Bibasilar atelectasis is a disorder that causes difficulty in breathing.It is a medical condition where the most vital organ of your body, the LUNGS becomes dysfunctional.
Atelectasis is a medical condition where the alveoli, the tiny air pockets present in your lungs completely deflate resulting in the partial or complete collapse of the lungs. In the case of bibasilar atelectasis, the left and right bottom portions of the lungs are affected.
This article will give your information on the causes, various symptoms and how bibasilar atelectasis can be treated so you can deal with it and prevent this medical condition.
What Is Bibasilar Atelectasis?
Bibasilar atelectasis is a medical condition where a part of your lung or your entire lung collapses because of a hindrance preventing the exchange of gasses that is the inhaling of oxygen and exhaling of carbon dioxide.
The human body has a pair of lungs one on the left and another on the right. Both the lungs are not identical, though they perform the same function.
The left lung has only two partitions while the right lung has three. These lungs have tiny air sacs referred to as the alveoli which have blood vessels inside them. These alveoli are responsible for the gas exchange taking place inside the lungs.
When the bottom of either of the lungs collapses, the gas exchange comes to a halt resulting in the condition called bibasilar atelectasis. This condition can be chronic or acute and will affect both the left and the right lung.
When your lungs collapse, there are chances that you might develop other conditions like bibasilar scarring that occurs in a part of the lung and bibasilar subsegmental atelectasis resulting in the compression or disintegration of a part of the lung distal to the blocked segmental bronchus.
How Is Bibasilar Atelectasis Caused?
As mentioned earlier, bibasilar atelectasis is caused due to any block in the bronchi that branch off from the trachea that is your windpipe leading to the lung tissue.
The causes of the blockage hindering the gas exchange and leading to the collapse of the lungs are as follows:
A. Obstructive Causes Of Atelectasis
i. Foreign Body
When a foreign particle enters your body during inhalation, it can cause your lungs to collapse.
ii. Blood Clot
If you are suffering from any physical trauma there are chances that your blood can spill out and enter into your lungs. At times this blood that has entered into the lungs cannot be coughed out resulting in the clotting of blood inside the lungs causing it to dysfunction.
iii. Mucus Plugs
When you undergo a surgery there will be drugs injected into your system. These drugs can cause the lungs to have decreased inflation resulting in the collection of mucus in the airways.
To curb from this situation, an ordinary medical practice of suction of the lungs is employed.
Even after the suction, the mucus keeps developing in the airways, and it is for this reason that doctors advise the patients who are recovering from surgery to do deep breathing exercises.
People suffering from asthma, fibrosis and cystic are also found to have mucus plugs.
iv. Lung Tumor
When a tumor develops in the airways it poses as an obstruction to the exchange of gases thus causing atelectasis.
v. Lung Diseases
If you are affected by diseases like tuberculosis or any fungal infection that can give rise to scarring in the lungs, you will develop atelectasis because this scarring will begin to constrict the airways.
vi. Cough Suppressants
Using cough suppressants can prevent the removal of the obstruction in the airways that is present in the lungs.
vii. Pleural Effusion
The process of fluid build-up between the pleural tissues found between the chest wall and the lining of lungs is called as pleural effusion. This also a cause of atelectasis.
B. Non- Obstructive Causes Of Atelectasis
When air from the lungs gets into the space between the chest wall and the lungs it causes scarring in the lungs thereby constricting the airways giving rise to atelectasis.
ii. Chest Injury
When a person becomes a victim of a serious injury they experience reduced breathing leading to the compression of the lungs hence causing atelectasis.
During surgery, anesthesia is given to the patient. This will hamper the normal pattern of airflow in the lungs consequently changing the absorption of gasses. Hence it is an important cause of the deflating of the alveoli in the lungs.
Scars in the lung tissues are also a reason for the occurrence of bibasilar atelectasis.
Symptoms Of Bibasilar Atelectasis
If only a very small part of your lung is affected with atelectasis then you may not observe many distinct symptoms but here are some that you can look for:
- Difficulty while breathing, especially in the supine position.
- Difficulty in expanding your chest while breathing.
- You’ll experience slight fever.
- You’ll cough more than usual and expel sputum.
- There may be rapid or shallow breathing like the one you experience after doing some heavy workout.
- You’ll also develop wheezing.
If a major part of your lung is affected, then you can look for the following symptoms that will be very distinct and noticeable.
- The pale color of your skin will gradually turn blue.
- You’ll have extreme difficulty in breathing.
- There may be a stabbing pain in the affected area.
- You’ll be in an anxious state of mind.
- You’ll also observe that your heart beat rate has increased when compared to the normal.
How Is Bibasilar Atelectasis Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose bibasilar atelectasis by performing any of the following procedures to see any obstruction in the airways:
- CT Scans
- Oximetry tests
How Is Bibasilar Atelectasis Treated?
