Federal law defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities." Chronic health conditions may include, but are not limited to, AIDS, arthritis, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and respiratory conditions.
There are two types of illnesses: acute and chronic. Acute illnesses (like a cold or the flu) are usually over relatively quickly. Chronic illnesses, though, are long-lasting health conditions (the word "chronic" comes from the Greek word chronos, meaning time). If you're living with a chronic illness, you may feel affected not just physically, but also emotionally, socially, and sometimes even financially.