What is respiratory medicine?
Respiratory medicine is a speciality which deals diseases related to our respiratory system which consist of the nose, nasal cavity, pharynx , larynx , trachea, smaller conducting airways (bronchi and bronchioles), lungs and pleura
What is the function of our lungs?
The lungs’ main function is to help oxygen from the air we breathe enter the red cells in the blood. Red blood cells then carry oxygen around the body to be used in the cells found in our body. The lungs also help the body to get rid of CO2 gas when we breathe out.
What are some disorders of the respiratory tract, lung and chest that are treated by this speciality?
- Airway Disease
- Lung Parenchymal disease
- Viral Pneumonia
- Lung Cancer
- Sleep Related Disorders
- Obstructive Sleep apnoea
- Upper Respiratory Tract disease
- Allergic Respiratory Disorders
- Allergic Rhinitis
What are the symptoms of respiratory tract infections?
Patients who suffer from upper respiratory tract infections have the following symptoms:
A cough is the most common symptom of an upper RTI. Other symptoms include headaches, a stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, sneezing and muscle aches.
Patients who suffer from lower respiratory tract infections have the following symptoms:
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) like infections such as pneumonia, lung abscess and bronchitis infection include shortness of breath, weakness, fever, coughing and fatigue.
What is the treatment of such diseases?
- Antibiotics are rarely needed to treat upper respiratory infections and generally should be avoided, unless the doctor suspects a bacterial infection.
- Simple techniques, such as, proper hand washing and covering face while coughing or sneezing, may reduce the spread of upper respiratory infections.
- Symptomatic treatment to control fever, steam inhalation, saline drops , vitamin C and rest
- In case of lower respiratory tract infection antibiotics coverage would be requires based on certain investigations. Hospitalization maybe advised.