Health dictionary - O


Occupational Therapist

Sometimes, when you've been sick, it can be difficult doing things like you used to. An occupational therapist is someone who will help you to get used to doing everyday things again - such as doing up your laces or getting on with your schoolwork.

Oedema

The medical word for swelling. If you have an oedematous foot, you have a swollen foot!

Oesophagus

This is sometimes called your foodpipe. When you've swallowed your food, it travels to your stomach through this tube. It works by squeezing rhythmically to push the food downwards.

Oncologist

This is a special type of doctor who looks after children with cancer.

Oncology

The study of cancer, how it develops and how it can be treated. The doctor who specialises in oncology is called an oncologist.

Operating theatre or theatre

This is where you'll go to have an operation (surgery).

Operation or surgery

Sometimes the doctors need to be able to get inside your body to make you sort out problems that you're experiencing. Most operations are carried out under an anaesthetic, which means you won't be awake.

Ophthalmology

The study of your eyes and diseases that affect them. The doctor who specialises in ophthalmology is called an ophthalmologist.

Oral

This means your mouth. Some medicines have to be swallowed – these are called oral medicines.

Orthodontist

The name of a dentist who specialises in straightening or moving teeth.

Orthopaedics

This is the study of bones. Doctors who operate on your bones are called orthopaedic surgeons.