An unreasonable sort of fear that can cause avoidance and panic. Phobias are a relatively common type of anxiety disorder. Phobias can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, using exposure and fear-reduction techniques. In many cases, antianxiety or antidepressant medication proves helpful, especially during the early stages of therapy.
- Phobia, social
A paralyzing fear of interacting with others. Symptoms include excessive blushing, sweating, trembling, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, nausea, and extreme anxiety. Social phobia can occur in very young children or emerge at a later age. It can be disabling to a person’s work and social and family relationships. Many people with social phobia have trouble […]
A birth defect in which the hands and feet are attached to abbreviated arms and legs. The term comes from phoco (meaning ‘seal’) and melia (meaning ‘limb’), to indicate that a limb is like a seal’s flipper, as in exposure of the developing fetus to thalidomide. Phocomelia may also, in some cases, be genetic.
Surgical procedures that maintain, restore, or enhance the human voice. Phonosurgery includes phonomicrosurgery (microsurgery of the vocal folds done through an endoscope), laryngoplastic phonosurgery (open-neck surgery that restructures the cartilaginous framework of the larynx and the soft tissues), laryngeal injection (injection into the larynx of medications as well as synthetic and organic biologic substances), and […]
- Phosphatase, acid
An enzyme that acts to liberate phosphate under acidic conditions and is made in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and prostate gland. Abnormally high serum levels of acid phosphatase may indicate infection, injury, or cancer of the prostate.
- Phosphatase, alkaline
An enzyme that liberates phosphate under alkaline conditions and is made in liver, bone, and other tissues. Alkaline phosphatase can be measured in a routine blood test. Abnormally high serum levels of alkaline phosphatase may indicate bone disease, liver disease, or bile duct obstruction.