CONDUCTIVE DEAFNESS
CONJUNCTIVITIS
conductive deafness
Deafness
caused
by faulty conduction of sound from the
outer to the inner ear.
condyloma acuminatum
See
warts,
genital
.
cone
A type of light-sensitive cell in the
retina
of the eye. Cones play a major
role in
colour vision
.
cone biopsy
A surgical procedure in
which a conical or cylindrical section of
the lower part of the
cervix
is removed.
A cone biopsy is performed after an
abnormal
cervical smear test
result if
the exact precancerous or cancerous
area (see
cervix, cancer of
)
cannot be
identified by
colposcopy
.
CONE BIOPSY
confabulation
The use of a fictional
story to make up for gaps in memory.
The phenomenon occurs most com-
monly in chronic alcoholics suffering
from
Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
.
It
may also occur with
head injuries
.
confidentiality
The ethical principle that
a doctor does not disclose information
given in confidence by a patient.
The patient's consent is needed before
a doctor supplies confidential informa-
tion to an insurance company, employer,
or lawyer. However, doctors must disclose
information when required to by law or
when faced with injuries or disorders that
indicate a serious crime. Doctors are also
required to notify specified infectious dis-
eases. Treatment of young children is
usually discussed with the parents, but
an older child's request for confidential-
ity is generally respected if the doctor
feels that he or she is competent enough
to understand the issues involved.
confusion
An acute or chronic disorga-
nized mental state in which the abilities
to remember, think clearly, and reason
are impaired. Acute confusion can arise
as a symptom of
delirium
, in which
brain activity is affected by fever, drugs,
poisons, or injury. People with acute con-
fusion may also have
hallucinations
and
behave violently. Chronic confusion is
often associated with
alcohol depen-
dence
, long-term use of
antianxiety drugs
,
and certain physically based mental dis-
orders. Many of the conditions that cause
chronic confusion (for example
dementia
)
are progressive. Features include absent-
mindedness, poor short-term memory,
and a tendency to be repetitive. If the
underlying cause of confusion can be
treated, there may be marked improve-
ment.
Sedative drugs
can be of benefit in
acute confusion.
congenital
Present at birth. Congenital
abnormalities (sometimes called
birth
defects
) are either inherited or result
from damage or infection occurring in
the
uterus
or at the time of birth.
congenital adrenal hyperplasia
See
adrenal hyperplasia, congenital
.
congestion
A term that usually refers
to the accumulation of excess
blood
,
tis-
sue fluid
, or
lymph
in part of the body. A
major cause of congestion is increased
blood flow to an area due to inflamma-
tion. Another cause is reduced drainage
of blood from an affected area, as can
occur in
heart failure
, in venous disorders
such as
varicose veins
, and in
lymphatic
disorders
.
(See also
nasal congestion
.)
congestive heart failure
See
heart
failure
.
conjunctiva
The transparent membrane
covering the
sclera
(white of the eye)
and lining the inside of the eyelids.
Cells in the conjunctiva produce a fluid
that lubricates the lids and the
cornea
.
conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the
con-
junctiva,
causing redness, discomfort, and
discharge from the affected eye. There
are
2
common types: infective conjunc-
tivitis, caused by bacteria or viruses;
and allergic conjunctivitis, which is an
allergic response to substances such as
cosmetics and pollen. Both types have
similar symptoms but in infective con-
junctivitis the discharge contains pus
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