Health A to Z

Authoritative, patient-focused summaries of key ailments and diseases

Patient Basics: Appendicitis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a small, fingerlike tube that hangs from the lower right side...

Patient Basics: Arm Fracture

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? When a bone breaks or cracks, the injury is called a fracture. "Fractured" and "broken" mean the same...

Patient Basics: Asthma

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung condition. Air passages narrow and become inflamed. This leads to breathing difficulties...

Patient Basics: Astigmatism

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Astigmatism means that the cornea of the eye has an irregular shape, causing vision problems. The cornea is...

Patient Basics: Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? When a significant number of bacteria show up in the urine, this is called "bacteriuria." Finding bacteria in...

Patient Basics: Atherosclerosis

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Atherosclerosis is a narrowing of the arteries that can significantly reduce the blood supply to vital organs such...

Patient Basics: Athlete’s Foot (Tinea Pedis)

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Athlete's foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common foot infection caused by fungi called dermatophytes. Found...

Patient Basics: Atrial Fibrillation

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat.Atrial fibrillation affects the upper...

Patient Basics: Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Autism is a developmental disorder of the brain. People with autism have problems communicating and interacting socially. They...

Patient Basics: Back Pain

Originally published by Harvard Health. What Is It? Back pain can be a symptom of many different illnesses and conditions. The main cause of the pain...
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