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Health Vocabulary – How to talk about health problems in English

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Health vocabulary refers to the words and terms related to medicine and the human body. Understanding this vocabulary can help individuals to communicate effectively with healthcare professionals, understand medical information, and make informed decisions about their health. This vocabulary includes words such as “anatomy,” “symptoms,” “diagnosis,” “treatment,” “medication,” “surgery,” “disease,” “injury,” “nutrition,” “exercise,” and “wellness.”

Health Vocabulary

At the Doctor Vocabulary

Names of some ailments, symptoms & injuries:

  • asthma: a respiratory condition where spasms in the lungs cause difficulty breathing.
  • a backache: a prolonged pain in the back.
  • a broken leg: when a bone in the leg is broken.
  • A broken leg is put in a cast to help immobilize the leg so that it heals quicker. Other parts of the body with bones can also be broken, for example, a broken arm, a broken wrist, etc.
  • a cold: a common viral infection that causes mucous to run from the nose, gives a sore throat, and often includes sneezing.
  • a cough: the act of expelling air from the lungs with a sudden sharp sound.
  • an earache: pain inside the ear.
  • a fever: an abnormally high body temperature, usually accompanied by shivering and a headache.
  • the flu: flu is the common name given for influenza. It is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages that causes fever and severe aching.
  • a headache: a continuous pain in the head.
  • heartburn: a form of indigestion felt as a burning sensation in the chest. It is caused by acid regurgitation into the esophagus.
  • (the) measles: an infectious viral disease causing fever and a red rash on the skin. It typically occurs in childhood.
  • a rash: a lot of small red spots on the skin that are usually itchy.
  • a sore throat: a condition of pain in the throat, typically caused by inflammation of it.
  • a stomachache (US) – stomach ache (Brit): The pain in a person’s belly. Notice how the word can be spelled together or as two words, depending on the country.
  • sunburn: when the skin becomes red with inflammation as a result of overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
  • a toothache: the pain in a tooth or teeth.

Different Types of Headaches

  • tension headache – a dull, aching pain felt on both sides of the head.
  • migraine – a severe headache that is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • cluster headache – a severe headache that occurs in clusters and is felt on one side of the head.
  • sinus headache – a headache caused by inflammation of the sinuses.
  • hormonal headache – a headache caused by changes in hormones, such as during menstruation or pregnancy.
  • cervicogenic headache – a headache caused by problems in the neck or spinal cord.
  • rebound headache – a headache caused by overuse of pain medication.
  • exertion headache – a headache caused by physical exertion or strain.
  • ice-cream headache – a headache caused by consuming cold food or drinks.
  • thunderclap headache – a sudden and severe headache that can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.

Health Vocabulary – Different Types of Headaches

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Useful Expressions at the Doctor’s

  • I have been experiencing X symptoms.
  • Could you explain the procedure to me?
  • What is the diagnosis?
  • What is the treatment plan?
  • Are there any side effects?
  • Can I have a copy of my test results?
  • What is the prognosis?
  • What can I do to manage my condition?
  • What are the risk factors for this condition?
  • Can I see a specialist for this?
  • What lifestyle changes do I need to make?
  • What is the follow-up plan?
  • Can I take my medication with my other prescription drugs?
  • What do I need to do to prepare for the procedure?
  • Can I get a second opinion?
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Health Vocabulary | Pictures

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Health Vocabulary - How to talk about health problems in English

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Rechel H. Brosas

Thursday 7th of October 2021

Very informative and useful materials . Thank you so much for sharing.