Treating bibasilar atelectasis solely depends on your condition, whether only a small part of the lung is affected or a major part of the lung is affected.
a. If only a minor part of the lung is affected, then it doesn’t require any treatment because it will recover on its own.
b. If atelectasis is caused by tumors, the focus of the treatment will be on removing the tumor from the airway through chemotherapy and radiation.
c. Surgery is also performed to permanently remove any growth in the airway after which you can get help from a chest physiotherapist to get your chest re-expanding normally. Also, deep breathing exercises are suggested to the patients to help in re-expanding the collapsed lung.
d. Doctors advise that before going for surgery, it is important to stop smoking at least two months before the surgical procedure begins to avoid the development of atelectasis after the surgery.
In general, smoking can increase the production of mucus thereby damaging the wall, so it is essential to stop smoking.
e. If mucus plug is the reason you were affected by atelectasis, then an air pulse vibrator vest is used to clear the mucus mechanically. Techniques like deep coughing and clapping the chest in the collapsed tissues will help loosen up the mucus.
Postural drainage is another technique done by positioning the head lower than the chest and draining the mucus from the bottom of the lungs.
Mucus thinners like acetylcysteine make it easier to cough up the mucus thus aid in easier breathing. Suctioning is a procedure that can also be employed in clearing the mucus from the airway.
f. Bronchoscopy is a procedure that is done by inserting flexible tubes into your throat to clear the airway.
g. Bronchodilator and medicines like Foradil can be used to expand the bronchial tubes thus help you breathe easily.
h. If you are suffering from short breathe then you might be provided with supplemental oxygen to help you get relief from the shortness of breath.
Home Remedies For Bibasilar Atelectasis
Yes, it is possible to treat bibasilar atelectasis from home naturally, but it should only be considered an add-on to the medications prescribed by your doctor.
Some of the home remedies you can try for treating your condition are:
This is a natural and important way of treating bibasilar atelectasis because walking will help your lungs to inflate better thereby speeding up the recovery.
2. Eucalyptus Oil
You can use this oil for treating atelectasis in three ways.
- Heat a cup of water for about 30 minutes. Add some eucalyptus oil to it and mix well. Inhale the vapor coming from it. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.
- You can also massage your entire body with warm eucalyptus oil especially your chest area. Do this 3 to 4 times daily.
- Put eucalyptus oil on your nose one at a time using a dropper.
This veggie that is found in every kitchen can help in treating atelectasis and has also proven to be effective. Prepare soup with some chicken stock and a good amount of onions. Have this soup 2 to 3 times a day. You can also add onions to your salads and other dishes making it a part of your diet.
4. Sesame Oil
This is another essential oil that can be used to treat atelectasis.
- Heat some sesame oil and massage your chest with it for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add some sesame oil to a cup of boiling water and heat it for at least 20 minutes. Inhale the vapor coming out from Do this two times daily.
- You can also put this sesame oil on your nose, one drop at a time using a dropper.
This root can be very effective in treating atelectasis. Prepare a tea with some crushed ginger and a cup of water.First, boil a cup of water with some crushed ginger for about 20 minutes. Let the liquid steep through and then strain it well.
Have this tea as many times as possible in a day. You can also inhale the vapor that comes from the tea. Gargling with the ginger tea is also an option.
Including tomatoes as a part of your regular diet can help in controlling atelectasis.
- You can have tomatoes in the form of salads along with your lunch and dinner.
- Squash some tomatoes extracting their juice and heating it for at least 20 minutes. Sip this juice slowly while it’s still hot.
- Prepare tomato soup and have it at least three times a week.
It is necessary to dissolve the mucus that is inside your lung to help it expand. Take a glass of hot milk and add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. Mix it well and drink it twice daily. By doing this regularly, you’ll dissolve the mucus present in your lungs.
Drinking adequate amount of water regularly will flush out the toxins present in your body. It will also help in dissolving the mucus accumulated in the lungs and also forces other toxins to be coughed up easily making it easier for the expansion of the lungs.Make sure to drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water daily. Drinking lemon and orange juice-also help in treating atelectasis.
Can Bibasilar Atelectasis Get Complicated?
Bibasilar atelectasis can lead to complications that can be very disturbing. Some of the complications are:
Once the lung has collapsed it needs to be re-inflated but if the re-inflation fails to heal all the damage and scarring caused. This can cause bronchiectasis.
As I mentioned earlier mucus plugs is one of the causes for atelectasis and mucus inside the lung affected by atelectasis becomes susceptible to bacterial infections. This can cause pneumonia.
Also known as low blood oxygen results as a complication of atelectasis because when your lung collapse the alveoli doesn’t get enough oxygen resulting in hypoxemia.
As I said before when only a small part of the lung is affected it is curable and for adults with atelectasis the condition can be managed because they have a fully grown lung, but in the cases of infants the lung is just in its growing phase so if they are affected by bibasilar atelectasis it will cover the entire lung proving to be lethal.
I wanted to conclude this post saying that if you are a chain smoker, before going to a surgery stop smoking at least two months before the surgical procedure.
Remember to do deep breathing exercises after the surgery and if you are finding difficulty in breathing go and consult your doctor immediately.
A proper and healthy lifestyle help you fight any disease and will also help you prevent them.
Stay healthy and stay happy.