In medicine, the term “acquired” refers to a condition or disease that is not present at birth, but develops later in life due to a variety of factors. Acquired conditions can be caused by infections, injuries, environmental exposures, lifestyle factors, or other underlying medical conditions.
Examples of acquired conditions include:
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that attacks the immune system and can lead to life-threatening infections and cancers.
- Acquired brain injury (ABI): a traumatic injury to the brain that occurs after birth, such as from a fall, car accident, or stroke.
- Acquired hearing loss: a loss of hearing that occurs later in life due to age, exposure to loud noises, infections, or other factors.
- Acquired heart disease: heart conditions that develop over time due to factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, or a sedentary lifestyle.
Acquired conditions can be treated and managed in a variety of ways depending on the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Treatment may include medications, lifestyle changes, physical therapy, or surgical interventions.
It is important to distinguish acquired conditions from congenital conditions, which are present at birth and are often caused by genetic factors or abnormalities during fetal development. Congenital conditions can also be treated and managed, but may require different approaches and interventions than acquired conditions.