Upper Respiratory Infection - Home Therapies

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What home remedies were effective in reducing the symptoms of your upper respiratory infection?

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What are some of the home remedies for upper respiratory infection?

There are several methods that can simply be applied at home for relief of symptoms of upper respiratory infection.

Moist warm air can help soothe the oral and nasal passages that become more irritated with dry air. This can make breathing easier and nasal secretions looser and easier to discharge. Some simple ways to do this are:

  • making steam in the shower by turning on the hot water (without going under it) and breathing the steamed air;
  • drinking warm beverages (hot tea, hot chocolate, warm milk);
  • using a vaporizer to create humidity in the room; and
  • avoid cold, dry air if possible.

Nasal saline (salt water) can help with symptoms of nasal congestion. There are over the counter saline spray solutions available that can be used for this purpose. Simpler and more cost effective home-made salt water solution may also be considered. A forth of a teaspoon of salt can be added to 8 oz cup of room temperature water and stirred to dissolve. Using a bulb syringe or a small spray bottle, the solution may be applied in one nostril at time with slow inhalation and expelled with exhalation several times a day as needed.

Applying a warm pack (a warm well towel or wash cloth) to the face may also be used to treat symptoms of nasal congestion. This can be repeated every few hours as needed to relieve to the symptoms.

Salt water gurgles and lozenges may reduce throat irritation and dryness and can alleviate the symptoms of throat symptoms.

Cough can be suppressed by limiting exposure to irritants, such as, cold whether, cigarette smoke, dust, and pollution. Sleeping in a semi-upright position may be helpful at time to reduce cough. A study has suggested that honey may be superior to dextromethorphan in reducing cough in children with upper respiratory infection.

Adequate hydration with water, juices, and non-caffeinated drinks can thin nasal secretions and replace the fluid losses.

Return to Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

See what others are saying

Comment from: Magical3m, 65-74 (Patient) Published: September 25

I contracted this virus while on a cruise in Europe. I had all the symptoms mentioned for upper respiratory infection in addition to the worst symptom - my lungs and ears were filled with water and the noise from both of these kept me awake for one week. The coughing to relieve the water was unrelenting. I was treated with steroids, Tamiflu, nebulizer and antibiotics, and cough medicine with codeine for fever. It does affect adults. It's the worst I have ever felt.

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Comment from: Tish, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

This may sound strange, but I am having upper respiratory infection for several days. I am very congested, and not on any medications, but what truly helped me expel a lot of mucus was drinking hot coffee first thing in the morning (when I felt super clogged and miserable). Try to avoid using sugar and dairy creamer, I myself use one small teaspoon of raw sugar and splash of soy creamer. Try to drink as hot as possible but so that you drink full cup before it cools. In a very short time my cough was super productive and also cleared my sinuses a lot! Gave much relief, not a cure but helps relieve miserable symptoms.

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