Bronchitis is inflammation of the membrane, lining the air-tubes, or bronchi. In its subacute and chronic forms it is one of the most common diseases, prevailing at all seasons, but especially in cold and damp weather.

Acute Bronchitis may commence directly in the chest after exposure to cold; but very often, particularly in children, the lining membranes of the eyelids, nostrils and throat are first affected, and the disease spreads downward into the air-passages of the chest. In the latter case, watering of the eyes, etc., precedes the actual bronchitic attack for a day or two. Acute bronchitis, as it occurs in the adult, is a severe disease, requiring prompt medical attendance.

The rapid progress which this disease sometimes makes, from its commencement to a fatal termination, renders the sending for medical assistance as quickly as possible an imperative duty; but the same reason renders it important that those around should be aware of the best method of treatment. Confinement to bed is a matter of course; foot-baths, hot bran-poultices to the chest, and warm diluent drinks are all serviceable.

The acute bronchitis of children is not usually so rapid and strongly marked a disease as that just described; it often begins with the irritation of the membrane of the nose and eyes, and extends itself into the chest. Languor, succeeded by fever, oppressed and quickened respiration, and cough, are the usual symptoms. Bran-poultices ought to be used to the chest. The warm bath may be useful in the first stage of depression; but when fever is high, it is not advisable. The bowels, of course, will require attention. It is of the greatest importance to attend to the atmosphere surrounding, either child or adult suffering from bronchitis: the chamber should be well ventilated, and the temperature not suffered to fall below 550 Fahr. Bronchitis in children is so hazardous and frequently so fatal a disease, that its domestic treatment ought never to be undertaken, except under necessity. Its exciting cause is almost invariably cold and moisture, particularly during the prevalence of east wind in the spring months; while careless and inefficient clothing among the poor, and absurd modes of dressing amid the higher classes, render children more susceptible of these injurious influences.

Remedies

Aconite, if feverish, nervous, short dry cough that hurts. Belladonna, if the throat is red, painful, hoarse, and patient is stupid. Bryonia, if any motion aggravates; Hydrastis for old people. Kali bichromicum, if hoarse croupy cough with stingy mucus. Phosphorus, if there are pleuritic pains with tightness extending to the chest. Rumex, aggravated by deep breathing, talking, laughing, or cold air.