Types and Treatment of Upper Respiratory Conditions

Types and Treatment of Upper Respiratory Conditions

May 01, 2021

Anyone who’s had a common cold knows what acute upper respiratory infections are. They refer to conditions of the upper respiratory tract. There are several organs in the upper respiratory tract that are subject to certain viral and bacterial infections. When this happens, you are said to have an upper respiratory infection (URI).

The common cold is undoubtedly the most known URI. We will learn of other URIs in this article, some of which need emergency care at lake Jackson when detected.

What Causes Upper Respiratory Infections?

URIs are mostly viral infections. When droplets of infected saliva or mucus spray in the air after someone sneezes, other people can inhale them in.

You can even get them from contact surfaces infected with the responsible viruses or bacteria. You contract the virus when you put the hand with infectious pathogens in your mouth.

Other risk factors for contracting acute URIs are:

  • Infrequent washing of hands
  • Contacts with children groups
  • A nasal cavity and airways damage
  • Crowded places like buses and airplanes
  • Presence of an autoimmune disorder
  • Tonsils or adenoids removal – these are parts of the immune system
  • Smoking secondary smoke
  • Long-period exposure in a hospital or care center

Note that there are over 200 flu viruses for URIs.

Types of Upper Respiratory Infections

Types of upper respiratory infections that need urgent care in lake Jackson refer to the infected upper respiratory tract organs that require treatment.

  • The Common Cold

This is an infection affecting the upper part of the respiratory tract. It develops when a virus attaches to the nasal or throat lining triggering an immune response. The immune response results in congestion of the affected area, so your body feels more derived as it fights it. Common colds are caused mainly by rhinovirus but can arise from influenza, parainfluenza, or coronavirus.

  • Sinusitis

This is a type of infection that affects the sinuses. Sinuses are air-filled sacs in the skull, and when infected, they cause nasal congestion, pressure or pain in the face, runny nose, smell and taste loss, and thick mucus discharge. You might also get headaches.

When you get to the Lake Jackson emergency room, we recommend these treatments: inhaling steam, saline nasal rinse, nasal decongestion, or painkillers such as paracetamol.

  • Pharyngitis

It’s also called the sore throat and is usually an initial symptom of a vast respiratory infection like the common cold. It can also arise from a pharynx (throat) infection.

Pharyngitis results from a viral infection on the throat tissues that irritates the throat and causes fatigue and painful swallowing. Streptococcus bacteria is another cause of sore throat.

It’s easily treatable using throat sprays, painkillers, drinking more fluids, and gargling salty water.

  • Laryngitis

It’s often confused with pharyngitis, but unlike sore throat, laryngitis causes inflammation of the larynx (the voice box). It results from a viral infection but can also be a result of voice overuse.

Symptoms include a sore throat, hoarse voice, loss of voice, and swollen glands. The Altus Emergency Center recommends a vocal rest, gargling salt water, using house dehumidifiers, and drinking more fluids as treatment. Also, avoid smoking and alcohol.

  • Rhinitis

Rhinitis causes a swell of your nasal passages. It can be allergic or non-allergic. Allergic rhinitis is also called hay fever, resulting from poor response by the body’s immune system to specific allergens. None allergic rhinitis has similar symptoms that do not involve the immune system.

Acute URIs include:

  • Epiglottitis

This viral infection causes inflammation of the epiglottis. When the upper part of the trachea swells up, it blocks airflow into the trachea and lungs at large. You need instant medical care at our 24-hour emergency room if you feel the symptoms of epiglottitis, like shortness of breath.

  • Bronchitis

This is the direct inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It’s mostly evident as a symptom in asthmatic people. Acute bronchitis may prompt immediate treatment at an emergency room near you. Still, mostly it’s easily treatable from home by drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, and OTC® painkillers like aspirin.

Treatment and Home Remedies

URIs are primarily self-limiting infections and will resolve and heal without medical treatment. You can easily self-diagnose for URIs at home, but if you are unsure of an upper respiratory tract infection, you need to consult in our emergency room near you.

URIs can develop into acute illnesses like asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis, so it’s crucial to seek professional assistance.

Home remedies to relieve URI symptoms include:

  • Chewing raw garlic
  • Echinacea flower
  • Honey in hot ginger and lemon tea
  • Lemon tea and lemon extract
  • Hot boiled root ginger

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