used to treat rare diseases; not normally produced because potential sales are small

Orthopnea- breathing difficulty experienced while lying flat; can be a symptom of heart failure or asthma

Orthotic- a device used to correct or control deformed bones, muscles, or joints

Osgood-Schlatter disease- painful enlargement and inflammation of the area of the shinbone just below the knee, usually occurring in adolescent boys

Osmosis- the process of passage of the solvent portion of a lesser-concentrated solution through a semipermeable membrane into a higher-concentrated solution until the two solutions are equal in concentration; plays an important role in water distribution in the body

Ossification- the formation and maintenance of bone

Osteitis- inflammation of bone

Osteitis deformans- another name for Paget's disease

Osteoarthritis- see Degenerative arthritis

Osteoblast- a cell that forms bone

Osteochondritis dissecans- bone degeneration inside of a joint, causing small pieces of bone and cartilage to become detached

Osteochondritis juvenilis- inflammation of a growing section of bone in a child
or adolescent

Osteochondroma- a noncancerous tumor made up of bone and cartilage

Osteoclast- a cell that breaks down unwanted bone tissue; also refers to a
device for fracturing a bone to correct a deformity

Osteodystrophy- defective bone formation

Osteogenesis imperfecta- a genetic disorder in which bones are abnormally fragile, leading to multiple breaks and deformity

Osteolysis- the softening and destruction of bone

Osteoma- a noncancerous bone tumor

Osteomalacia- the loss of minerals and softening of bones because of a lack of vitamin D; called rickets in children

Osteomyelitis- the inflammation of bones and bone marrow because of an infection, usually caused by bacteria

Osteopetrosis- a rare hereditary disorder in which bones become harder and more dense, causing them to break more easily

Osteophyte- an outgrowth of bone near a joint

Osteoporosis- a condition in which bones become less dense, more brittle, and fracture easily

Osteosarcoma- a cancerous bone tumor

Osteosclerosis- an abnormal increase in density and hardness of bone

Otalgia- the medical term for an earache

OTC remedy- see Over-the-counter remedy

Otitis externa- inflammation of the outer ear due to an infection; commonly
called swimmer's ear

Otitis media- inflammation of the middle ear (between the eardrum and inner
ear) because of the spread of an infection from the nose, sinuses, and throat

Otorrhea- a discharge from an inflamed ear

Otosclerosis- progressive deafness caused by bone formation around structures in the middle ear

Ototoxicity- harmful effect that some drugs have on the organs or nerves in the ears, which can lead to hearing and balance problems

Outpatient treatment- medical attention that does not include an overnight stay at a hospital

Ovaries- two almond-shaped glands located at the opening of the fallopian tubes on both sides of the uterus; produce eggs and the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone

Overdose- an excessively large dose of a drug, which can lead to coma and

Over-the-counter remedy- a medication that can be purchased without a physician's prescription

Ovulation- the development and release of the egg from the ovary, which usually occurs halfway through a woman's menstrual cycle

Ovum- another term for an egg cell

Oxidation- a chemical reaction involving active sources of oxygen
(called oxygen free radicals) that damages cells

Oximetry- determination of the amount of oxygen in the blood by measuring the amount of light transmitted through an area of skin

Oxygen- a gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; essential to almost all forms of life

Oxygen free radicals- active forms of oxygen found in pollution, cigarette smoke, and radiation that can damage cells and are believed to play a role in the
aging process and cancer

Oxytocin- a hormone produced in the pituitary gland that causes contraction of the uterus during childbirth and stimulation of milk flow during breast-feeding

Ozone- a poisonous form of oxygen that is present in the earth's upper atmosphere, where it helps to screen the earth from damaging ultraviolet rays


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