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An overview of upper respiratory tract infection in adults!

An overview of upper respiratory tract infection in adults!

Upper respiratory tract infection is a common cause of trouble and discomfort in adults. The fact that respiratory tract includes several body parts further aggravate the problem. If you’re a victim of frequent breathing troubles, cold, or other similar problems, you might be suffering from the infection of the upper respiratory tract. Here, we provide a complete overview of the condition to let you allow take necessary steps to prevent the problems.

Anatomy of the respiratory tract

Essentially, the respiratory tract is divided into two main parts

  • Upper respiratory tract: which include nose, mouth, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx
  • Lower respiratory tracts: which include the windpipe and lungs

Although infections can occur in both the above parts, upper respiratory tract infection is more common.

The function of the respiratory tract

The main function of the respiratory tract is air exchange, which is why it is more prone to infections from bacteria, virus, and fungus.

People with certain specific health conditions such as heart troubles, kidney problems, asthma etc are more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections in general.

Common upper respiratory tract Infections

Some of the most common infections of upper respiratory tract include-

  • Common Cold

Caused by virus attack, it is one of the most common types of respiratory infection.  The symptoms of common cold are sneezing, nose block, nasal secretions, running nose & eyes followed by swelling & reddening of the nasal lining.

  • Influenza

One of the more severe forms of upper respiratory tract infections, Influenza is caused by specific viruses attacking the respiratory tract. It is a contagious disease with symptoms such as frequent fever, cold, sore throat, chills, severe headache etc.

  • Laryngitis

Generally caused by other respiratory conditions such as flu, cold etc, Laryngitis is yet another type of common upper respiratory tract infection characterized by symptoms such as inflammation of the larynx leading to hoarse voice or severe difficulty in talking.

  • Pharyngitis

Caused by viral, bacteria or fungal infections, Pharyngitis is an upper respiratory tract infection that is mainly characterized by throat inflammation. Among the other common symptoms in the sufferer include itchiness in the throat, fever, difficulty in swallowing etc.

  • Rhinosinusitis

A bacterial or viral infection, Rhinosinusitis causes severe inflammation of the nasal and sinus lining in the sufferer.  

Treatment of upper respiratory tract infection

Due to the fact the most of the times upper respiratory infection is caused by viruses, there are a number of home remedies that work well for treating the condition. Some of the common treatment options are-

  1. a) Taking enough rest: Ensuring that body is well rested is the beginning step in easing the symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
  2. b) Proper nutrition and fluid intake:  Good nutrition and adequate fluid intake is another effective step in treating upper respiratory tract infections.
  3. c) Antibiotics under expert supervision: It is advisable to seek expert advice in case of bacterial respiratory infections to get quick relief.

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