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The first great object, in these pages, is the diffusion of useful knowledge, in familiar terms, as to the earliest symptoms of a class of diseases, which destroys, one person out of every six, in civilized society.
Like true cholera, the ailments of the air passages are uniformly and permanently cured, only when they are attended to in their first stages: and multitudes of lives would be saved every year, if these few lines were generally and properly appreciated; for, of their sweeping truthfulness, no educated physician can possibly have the shadow of a doubt
Second. The necessity of applying, at once, for medical advice, to some practitioner, whose character and experience have secured him the respect and confidence of the community in which he resides.
Third. How to guard against these dangerous maladies.
The seventh edition, issued last year, having been entirely sold by the Publisher, its errors and misprints, as far as discovered, have been rectified, and some additions made to this eighth edition, which, it is hoped, will be useful.
The author has never used or recommended the employment of any secret or patent remedy, medicinal, mechanical or otherwise, nor does he see how any honorable man of intelligence can do so. The inquiries made on the subject, makes it necessary for him to say, that all remedies whatsoever, having his name, in whole or in part, and so extensively sold, especially in the west and southwest, are, as far as they refer to him as their author, unmanly and inhuman impositions: unmanly, because any reputation which may attach to his name or practice, is used without his consent for the benefit of another: inhuman, because the sick and the dying are deceived in their hour of weakness, by assurances known to be wholly untrue, by those who make or sell the "cough" remedy and "Balsam" referred to. See pages 189, 302, S41.
The Author truly hopes, that by this book, and by private correspondence, in reference to special cases, he may be able to place within the reach of many whom he may never see, the means of cure, and thus not be altogether useless to the world he lives in.
Ihvimo Place, New York, Dec. 2, 1858.
WHAT IS THRO AT-AIL 1
It is called by physicians Chronic Laryngitis, pronounced Lar-in-GE-tis; by others it is known as Clergyman's Sore Throat, from the fact that so many of that class of persons have been troubled with it of late years.
It is an affection of the voice-making organs, which are at the top or beginning of the wind-pipe, answering to that moveable protuberance in the throat, in the act of swallowing, familiarly called "Adam's Apple," very prominent in men, less so in women.
The one great distinguishing symptom in Throat-Ail, present in every case, absent in none, is an alteration of the voice, its tone is not so clear as usual; or to make it so, there is an instinctive effort by hawking or hemming to remove something which is felt to be an obstacle to a full and free utterance.
In the first stages of the disease, nothing perceptible is cleared away. When farther advanced, a little mucus, or pearly phlegm is brought up, not half a tea-spoonful, perhaps; but as the malady progresses, this pearly phlegm becomes thicker, more and more yellow, and in greatly increased quantities, from a tea-spoonful to twenty or more in the course of four and twenty hours, when it uniformly terminates fatally.
Of this disease, ending in consumption, the celebrated clerical orator, Edward Irving, died.
•WHAT IS BRONCHITIS?
It is an affection of the branches of the windpipe—a simple, common cold at first. These branches are hot low, like their parent stem, the windpipe itself; but they become filled with a glairy, sticky, tough, pearly-like substance, which not only causes the person to cough a great deal, night and day, but prevents the air from passing into or out of the lungs as fully as it should. Hence the prevailing complaint in Bronchitis, (pronounced bron-KEE.-tis) is a feeling of " fullness," an "oppression," a " difficulty of breathing." When the symptoms are urgent, it appears as if a cord were drawn tightly across the breast.
WHAT IS CONSUMPTION?
Consumption, commonly called a "Decline," and by physicians "Phthisis," is a gradual wasting away of thelungs, by which they become disorganized, or rotten, and are spit out of the mouth in the shape of yellow matter, which, as the disease advances, usually sinks in water, and in three cases out of four, is, or has been, more or less tinged with blood at various intervals.
It is thus seen that Throat-Ail is a disease of the top of the windpipe, Bronchitis a disease of the branches of the windpipe, and Consumption a disease of the little air cells, which are situated at the extreme ends of the branches of the windpipe, as leaves are at the extremity of the branches of a tree. These cells or bladders are of all sizes, from that of a pea, downwards.
Throat-Ail is generally the result of accidental and temporary causes, such as indigestion, over-exertion of the voice, suppressions, sitting or standing on damp places.
Bronchitis is brought on by the application of, or taking cold, in some way or other.
Consumption is most generally an inherited disease, and it is sufficient for one of the parents only to have had a weakly or diseased constitution; but in the present day it is constantly becoming more common, in consequence of its being generated in persons whose parents, grand-parents, and in many instances, they themselves, had a strong robust constitution, by irregular habits of life, indulgence of the passions and appetites, by over-efforts of body or mind, by corroding care, by deep grief, by protracted sufferings, by late hours, damp clothing, damp sheets, damp rooms, and very often by unwise efforts to "harden the constitution,'" by needless exposures to heat and cold, and over-exertion—forgetting that a man's constitution is like a good garment, which lasts the longer for being the better taken care of, and is no more improved by hard treatment, than a new hat is made better by being banged about.
Throat-Ail is a disease of the voice-making organs at the top of the windpipe; its distinguishing symptom, an impairment of the voice.
Bronchitis is an ailment of the branches of the windpipe; its prominent indication being a difficulty of breathing, and harassing cough at any and all times.
Consumption is an affection of the lungs themselves, at the ends of the branches of the windpipe; its universal symptom, a wasting of flesh and strength and breath.
Throat-Ail requires mainly external applications, washes; gargles, fomentations, and the like.
Bronchitis is cured by internal remedies.
Consumption itself, the great giant of Death, calls for none of these things necessarily, unless complicated with other ailments.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THROAT-AIL 1
The most universal symptom is an impairment of the voice, which is more or less hoarse or weak. If there is no actual want of clearness of the sounds, there is an instinctive clearing of the throat, by swallowing, hawking, or hemming; or a summoning up of strength to enunciate words. When this is continued for some time, there is a sensation of tiredness about the throat, a dull heavy aching, or general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness, coming on in the afternoon or evening. In the early part of the day, there is nothing of the kind perceptible, as the voice muscles have had time for rest and the recovery of their powers during the night. In the beginning of the disease, no inconvenience of this kind is felt, except some unusual effort has been made, such as speaking or singing in public; but as it progresses, these symptoms manifest themselves every evening; then earlier and earlier in the day, until the voice is clear only for a short time soon in the morning; next, there is a constant hoarseness or huskiness from week to month, when the case is most generally incurable, and the patient dies of the common symptoms of Consumptive disease.