Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

  • Medical Author:
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Author: Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH
    Siamak N. Nabili, MD, MPH

    Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideAsthma Pictures Slideshow: An Inflammatory Disorder of the Airways

Asthma Pictures Slideshow: An Inflammatory Disorder of the Airways

What are 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. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 7/17/2015
References
REFERENCE: Meneghetti, A. et al. "Upper Respiratory Tract Infection." Medscape. Apr 07, 2014

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