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Respiratory Infection Symptoms

Respiratory Infection Symptoms

Respiratory infection is a common ailment that affects millions across the world. Here you will get to read about the characteristic symptoms of upper and lower respiratory infections.
Palmira S
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
There are mainly two kinds of respiratory infections: upper and lower. In most cases, the upper respiratory infections occur due to microbial pathogens; like, viruses, and bacteria. The symptoms arise after 1 to 3 days, after the virus has attacked the respiratory system. A handshake, sharing contaminated items or touching the nose or mouth with infected hands can easily spread such infections. Regular smokers are more susceptible to lower respiratory infections.
Symptoms that Indicate Respiratory Infections
Though the symptoms of upper respiratory infection and those of lower respiratory infection, are almost the same, there is a minute difference. Hence, it may be difficult to identify, whether the infection is due to malfunction in the upper, or the lower respiratory system.
Upper Respiratory Infection
Upper respiratory infections, generally referred to as common cold and cough, have the potential to spread when an affected individual comes in contact with the other. Sneezing, and spasmodic coughing are the two major culprits responsible for transmitting viruses. Maintaining hygiene is of paramount importance in order to avert any possibilities of enduring the infection. Washing, rather scrubbing your hands well; especially, after coming in contact with a person affected, covering the mouth, and the nose while you sneeze, or when you are in the vicinity of someone who is about to sneeze. Bear in mind that upper respiratory infections are contagious, and it would be sapient of you to take preventive measures.
The most commonly observed symptom for this type of infection include:
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Muscle ache
  • Facial pressure
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Excess mucus
  • Coughing up blood
  • Ear infection
  • Common cold
  • Sinusitis
In most cases, these symptoms disappear within a week, or two.
Lower Respiratory Infection
Lower respiratory infections are categorized as bronchitis and pneumonia. Bronchitis can be further classified as acute, and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a condition where the infection has not been recurrent in nature; therefore, the individual does not have any associated medical history with regards to bronchial infections. Chronic bronchitis, contrarily, indicates the condition being recurrent with the virus or bacteria causing infection in the system. Pneumonia is a condition where the lungs - to be specific - the alveoli gets affected. Pneumonia can be of the following types: typical, fungal, interstitial, and chronic. The most prevalent symptom of the condition is severe spasmodic coughing.
Lower respiratory infections are more serious in comparison to the upper ones. The most observed symptom is cough. The cough is very intense. It brings up phlegm, which is blood stained. Along with cough, the other frequently observed symptoms include:
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Headache
  • Sinusitis
  • Blocked nose
  • Sore throat
  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • Body ache
  • High fever
  • Fatigue
Most of the time, respiratory infections are cured without any treatment. However, in some cases, the infection becomes severe, and the need for expert intervention arises. If you are very unwell, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner at the earliest. If you are suffering from cystic fibrosis, weakened immune system, or if you are suffering from diseases, like, multiple sclerosis, which affects your nervous system, then it is a must to pay a visit at the doctor's. These infections might worsen the condition you are suffering from. People enduring lung, heart, liver or kidney diseases should also consult a doctor, if the above-mentioned symptoms are observed. If people aged 65 years or above experience these symptoms, then it is advisable to consult a doctor. If, in the past, you have had a heart attack, or if you are suffering from diabetes, then it is a must to take proper medication.
During frost, there is a surge in respiratory infection.With proper hygiene, a healthy diet, and avoiding smoking, you can keep away from respiratory infections.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.