Respiratory Tract Infections

Respiratory tract infection refers to a number of infectious diseases involving the respiratory tract.

Classification

Upper respiratory tract infection(URI or URTI)

  • Flu 
  • Laryngitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Sinusitis       
  • Tonsillitis

Lower respiratory tract infection (LRI or LRTI)

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia

Causes

  • Contact
    1. Sneezing or coughing
    2. Poor hand washing techniques

  • Viruses
  1. Rhinovirus
  2. Coronavirus
  3. Parainfluenza virus
  4. Respiratory syncytial virus
  5. Adenovirus
  • Bacteria

Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria.

Symptoms And Signs–

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffed or runny nose

Lower Respiratory Tract Infections

  • Aches and pains
  • Blocked nose and sinuses
  • Breathlessness
  • Fever and chills
  • Headaches
  • Productive cough (phlegm, mucus, blood)
  • Sore throat 
  • Wheezing
  • Tight feeling in chest

Investigations—-

  • Chest X-Ray
  • Blood tests

Treatment—-

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection  

  • Self-Care
  1. Drink plenty of fluids (to prevent dehydration )
  2. For infants with stuffy noses, saline nose drops used with a bulb syringe may be helpful in clearing the nasal passages.

  • Ayurvedic Medicines

Lower Respiratory Tract Infection

  • Self care
  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  2. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  3. Take rest and avoid strenuous activity.
  4. Avoid being around people who smoke, and stay away from smoke-filled environments.
  5. Raise the head of bed slightly
  • Ayurvedic Medication

Complications —

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Lung abscess
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleurisy
  • Pleuritic pain
  • Septicaemia or Bacteraemia

Prevention-

  • Wash hands regularly and thoroughly, particularly after touching nose or mouth, and before handling food.
  • Sneezing and coughing into tissues.
  • Do not share cups or kitchen utensils with others
  • Vaccines are available for pneumonia and flu
  • Quit smoking

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