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Common Ailments of the Respiratory System (Part 1)
Published By joeldgreat on 2011-06-13 3027 Views

We breathe air all time. The air contains dust, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful particles that can affect the respiratory system. Dust can irritate the lining of the respiratory tract. Harmful particles like tobacco smoke, pollen and other air pollutants can inflame and cause swelling of the respiratory tract. Bacteria and viruses can cause different ailments.

Cold . Do you open catch cold? Cold is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nose and throat. The symptoms of cold are stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and headache. School children are commonly affected by the cold. When an infected child sneezes or coughs, the virus spreads in the air and can be inhaled by other children. Handling or using objects contaminated by the cold virus may accidentally cause the cold virus to reach and enter the nose and make one catch cold. Some remedies for cold are preparations that contain analgesics (which relieve aches and pains) or decongestants (which help lessen nasal congestion).

Laryngitis. Laryngitis is the inflammation of the voice box caused by a viral infection. It can also caused be due to allergy to a drug, pollen or other substances. It may also be due to irritation caused by tobacco smoke, alcohol or fumes from motor vehicles. The most common symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, pain or feeling of discomfort in the throat, fever and a dry cough. A person with laryngitis should rest in bed and avoid tobacco and alcohol. Analgesics can help relieve pain while antipyretics can help reduce fever.

Pharyngitis. Pharyngitis is an acute inflammation of the pharynx. This may caused by viruses or bacteria. The symptoms of pharyngitis are sore throat, slight fever, difficulty in swallowing, and earache. No treatment is usually required for pharyngitis.

However, gargling warm water with salt can help. Also, avoid lying flat and taking painkillers. In case of severe pharyngitis, consult a doctor.

Tonsillitis. The function of the tonsils is to help protect the upper respiratory tract from infection. However, the tonsils can also become infected by the germs that they fight. Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils due to infection. The symptoms of the tonsillitis are sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, fever earache, headache and foul breath. Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids are good for a person with tonsillitis. Antibiotics (drugs that fight bacteria) may be prescribed by a doctor.

Bronchitis. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi caused by viral infection. It may also be caused by smoking and air pollution. The inflammation of the bronchi results in a persistent cough which produces phlegm and plenty of sputum. The symptoms of bronchitis are wheezing, breathlessness and persistent coughing. These symptoms may be relieved by inhaling steam and drinking plenty of fluids.

note: originally posted at Triond.com under the same author.

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