Health dictionary - O

Health dictionary

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.


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


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.


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 

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 or know what is happening.


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


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


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


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