Hay Asthma

William Gordon
1829 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal  
ber of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, &c. &c. &c. The variety of asthma which forms the subject of the present memoir, has scarcely, if at all, been glanced at by any systematic writer on the practice of medicine. We are furnished ivilli various instances of dyspnoea, and other pulmonary affections, being produced by the inhalation of the effluvia arising from certain odoriferous and other substances, examples of tvhicli I myself have witnessed ; but the catarrhal and asthmatic
more » ... and asthmatic symptoms, occurring in particular individuals during the ripening of grass, and evidently caused by the smell given off from its flowers, have been but slightly noticed ; and by some practitioners their existence is considered very questionable, if it be not altogether denied. There can be no doubt, however, that the complaint which is termed (though perhaps not very correctly) "hay asthma,"does really exist ; and although occasionally mild in its nature, yet for the most part it assumes a very formidable character, as will appear from the following history of it, which is taken from some tve/I-marked cases that have /alien under my observation. 33 The disease first commences with a slight sensation of chilliness, accompanied with thirst, lassitude, drowsiness, and other indications of fever; at the same time the Schueiderian membrane becomes dry and irritable, and the patient is affected with an almost incessant sneezing, and an inexpressible itching or pricking in the fauces and trachea, and along the external auditory passage : the head is occasionally vertiginous or painfui, but more generally it feels heavy or indescribably uncomfortable. These symptoms are soon succeeded by inflammation of the tunica conjunctiva, which comes on very suddenly, and after remaining for an uncertain length of time, vanishes as suddenly as it made its appearance. After the lapse of two or three days, though sometimes much earlier, a tightness is felt about the chest, and the respiration begins to be obstructed, especially in (he evenings, and is then always attended with a wheezing noise. This obstruction at first is but very trifling, and occasions little or no inconvenience ; but it daily becomes more and more oppressive, and at length arrives at the very acme of severity. At this crisis a dreadful sense of suffocation comes on, together with an intolerable weight at the lower part of the sternum, and a deep, hard, dry, frequent cough, which tends very much to aggravate the tliilicufly of breath-
doi:10.1056/nejm182909290023301 fatcat:dylcq6oqdbe55ao4m3lmtmtmgq