Asthma & Allergy

Triggers, symptoms, and treatments for lower respiratory infections

Lower respiratory infections or lower respiratory tract infections is an umbrella term which denotes the condition that infects the airways which are situated below the larynx and this includes the trachea and alveolar sacs. The issue can be characterized by more just a few ways. When the infection afflicts the airways, it is grouped as bronchitis, influenza, and bronchitis. The infection in the alveolar sacs is termed as pneumonia. Lower respiratory infection can be thought of the four different infections that include influenza, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and bronchitis.

The condition is a leading cause of sickness among not only adults but also kids from around the world. It is unfortunately also recorded to be a cause behind a huge number of mortality rates too. The condition of the lower respiratory infections is not uniformly defined, and this fact does take away from its due epidemiological importance.

Triggers of lower respiratory infection
The infection is an effect of the tiny organisms that are known as viruses and bacteria. These agents can be attributed as the major factors behind the condition and are transmitted in the form of tiny droplets during sneezing and coughing. They may also be passed through the direct and indirect contact with different infected surfaces. The antibodies act by fighting off these agents and re-fight every time it hits with the same strain. The constant strain and a weak immune system can go on to cause lower respiratory infections. Albeit, there is certainly more in-depth study undertaken to attain further clarity.

Symptoms of lower respiratory infection
The symptoms exhibited in lower respiratory infection are not very different from those with the common cold. Signs that are noticeable include:

  • Dry cough
  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Congestion
  • Itchy throat
  • Runny nose

As the condition progresses and the severity of the infections increases, the symptoms that are experienced become more severe. One will notice conditions such as:

  • Incessant coughing
  • Inability to breathe normally
  • Discoloration of the skin due to lack of oxygen
  • High-body temperature
  • Tightness and pain in the chest

Treatment for lower respiratory infection
In most cases of lower respiratory infections, the condition is resolved without having to undergo treatment. There is no defined form of treatment for LRTI and the methods employed are driven based on the different symptoms that the patient experiences.

Medications: Medications are usually used to bring about relief from different symptoms. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and naproxen are prescribed to relieve fever and pain. Patients can also use bronchodilator inhalers to aid in wheezing and shortness of breath. In the case of bacterial infections, antibiotics may be used after evaluating the seriousness of the infection.

Lifestyle changes: Alterations in one’s lifestyle habits can prove to bring great effects and reduce the severity of the symptoms. The individual must consume lots of healthy fluids. It also important to get rest and allow the body to retain its energy levels after strenuous activities. A humidifier is good to breathe warm air and can provide good relief. One must also stay away from pollutants and smoke from cigarettes as it can worsen the condition.