Most respiratory tract infections, including upper and lower respiratory tract infections, can be treated at home. However, severe infections require special medical attention and care.
Respiratory tract infections care
Acute upper respiratory tract infections are the most frequent reason for seeking ambulatory medical help in the United States. Almost all these infections are caused by viruses against which antibiotic agents are ineffective. Yet, these infections are associated with up to 75% of the total antibiotic prescriptions released in the US each year. Upper respiratory tract infections can be identified as self-limited irritation and swelling of the upper airways accompanied by cough and no signs of pneumonia in a patient with no other condition that would be responsible for their symptoms or with a history of chronic pulmonary obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Upper respiratory infections involve the pharynx, sinuses, larynx, and large airways.
The diagnosis of upper respiratory tract infection should signify an acute infection in which pharyngeal, sinus, and lower airway symptoms, although frequently occurring, are not prominent. These are viral infections, and complications are rare. When symptoms are severe, particularly when they develop with muscle aches, fatigue, influenza, and parainfluenza infections are the most common causes, whereas mild symptoms mean rhinoviruses predominate. Most uncomplicated upper respiratory tract infections resolve quickly. The duration of illness typically is 1 to 2 weeks, and most patients begin to feel better within the first week of the illness.
Antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections: Augmentin
In some cases, the cough may remain for up to six weeks. Mucus secretion from the nose or throat predicts neither bacterial infection nor benefit from antibiotic therapy. Bacterial sinusitis or pneumonia can complicate some portion of upper respiratory tract infections.
Research has shown that patients frequently expect antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections. Augmentin 500 mg is an antibiotic agent considered for treating various bacterial infections. These infections may affect the chest, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Augmentin tablet is available in various strengths include Augmentin 375, and Augmentin 500. Bronchitis is often caused by a virus, so antibiotics are not usually effective in treating it. But at the same time, you have a cough that doesn’t resolve, and it’s been suspected that it is caused by a bacterial infection which should be treated with antibiotics such as augmentin syrup which is a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. Augmentin dry cough syrup is effective in treating bacterial throat infections in kids. Other Augmentin uses include ear infections, sinusitis, and urinary tract infections.
Moreover, antibiotic therapy for respiratory tract infections is almost always inappropriate because, most of the time, the illness is due to bacteria. The need to decrease excess use of antibiotics in clinical practice has been fuelled by the increase in antibiotic-resistant pneumonia. Emerging antibiotic resistance has been linked to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. It is believed that soon, it will become the most significant infectious disease problem. The appropriate use of antibiotics constitutes the best care for your patient. Frequent and excessive usage may contribute to increased incidence of allergic drug interactions. Reports suggest that 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are not required.
Other pharmaceutical therapies to control common cold symptoms
- Analgesics should relieve headaches, muscle/joint pain, ear pain, and general malaise.
- The combination of Decongestants/antihistamines may have some benefits. However, utilizing these pharmaceutical agents independently is less likely to provide benefits. Using decongestants such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine as a single medicine can offer mild relief for rhinitis symptoms.
- Intranasal products such as ipratropium can enhance the nasal symptoms related to the common cold. Ipratropium improves sneezing but is not known to affect nasal congestion.
- There is a lack of evidence for the use of dextromethorphan for cough in common cold patients; however, the risk of using this medicine in otherwise healthy patients is low; thus, it would be reasonable to support the use of such medications for a short period for symptom relief.
- Codeine should be avoided for cough control associated with the common cold. This product does not have consistent benefits in patients with acute cough.
- Cautious is advised when using zinc-containing nasal sprays because of the risk of anosmia (loss of sense of smell). Oral preparations can contribute to nausea and alter taste. The use of zinc lozenges or vitamin C supplements is not that harmful. In healthy individuals, they are expected to be best for their ability to decrease the severity of cold symptoms or shorten cold duration. Starting a zinc treatment within 24 hours of symptom onset may reduce the duration of common cold symptoms.
Treating upper respiratory tract symptoms usually involves making an individual more comfortable by relieving their symptoms. There is not enough evidence to show whether these remedies are effective enough. Still, some options include garlic, echinacea supplements, green tea, rot ginger in hot water, honey, especially in hot tea with ginger, lemon, or both, and essential oils (peppermint and eucalyptus).
Other effective upper respiratory tract infection treatments include:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Avoiding smoking areas
- Avoiding significant changes in temperature
- Resting as much as necessary
- Using soft tissues when blowing the nose
- Increasing indoor humidity levels
It is not always possible to prevent urinary tract infections, but taking the following precautions may help:
- Avoiding cigarette smoke
- Covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing
- Having a balanced diet
- Washing the hands frequently
- Maintaining good oral care
- Avoiding crowded places when possible
- Cleaning and disinfecting objects that others frequently touch
- Avoid sharing drinking glasses and utensils
- Exercise regularly
If you can’t avoid a crowded place, increasing the ventilation by opening a window on the packed bus may help.
Upper respiratory tract infections may cause similar symptoms, such as excess mucus, coughing, nasal congestion, a runny nose, or a sore throat. Each type of upper respiratory tract infection may cause characteristic symptoms as well. Healthcare providers classify these infections based on their location in the respiratory tract. Most people get rid of an upper urinary tract infection within two weeks with or without over-the-counter medications and home treatments. However, if these symptoms worsen or are severe, or get other lower respiratory infection, an individual should contact a doctor.