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When it comes to respiratory tract infections, they are considered infections of the parts of your body that are involved in breathing like the lungs, sinuses, throat, or airways. Though most respiratory tract infections get better without seeking treatment but sometimes you might need to visit a doctor.
A respiratory tract infection affects your respiratory system, a part of your body that is responsible for breathing. There are mainly two types of respiratory tract infections:
Such type of infections usually affects your throat as well as your sinuses. Upper respiratory infections comprise:
A lower respiratory infection is responsible for affecting your airways and lungs. However, the infection of lower respiratory usually last for a long time and is more serious. Lower respiratory infections include:
The symptoms of respiratory tract infection mainly include:
In case, you experience any of the symptoms then contact the doctor immediately to avoid serious complications.
When a virus enters your respiratory system, you suffer from an upper respiratory infection. You can suffer from upper respiratory tract infection by touching an infected surface or shaking hands with a person who is sick. The germs from your hands enter the body and infect it.
This type of infection is common and anyone can catch it. However, certain people have more risk of catching this type of infection. Children are at more risk as they are in close contact with children who can carry a virus.
Also, children do not wash their hands frequently as compared to adults. They also put their fingers in their mouth, nose, and eyes too often, helping germs to spread quickly.
In case, you suffer from problems with the heart or lungs are at more risk of experiencing an upper respiratory infection. People with the weak immune system might have serious infections. Most of time Antibiotic medicines are very helpful in treating respiratory Infection.
While suffering from an upper respiratory infection, you might experience the following symptoms:
Depending upon the physical exam and your symptoms, the doctor will diagnose the infection. The doctor will also look inside your nose, ears, throat and listen to your chest in order to examine breathing. After this, you don’t need other tests.
In case, the doctor thinks you have a lung infection or another infection then the doctor might conduct a:
Upper respiratory infections usually last for one to two weeks. Generally, the infection goes on its own. However, over-the-counter pain medicines can help you to feel better. To stay hydrated, you need to increase the intake of fluids.
In case, the symptoms last for more than two weeks then consult the doctor immediately. You might suffer from another condition that causes the symptoms like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Depending upon the seriousness of your infection, the symptoms of lower respiratory infection can differ. People suffering from less serious infections can experience symptoms similar to the common cold like:
In more serious infections, you might experience symptoms like:
Lower respiratory tract infections usually differ from upper respiratory tract infections by the area of the respiratory tract they disturb. While lower respiratory tract infections involve the airways below the voice box. On the other hand, upper respiratory tract infection takes place in the structures present in your larynx or above.
People suffering from lower respiratory tract infections can experience coughing as their primary symptom.
However, people with upper respiratory tract infections can feel symptoms usually above their neck like sore throats, sneezing, and headaches. They can also experience body aches, particularly if they suffer from a fever.
It is important to know that most respiratory tract infections pass within one or two weeks. However, some symptoms can be treated at home.
Here are a few things that you can try to treat minor respiratory tract infections:
Therefore, if you suffer from a respiratory tract infection, then meet the doctor and get the right treatment to avoid worsening the infection.