Glossary

Inhalation disorders

Allergen

A substance that causes an allergy, for example dust, pollen, flakes of skin from animals, fungal spores

Alveoli

The air sacs in the lung

Antibody

A protein produced by the immune system in response to an allergen

Asthma

A chronic disease of the respiratory system characterised by wheezing, where the airways constrict and become inflamed, often in response to one or more triggers

Asthmagen

An agent that causes asthma

Asphyxiation

Suffocation caused by oxygen not getting to the tissues due to obstruction or damage to the respiratory system

Atopy

A genetic tendency to develop allergic disease, for example dermatitis, rhinitis or asthma. An atopic person is hypersensitive to certain substances in their environment

Bronchi

The two air passages that branch off from the trachea

Bronichial challenge test

A person is exposed to the suspected allergen and their lung function monitored before and after exposure

Bronchioles

The smallest branches of the airways, which branch off from the bronchi and end in the alveoli

Bronchitis

Inflammation of the bronchial tubes

COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Emphysema

A chronic lung disease, which is a form of COPD, involving damage to the alveoli

Fibrosis

A thickening and scarring of the tissues of the lungs

Immunoglobulin E (IgE)

An antibody produced in large amounts to something to which a person is allergic

Inhalation

Breathing in air that may be contaminated with a substance such as a dust, gas, vapour, mist or fume, or a biological agent such as an animal allergen, fungal spores or bacteria

Larynx

The organ that connects the pharynx (throat) and the trachea. Commonly known as the ‘voice box’

Lung function test

A measure of how well the lungs are working

Occupational health nursing

Occupational health nursing is a nursing specialism which covers health and well being in the workplace

Occupational medicine

Occupational medicine is defined by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine as ‘the medical specialty which covers the multi-faceted relationship between health and work'

Occupational physician

An occupational physician is a doctor with specialist training and qualifications in occupational medicine. You can get more information from the Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Pharynx

The organ that connects the mouth to both the trachea (windpipe) and the oesophagus. Commonly known as the ‘throat’

Pulmonary oedema

An accumulation of fluid in the lungs

Respiratory or chest physician

A medical doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of lung disorders

Respiratory system

The organs and tissues that make up the lungs and airways

Risk phrase

A note assigned to a substance that describes the associated hazards. For example, ‘R42’ indicates that the substance may cause sensitisation by inhalation

Sensitisation

Where a person has become sensitive or allergic to a substance

THOR

The Health and Occupation Reporting Network

Trachea

The windpipe

 

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Stress | Musculoskeletal | Occupational cancer | Skin disorders | Inhalation | Non-work related conditions