Symptoms, prevention, and home remedies of upper respiratory infection

Upper respiratory infection or URI is a common viral infection that affects the throat, nose, and airways. The nasal cavity and the nostrils also get blocked when a person gets URI. It has been observed that adults may get upper respiratory infection twice to thrice a year, whereas children may get it frequently due to a developing immune system. People often experience URI during the seasons of winter and fall. Let us take a closer look at the symptoms, causes, home remedies, and preventive measures of URI.

Signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection
It is advisable to keep an eye on the warning signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection. Here are some of the most common signs of the condition:

  • Excess mucus
  • Mild fever, a common sign in children with upper respiratory infection
  • Coughing
  • Discomfort in the nasal passages
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pressure and pain behind the face
  • A sore throat
  • Scratchy throat

There are some less common signs and symptoms of upper respiratory infection and these are:

  • Body aches
  • Itchy eyes
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • A headache

Natural home remedies
Apart from the prescribed medications that your doctors suggest, there are some natural home remedies that can help provide relief from upper respiratory infection. Take a look at some of the popular home remedies:

  • Raw garlic
  • Lemon tea
  • Lemon juice
  • Honey in ginger tea
  • Ginger root in hot water

It is also recommended to drink warm water if a person has symptoms of upper respiratory infection.

When to see a doctor
Although most of the times, an upper respiratory infection can get better without any medical attention, the symptoms should not be overlooked. Some of the signs may be an underlying cause of another medical condition. Moreover, if the symptoms of upper respiratory infection are not addressed, it might get worse. Therefore, it is essential that the person must visit a doctor at the right time before the infection spreads or gets worse. Below mentioned are some of the cases wherein one must see a doctor:

  • When a fever lasts for more than three days
  • When the person experiences difficulty in breathing
  • When the signs of upper respiratory infection last for more than two weeks
  • When there is a difficulty in swallowing
  • When the lips turn blue
  • When the condition affects any other existing medical condition
  • When the symptoms of the condition get worse over the time

As the old adage goes – prevention is better than cure, it is always recommended to avoid getting an upper respiratory infection. Particularly common in the winters, upper respiratory infection is almost unavoidable when you are indoors with others who have the infection. However, there are a few ways by which a person can reduce the risk of getting an upper respiratory infection. Some of the steps that one can resort to are:

  • Avoiding crowded places
  • Avoiding cigarette smoke
  • Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Washing the hands regularly
  • Avoiding sharing drinking glasses
  • Eating a wholesome and healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly