This is an inflammation of the mucous lining of the Bronchia, or air-tubes of the lungs.
It presents itself under two forms: the acute and chronic; both of which will be treated separately.
1. Acute Bronchitis* - This form of disease very often succeeds Coryza, or cold in the head, although in those whose lungs are highly susceptible, it may commence at once in the bronchia. At first a feeling of roughness is felt in the trachea, which soon amounts to such a degree of titillation, as to excite frequent cough, which is at first dry and hard. Hoarseness is also present as well as uneasiness of breathing, tight feeling across the chest, frequently amounting to pain, particularly on coughing. There is generally fever, pain in the limbs, shivering and rapidity of the pulse. The cough increases in severity and is accompanied with expectoration of froth or viscid mucus, which after a time may become streaked with blood.
When the disease terminates favorably, the first symptoms of improvement are, greater freedom of breathing, remission of fever, and expectoration diminished in quantity, and becoming thicker. Where it terminates unfavorably, the breathing becomes more and more difficult, rapid prostration and collapse takes place.
Treatment.* - As a preventive the free, daily external use of cold water is highly beneficial.
During the inflammatory stage of the disease, and where there is obstructed respiration, dry and frequent cough, excited by a tickling sensation in the throat and chest, hoarseness, hot and dry skin, with rapid pulse.
Two drops, or twelve globules, in a tumbler of water, a tablespoonful may be taken every three or four hours. Sometimes Stibium is preferable, a powder given at the same intervals.
Spongia and Hepar-s., generally in alternation after the use of Aconite, when there is hoarseness, burning, tickling in the larynx, anxious, laborious respiration, hollow dry cough, worse towards evening; or cough with scanty expectoration viscid, and ropy.
Of the former one drop, or twelve globules, in a tumbler of water, a table-spoonful at a dose; of the latter a powder, or three globules, on the tongue. Give three or four hours apart.
This is a very prominent remedy, particularly after the inflammatory symptoms have subsided, and also where the disease assumes a chronic character, or where there is danger of the lungs being involved. There may by oppression of breathing, hoarseness, dry cough, pain in the throat and chest. Aggravated by talking.
* For a description of the windpipe, see plate 5. For general directions as to the administration of remedies, see page 12.
A powder, or three globules, every in three or four hours.
B.lladonna is frequently useful, where there is violent pain in the head, soreness of the throat, short and rapid respiration, dry and fatiguing cough, worse at night, and oppression of the chest.
Two drops, or twelve globules, in a tumbler of water; a tablespoonful once in two or three hours. Among the other remedies useful in this disease, we may enumerate Lack., Bry., Puls., Ipecac, Ars., Sulph. and Mercury See Materia Medica.
2. Chronic Bronchitis. - This variety of the disease may follow the acute form, or it may steal on gradually, until, before the patient is really aware of his situation, he is fully under its influence. In its advanced stage it is nearly as serious a disease as phthisis, to which it not unfrequently leads, and with which its symptoms correspond so closely, that there is sometimes difficulty in distinguishing between them. As this disease is somewhat long in duration, and generally requires the treatment of a judicious physician, it will be only necessary to mention here some of the prominent remedies; among them we may enumerate: Phos., Caust., Hepar-s., Stan., Sep., Lyc, Bar.-c., Lach., Ars., Sil., Con., Prot.-iod-hyd., Nit-ac., Sulph. and Calcarea. See also Cough.