Medical Term: Photophobia

Can you guess what this term means? I’ll give you a second…

If you guessed fear of your picture being taken, you’re wrong. Photophobia is an intolerance to light. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve had someone shine a light on your face while you’re sleeping. However, medically it’s used to describe a symptom that people with migraine headaches often have.

Medical Term: Crepitance

This term makes me cringe. Crepitance means a crackling or grating sound- and it is most often used to refer to bones rubbing against one another.

For whatever reason, the thought of that sound makes me really uncomfortable. I’ve never even heard it before!


Medical Term of the Day: Pneumothorax

This is a really cool term. A pneumothorax is when someone has air in their thoracic cavity. Basically, air has leaked outside the lungs into the chest. A chest tube must be inserted in order to suck the air out.
A pneumothorax can happen due to trauma to the chest, or they can happen spontaneously. If a chest tube is not inserted, more and more air will leak into the thoracic cavity and build up pressure, causing the lungs to collapse. Crazy eh?

Medical Term of the Day: Cardiomegaly

Cardiomegaly means an enlarged heart. This is something that can be observed on a chest xray.
I’m trying to figure out a way to work this term into a love song. Something like,
“When I see you, my heart swells so fully,
yes baby you give me cardiomegaly.”
That’s it, I’m giving up medical school to become a songwriter.

Medical Term of the Day: Febrile/Afebrile

We get two for one today. Febrile means to have a fever. I think you can figure out what afebrile means. If you can’t, perhaps medical school isn’t your thing.
Now you can impress your friends. When someone says, “I feel like I have a fever.” You can touch their forehead and say, “You don’t feel febrile to me.” Instant respect.

Medical Term of the Day: Ambulatory

Ambulatory means able to walk or move around. For example, if a patient was seen in the Emergency Department after a car accident and the person was able to walk after immediatley after the crash, we might say, “The patient was ambulatory at the scene.”

You could also use this to describe friends that are hungover: “Dave is not very ambulatory this morning.”