FLATWORM
HOWTO USE DENTAL FLOSS
Floss should be used as an adjunct to
toothbrushing to remove plaque and
food particles from gaps between teeth
and around gums. Care should be taken
to avoid damaging the gum margins,
and floss should never be reused.
1
Break off a generous length of floss (about
50
cm) and wrap the ends around one
finger of each hand.
2
Holding the floss taut, guide it gently into
the gap between the teeth until it reaches
the gum line. Then rub the sides of each tooth
with the floss using an up-and-down motion.
bacteria on
carbohydrates
and
amino
acids
in food. The gas consists of hydro-
gen, carbon dioxide, and methane. Air
may be swallowed w hile eating and
enter the stomach or intestine.
Large amounts of gas may cause
flat-
ulence
(abdominal discomfort), w hich
may be relieved by the passage of w ind
or by
defaecation
(passing faeces).
flatworm
Any species of worm that has a flat-
tened shape. Two types of flatworm are
parasites of humans:
cestodes
(
tape-
worms
) and trematodes (schistosomes,
flukes; see
liver fluke
;
schistosomiasis
) .
flea bites
See
insect bites
.
flecainide
An
antiarrhythmic drug
used in the treat-
ment
of
tachycardia
,
atrial fibrillation
,
and
arrhythmias
associated w ith condi-
tions such as W olff-Parkinson-W hite
syndrome
(an abnormality of heart
rhythm). Flecainide is given, in the
form of tablets or injection, to people
w ho are physically resistant to or intol-
erant of other treatments. The treat-
ment is always started in hospital.
Side effects include dizziness, visual
disturbances,
and worsening
of the
existing arrhythmia or development of
a new type. In rare cases, nausea, vom -
iting,
urticaria
(nettle rash),
vertigo
,
and
jaundice
occur.
flexor
Any
muscle
that acts to flex a
joint
.
An
example of a flexor muscle is the
biceps
muscle
,
in the upper arm, w hich con-
tracts to bend the elbow.
flies
See
insects and disease
.
floaters
Small fragments that are perceived to be
floating in the field of vision. Floaters
move rapidly with eye movement but
drift slightly when the eyes are still.
They do not usually affect vision.
The majority of floaters are the result
of shadows cast on the
retina
by m icro-
scopic structures in the
vitreous humour
(the jellylike substance behind the lens
of the eye). In older people, the vitreous
hum our tends to shrink slightly and
detach from the retina, often resulting
in conspicuous floaters, w hich usually
decrease over time.
The
sudden
appearance
of a
cloud
of dark floaters, especially if they are
accompanied by light flashes, suggests
retinal tear
or
retinal detachment
.
A red
floater that is large enough to obscure
vision is usually caused by a
vitreous
haemorrhage
.
floating kidney
A
kidney
that is more mobile w ithin
the body than usual.
floating ribs
The lowest two pairs of
ribs
,
w hich are
attached to the
spine
at the back but
are not attached to the
sternum
(the
breastbone) by cartilage in the same
way as the other ribs.
flooding
A technique that is used in
behaviour
therapy
for
treating
many
different
types of
phobias
.
The method of flood-
ing forces the patient to confront the
focus of his or her fear directly and for
prolonged periods. W ith the support
of a therapist, the patient is repeatedly
confronted w ith the object or situation
that he or she is afraid of. The aim is
that, through the process of flooding,
the patient’s distress should eventually
be reduced.
floppy infant
A description of a baby whose muscles
lack normal tension or tone causing
the limbs to be lim p and unresistant to
gravity(see
hypotonia in infants
) .
floppy valve syndrome
See
mitral valve prolapse
.
flossing, dental
The removal of plaque (see
plaque, den-
tal
) and food particles from between
the teeth using soft nylon or silk thread
or tape. Dental floss may be waxed or
unwaxed. Flossing should be carried
out as an adjunct to toothbrushing.
flu
See
influenza
.
flucloxacillin
A
penicillin drug
usually used to treat
staphylococcal infections.
fluconazole
An
antifungal drug
used in the treat-
ment of
candidiasis
(thrush), a fungal
infection that commonly affects the
vagina or the mouth. Although gener-
ally well
tolerated,
fluconazole
may
sometimes cause nausea and diarrhoea.
fluctuant
A term used to describe the movement
w ithin a swelling when it is examined
by touch. It is a sign that the swelling
contains fluid. The term is often used
to describe an
abscess
.
fluid retention
The excessive accumulation of fluid in
body tissues. M ild fluid retention is a
common feature
of
premenstrual syn-
drome
,
but it disappears with the onset
of menstruation. A more severe case of
fluid retention may be associated with
an underlying heart, liver, or kidney
disorder (see
ascites
;
nephrotic syndrome
;
oedema
) .
Diuretic drugs
may be used to
treat fluid retention.
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