What Are Lower Respiratory Tract Infections? Here's How To Lower Risk

LRTIs cause symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, and fatigue

Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are types of infections that affect the lungs, bronchi, and trachea. These infections can be caused by a wide variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Common examples of LRTIs include pneumonia, bronchitis, and tuberculosis.

LRTIs can range from mild to severe, with symptoms that may include coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, and fatigue. While some LRTIs can be treated with antibiotics or antifungal medications, others may require hospitalisation or other intensive treatments. However, the best treatment is to prevent it completely. Continue reading as we share tips to lower the risk of LRTIs.

Follow these prevention tips to lower the risk of LRTIs:

1. Practice good hygiene

Good hygiene like washing hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, using hand sanitisers when water and soap are not available, and covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, helps in preventing the spread of germs that can cause lower respiratory tract infections.

2. Quit smoking

One of the significant reasons for respiratory infections is smoking. Smoking weakens the immune system, increases the risk of respiratory infections like bronchitis, and harms the lungs' ability to function correctly. Quitting smoking can help improve overall respiratory health.

3. Stay hydrated

Adequate hydration keeps the mucous membranes moist, which helps prevent infections. Drinking sufficient water helps thin out the phlegm, facilitating its removal from the airways.

4. Exercise regularly

Regular exercise helps boost the immune system, reducing the risk of respiratory infections. Exercise also helps improve the lungs' capacity to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, which can help prevent infections.

5. Get vaccinated

Vaccines help in protecting against respiratory infections like influenza, pneumonia, and whooping cough. Vaccinations are particularly useful for people with weakened immune systems or chronic respiratory problems.

6. Avoid exposure to airborne irritants

Exposure to air pollutants and irritants can worsen respiratory conditions, making the lungs more prone to infections. Those with chronic lung conditions or asthma should avoid exposure to common irritants like smoke, dust, and chemicals.

7. Avoid crowds

Avoiding crowds during flu season can help lower the risk of respiratory infections as respiratory infections can spread rapidly in crowded places.

8. Get enough sleep

Lack of sleep weakens the immune system making it easier for the body to get infected by viruses and bacteria. Getting adequate and regular sleep can help lower the risk of infection.

9. Practice social distancing

As social distancing is a crucial way to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, individuals must maintain physical distance from each other and stay away from sick people as much as possible.

10. Seek medical attention

If you are experiencing symptoms of respiratory infections, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty breathing could indicate a severe respiratory infection that requires immediate medical attention. Medical professionals will provide adequate care and treatment for managing the conditions and prevent any complications.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, good hygiene practices, and following basic respiratory etiquette can significantly reduce the risk of lower respiratory tract infections.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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