All about Acute Respiratory Infections

All about Acute Respiratory Infections

Hanish Gupta

By Dr Hanish GuptaInternal Medicine

Acute respiratory infection is a contagious infection that hinders normal breathing and spreads from one person to another. This infection is widespread with more than ten million cases per year in India itself. Some types of acute respiratory infections are preventable by vaccination while some need to be treated by a medical professional. It usually originates as a viral ailment in the lungs, trachea i.e. the windpipe and the nose. If untreated, it may advance to the rest of your respiratory system. It is also extremely dangerous for those with immune system disorders as well as children and aged people.

Causes of Acute Respiratory Infections:

1. Adenoviruses
2. Pneumococcus
3. Rhinoviruses

Symptoms of Acute Respiratory Infections:

1. Congestion in lungs or nasal sinuses
2. Runny nose
3. Sore throat
4. Exhaustion
5. Cough
6. Body aches
7. Breathing difficulty
8. Loss of consciousness
9. Dizziness
10. Low blood oxygen level

Complications of Acute Respiratory Infections:

1. Congestive heart failure
2. Respiratory failure
3. Respiratory arrest

Prevention of Acute Respiratory Infections:

1. It is crucial to sanitize or wash your hands after having been to a public place.
2. To prevent spreading acute respiratory infections, you must sneeze into a tissue or a handkerchief. This will not, however, reduce your own symptoms.
3. You should avoid touching certain parts of your face such as eyes and mouth to thwart the introduction of germs into your system.
4. Avoid smoking tobacco as it diminishes the effectiveness of your immune system.
5. Consume a diet rich in vitamin C or take vitamin C supplements as they help improve your immune system and ward off acute respiratory infections.