In conventional medicine, the treatment of atelectasis typically involves addressing the underlying cause and improving lung function.
It can be classified into different types based on its underlying causes and characteristics.
The main types of it include:
- Resorption: This type occurs when there is an obstruction in the airways that prevents the exchange of air in a portion of the lung. The air that was previously present in the alveoli is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream, causing the affected lung tissue to collapse.
- Compression: Compression occurs when there is external pressure on the lung tissue, preventing it from expanding fully. This pressure can result from factors such as pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity), tumors, or an enlarged heart.
- Contraction: This type is related to scarring or fibrosis within the lung tissue, which causes it to shrink and pull away from the chest wall. This can be a result of certain lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis.
- Adhesive: Adhesive happens when there is a lack of surfactant in the lungs. Surfactant is a substance that helps reduce surface tension within the alveoli, preventing them from collapsing. Without enough surfactant, the alveoli can collapse, leading to it.
- Obstructive: This is one of the most common types of it. It occurs when the airways are blocked by an object, mucus, or a tumor. As a result, the air trapped in the alveoli is absorbed, and the affected portion of the lung collapses.
- Postoperative Atelectasis: Following surgery, particularly abdominal or chest surgery, shallow breathing, and pain can lead to decreased lung expansion, potentially causing atelectasis.
- Round Atelectasis (Atelectasis Pleural Tag): This is a rare form of atelectasis in which a segment of the lung becomes trapped within a pleural effusion, creating a rounded mass that can mimic a tumor on imaging.
This can include interventions such as:
- Chest Physiotherapy: Techniques like deep breathing exercises, incentive spirometry, and percussion can help loosen mucus and improve lung expansion.
- Bronchoscopy: If a blockage is causing atelectasis, a bronchoscopy may be performed to remove the obstruction.
- Positive Airway Pressure: Using devices like Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) or Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) can help keep the airways open and improve lung inflation.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgical procedures might be necessary to remove blockages, correct structural issues, or re-inflate the collapsed lung tissue.
- Medications: Bronchodilators and mucolytic agents may be used to help open airways and thin mucus.
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Unani medicine is a traditional system of medicine that originated in ancient Greece and was later adopted and developed by Islamic scholars. It focuses on balancing the body’s humor and using natural remedies to promote health and treat diseases. However, specific information about the role of Unani medicine in treating atelectasis is limited. Unani medicine might approach atelectasis by addressing imbalances in the body, improving respiratory strength, and using herbal remedies.
Please note that it’s essential to consult qualified medical professionals and practitioners when dealing with medical conditions like atelectasis. Unani medicine or any other alternative approach should be considered complementary to conventional medical care and should not be used as a replacement. If you are looking for Unani treatments, consult a qualified Unani practitioner who can provide guidance tailored to your individual situation. Always prioritize evidence-based and scientifically proven treatments for serious medical conditions. The treatment approach for atelectasis depends on its type and underlying cause. Addressing the underlying condition or cause is essential in order to effectively treat atelectasis and prevent its recurrence. More: