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Catarrh //, or catarrhal inflammation, is a disorder of inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways or cavities of the body. It can result in a thick exudate of mucus and white blood cells caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes in the head in response to an infection. It is a symptom usually associated with the common cold and chesty coughs, but can also be found in patients with infections of the adenoids, middle ear, sinus or tonsils. The phlegm produced by catarrh may either discharge or cause a blockage which may become chronic.
The word "catarrh" is common to Appalachia where medicinal plants have been used to treat the inflammation and drainage associated with the condition.
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A catarrh blockage may result in discomfort with (and what is known as ear fear of):
and other activities associated with a change in pressure.
Even the shallow end of a swimming bath can be troublesome; barotrauma—a problem linked to head pressure changes which is affected by catarrh blockages—can occur in as little as 4 feet (1.2 m) of water depth.
The word "catarrh" comes from 15th century French catarrhe, Latin catarrhus, and Greek "katarrhein": kata- meaning "down" and rhein meaning "to flow." The Oxford English Dictionary quotes Thomas Bowes' translation of Pierre de la Primaudaye's The [second part of the] French academie (1594) "Sodainely choked by catarrhes, which like to floods of waters, runne downewards."
- "Catarrh - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "Chronic Catarrh — Its Symptoms, Causes and Effects. — A Few Practical Remarks by Dr. Lighthill, Author of "A Popular Treatise on Deafness", "Letters on Catarrh." No. 34 St. Mark's-Place, New-York. Symptoms of Catarrh. Causes of Catarrh. Treatment of Catarrh. From J.S. Beecher, Esq., firm of Ives, Beecher and Co., No. 98 Front-St. From Maj. Alvin Walker, Paymaster, U.S.A. From W. Larrabee, Esq. - Article". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- "A Guide to Medicinal Plants of Appalachia" (PDF). 1969. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- "catarrh". OED Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
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