Translate

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections


The upper respiratory tract consists of our nasal cavities, pharynx, and larynx. Upper respiratory infections (URI) can spread from our nasal cavities to our sinuses, ears, and larynx. Sometimes a viral infection can lead to what is called a secondary bacterial infection. "Strep throat" is a primary bacterial infection and can lead to an upper respiratory infection that can be generalized or even systemic (affects the body as a whole).



gafacom image results - Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Antibiotics aren't used to treat viral infections, but are successful in treating most bacterial infections, including strep throat. The symptoms of strep throat can be a high fever, severe sore throat, white patches on a dark red throat, and stomach ache.




Sinusitis

An infection of the cranial sinuses is called sinusitis. Only about 1-3% of URI's are accompanied by sinusitis. This "sinus infection" develops when nasal congestion blocks off the tiny openings that lead to the sinuses. 

Some symptoms include: post nasal discharge, facial pain that worsens when bending forward, and sometimes even tooth pain can be a symptom. Successful treatment depends on restoring the proper drainage of the sinuses. Taking a hot shower or sleeping upright can be very helpful. Otherwise, using a spray decongestant or sometimes a prescribed antibiotic will be necessary.

Otitis Media

Otitis media in an infection of the middle ear. Even though the middle ear is not part of the respiratory tract, it is discussed here because it is often a complication seen in children who has a nasal infection. The infection can be spread by way of the 'auditory (Eustachian) tube that leads form the nasopharynx to the middle ear. 

The main symptom is usually pain. Sometimes though, vertigo, hearing loss, and dizziness may be present. Antibiotics can be prescribed and tubes are placed in the eardrum to prevent the buildup of pressure in the middle ear and the possibility of hearing loss.

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils become swollen and inflamed. The tonsils located in the posterior wall of the nasopharynx are often referred to as adenoids. If you suffer from tonsillitis frequently and breathing becomes difficult, they can be removed surgically in a procedure called a tonsillectomy.

Laryngitis

An infection of the larynx is called laryngitis. It is accompanied by hoarseness and being unable to speak in an audible voice.  Usually, laryngitis disappears with treatment of the URI. Persistent hoarseness without a URI is a warning sign of cancer, and should be checked into by your physician. 
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Upper Respiratory Tract Infections Reviewed by gafacom on June 04, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.