The Symptoms of Congestion Of The Lungs

Fullness or constriction of the chest; shortness of breath; dry, hacking cough, sometimes accompanied with frothy expectoration, occasionally streaked with bfood; in severe cases, great difficulty in breathing; very rapid respiratory efforts, choking sensation, cough, with copious expectoration of bloody, frothy sputum; face red at first, grows paler as patient becomes exhausted, drowsy, and finally dies, if not relieved. In passive congestion, greater shortness of breath, especially on exercising.

This is a very common affection, though not often recognized as a distinct disease. Mild cases are considered-and correctly in many cases-to be incipient consumption, and severe ones are called pulmonary apoplexy. There are two forms of the disease: 1. Active congestion, in which too much blood circulates through the lungs, and 2. Passive congestion, in which there is too much blood retained in the lungs from some obstruction to the pulmonary circulation. The symptoms of the two diseases are very similar, it being sometimes impossible to distinguish between them in an individual case, except by observing the causes and inducing circumstances.

The Causes of Congestion Of The Lungs

The causes of active congestion are as follows: 1. Increased action of the heart, most often noticed in young persons, particularly about the age of puberty, and in narrow chested young persons troubled with palpitation of the heart. This may be induced by excessive exercise, the use of tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks, smoking, and great mental excitement of any sort, as from rage, delirium, etc. There is good reason for believing that this condition in young persons leads to pulmonary consumption when not corrected. It may often be considered, indeed, as the incipient stage of that disease. 2. Exposure of the lungs to cold air. 3. Rarefying of the air in the lungs, as in croup. 4. Disease which disables some part of the lungs, as pneumonia or pneumo-thorax. The chief causes of passive congestion are, 1. Organic disease of the heart, particularly disease affecting the valves of the left side. 2. Feebleness of the heart from general debility, fever, fatty degeneration, or any other cause. This form is very likely to occur in cases of protracted fever when the patient lies long upon the back, from settling of the blood in the lower part of the lungs.