The upper respiratory tract collectively refers to the sinuses, nasal passage, pharynx, and larynx. And the infections that affect any of the parts of the upper respiratory tract are referred to as upper respiratory tract infections. These infections are one of the most common illnesses prevalent throughout the world, and are especially widespread during the autumn and winter months. Most upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses, however in some cases they might be caused by bacterial infections in which case doctors usually prescribe a treatment of antibiotics.
The different types of upper respiratory tract infections include the common cold, tonsillitis, sinusitis, laryngitis and the flu. Although each of these illnesses affect a different part of the upper respiratory tract, the symptoms that a patient would exhibit in each of the cases would be common. Some of these common symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose/nasal discharge, sneezing, sore throat, coughing, and fever in children and infants.
Upper respiratory tract infections can spread in a number of ways, both through direct or indirect contact.The best way to prevent spreading infections is to practice good hygiene, such as regularly washing your hands with soap and warm water.
Most upper respiratory tract infections can be managed at home with adequate rest and using homemade remedies such as salt water gargling, steaming and staying well hydrated. However in some cases if the symptoms persist for a week or gradually worsen, it is advised that you visit your GP for an immediate consultation. Furthermore, if you have a pre-existing respiratory condition then an upper respiratory tract infection might affect you more severely than someone without a pre-existing condition.