Lower Respiratory Infections
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), while often used as a synonym for pneumonia, can also be applied to other types of infection including lung abscess and acute bronchitis. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, fever, coughing and fatigue. Lower respiratory (tract) infection or LTRI is a generic term for an acute infection of the trachea, airways and lungs, which make up the lower respiratory system. LTRIs include bronchitis, croup and pneumonia. Although influenza (the flu) can involve the lower respiratory system, it is not considered among the group of illnesses referred to by the term “lower respiratory infection.”
Symptoms of LTRIs vary depending on the type of infection, but often include nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever and lethargy.
Causes of lower respiratory infection:
- Bronchitis– The first symptoms of acute bronchitis are similar to those of a cold or flu. After the initial infection, you’ll probably develop a cough. The cough will likely be dry at first, and then become productive, which means it will produce mucus. Another symptom you may notice is a change of color in your mucus, from white to green or yellow. This doesn’t mean that your infection is viral or bacterial. It just means that your immune system is at work.
- Pneumonia-Pneumonia symptoms can be mild to life-threatening. The most common symptoms of pneumonia can include: coughing that may produce phlegm (mucus), fever, sweating, and chills, shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Bronchiolitis-Both viral bronchiolitis and bronchiolitis obliterans have similar signs and symptoms. These include: shortness of breath, wheezing, and bluish appearance of the skin from lack of oxygen, crackling or rattling sounds heard in the lungs, fatigue and cough.
The best natural remedies to help you combat these symptoms are:
- Mini steam bath-Fill a bowl with boiling water and add five drops of eucalyptus or camphor essential oil. Bend over the bowl with a towel over your head to trap the steam, and slowly breathe it in.
- Eucalyptus-Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn’t just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma ofeucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits — it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages.
- Onion and Honey-Onion has anti-inflammatory properties. It is an effective remedy for curing chest congestion, when used with honey. Place a slice of onion in a bowl and cover it with honey. Let it stay for overnight. The next day, remove onion from it and consume this onion soaked honey, 4 times a day. Take one teaspoon of honey at a time. You can also have raw, baked, or cooked onions to help mucus flow easily.