Health A to Z

Authoritative, patient-focused summaries of key ailments and diseases

Patient Basics: Tick Bites

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Ticks are tiny, biting arachnids that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. They burrow painlessly into...

Patient Basics: Epididymitis And Orchitis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Epididymitis is an inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is the coiled tube at the back of the testicle....

Patient Basics: Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA Test)

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? The prostate-specific antigen blood test (PSA test) is a screening test. It measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)...

Patient Basics: Abdominal Adhesions

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Abdominal adhesions are bands of fibrous scar tissue that form on organs in the abdomen, causing the organs...

Patient Basics: Achalasia

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Achalasia is an uncommon disorder of the esophagus. The disorder makes it difficult for food to pass from...

Patient Basics: Amyloidosis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Amyloidosis is a disease in which an abnormal protein called amyloid accumulates in body tissues and organs. The...

Patient Basics: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? An abdominal aortic aneurysm is an abnormal swelling in the aorta. It can be fatal. The aorta is the...

Patient Basics: Absence Seizures (Petit Mal Seizures)

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? The brain's nerve cells (neurons) communicate by firing tiny electric signals. During a seizure (convulsion), the firing pattern...

Patient Basics: Salivary Gland Disorders

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? The salivary glands make saliva and release it into the mouth. There are three pairs of relatively large, major salivary...

Patient Basics: Hair Loss

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Hair loss can range from mild hair thinning to total baldness. Hair can fall out for many different reasons....
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