What is Upper Respiratory Infection?
Upper Respiratory Infection or Upper Respiratory Tract Infection is viral or bacterial infection in any of the components of upper respiratory tract, like trachea, larynx, pharynx, sinuses etc. Most of the Upper Respiratory Infections are caused by viral infections and tend to spread easily from one individual to another.
Some common types of Upper Respiratory Infections include Sinus Infection, Rhinitis, Common Cold, Otitis Media, Nasopharyngitis, Epiglottitis, Pharyngitis, Laryngitis, Tonsilitis, Tracheitis and so on and so forth.
There exist a number of over the counter medicines for such infections causing inflammation in different parts of the upper respiratory tract.
Apart from these, several home remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection natural treatment are also beneficial in healing the condition. As the infection can be contagious in nature, precautionary measures should also be taken so as to avoid Upper Respiratory Infection as far as possible.
Causes of Upper Respiratory Infection
As already mentioned, Upper Respiratory Infections are mostly caused by viral infections. They are mostly contagious and spread from one person to another by coming in contact with respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing etc.
Exposure to objects like doors, sink faucets, table surface and such surfaces with viruses can lead to such upper respiratory tract infections, particularly Common Cold.
Besides, issues like Pharyngitis and Tracheitis can be caused bacterial infection as well. Most of the Upper Respiratory Infections occur during winter season. Individuals with low immunity are more prone to these problems.
Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infection
Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infections include runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, postnasal drip, cough, sore throat, headache, breathing difficulty, fever (in children), fatigue and other symptoms associated with specific conditions.
For instance, Laryngitis is accompanied by the symptom of hoarse or lost voice, Tonsilitis is characterized by swollen and enlarged tonsils, Tracheitis is characterized by inflammation of the wind pipe causing deep, bark-like cough, abnormal breathing sound (stridor) etc. In most of the cases, symptoms appear 1-2 days after contracting the infection.
Natural Home Remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection
• Taking ginger tea several times in a day is one of the most effective natural home remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection. Prepare the tea by boiling one or two teaspoons of freshly ground ginger in water for about ten minutes. Add some honey in it to make this home remedy more effective.
• Gargling with lukewarm salt water can help relieve throat discomfort caused by such infections. Breathing steamed air is also beneficial in the home treatment of Upper Respiratory Infection.
• Drinking a combination of garlic oil and onion juice mixed in water is one of the most therapeutic natural home remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection, particularly head cold. You can also have garlic soup.
• Having mixture of milk and roasted asafetida (2 mg) is a highly beneficial natural cure for Upper Respiratory Infection. Consumption of warm milk mixed with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder also serves as a good natural remedy.
• Boil some water and add some eucalyptus leaves in it. Inhaling this infusion helps a great deal in reducing symptoms like nasal congestion. Another alternative is to place a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a clean cloth and sniff it.
• Herbal teas prepared from echinacea, licorice root, elm bark etc serve as excellent Upper Respiratory Infection home remedies. Add some honey as well.
• Taking a combination of lemon juice extracted from one lemon and a teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water is a highly beneficial in healing Upper Respiratory Infection naturally. Follow this therapy for a few days by taking this mixture about one or two times in a day.
• Consuming a combination of onion juice and honey is useful in providing relief by soothing the throat during throat infection. Combination of carrot juice can also help in controlling the infection.
Diet for Upper Respiratory Infection
When dealing with Upper Respiratory Infection, it is recommended to take a diet rich in vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C, in particular, helps strengthen the immune system and hence helps fight infection.
Positively include spices like cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg and foods such as carrot, radish, tomato, spinach, apricot, garlic, onion, ginger etc. Moreover, consume low fat dairy products, soy products, sprouts and a variety of other vegetables high in protein.
Besides, stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Instead drink plenty of water to replace fluid loss and have hot herbal teas. Avoid refined carbohydrates and flesh foods as well, at least until you get rid of the infection.
Avoid smoking as it can make the condition worse causing irritation in the bronchial tubes. In addition, it also affects the immune system adversely. Apart from this, follow natural home remedies for Upper Respiratory Infection, take adequate rest, manage stress and maintain proper hygiene to avoid the infection from spreading.