Respiratory medicine

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?

  1. Airway Disease
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Bronchitis
  1. Lung Parenchymal disease
  • TB
  • Viral Pneumonia
  1. Lung Cancer
  2. Sleep Related Disorders
  • Obstructive Sleep apnoea
  1. Upper Respiratory Tract disease
  • Rhinosinusitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Laryngitis
  1. Allergic Respiratory Disorders
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma

 

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.
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FAQs

What is respiratory medicine speciality?

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?
  1. Airway Disease
    • Asthma
    • COPD
    • Bronchitis
  2. Lung Parenchymal disease
    • TB
    • Viral Pneumonia
  3. Lung Cancer
  4. Sleep Related Disorders
    • Obstructive Sleep apnoea
  5. Upper Respiratory Tract disease
    • Rhinosinusitis
    • Pharyngitis
    • Laryngitis
  6. Allergic Respiratory Disorders
    • Allergic Rhinitis
    • Bronchitis
    • Asthma
What is the difference between an upper respiratory tract infection and a lower respiratory tract infection?

The main difference between the two is where the infection actually takes place in your body. An upper respiratory tract infection affects the nose, sinuses or throat.

A lower respiratory tract infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, affects your lower airways or lungs. Although either a virus or bacteria can cause both types of infections, upper respiratory infections are mostly viral, while lower respiratory infections are mostly bacterial.

What are the symptoms of upper 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.

What are the symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection?

Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) includes such as pneumonia, lung abscess and bronchitis infection include shortness of breath, weakness, fever, coughing and fatigue.

What are the causes of lower respiratory tract infection?

The primary causes of lower respiratory tract infection are the various kinds of viruses that attack our system.

What are the common lower respiratory tract infections?

Common lower respiratory tract infections include:

  1. Bronchitis is a common lower respiratory tract infection. There are 2 kinds of Bronchitis; acute and chronic. Here the virus swells the bronchial tubes which causes difficulty in breathing, thus the infection affects the airways.
  2. Pneumonia is another lower respiratory tract infection. It is caused by the virus streptococcus pneumoniae. The virus causes a great damage to the lung and can be fatal
  3. Flu is caused by the influenza viruses and affects both the upper and the lower respiratory tracts.
  4. Bacterial meningitis caused by the virus Neisseria meningitides can cause lower respiratory tract infection.
  5. Fever caused by Group A strep.bacteria
  6. Tuberculosis cause by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis which causes a consistent damage to the lungs.
  7. Bronchiolitis is also a lower respiratory tract infection. It is caused by RSV or respiratory syncytial virus. It mainly affects the respiratory tracts and the airways of little children.
What is the general 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.
What is bronchial asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that cannot be cured. Bronchial asthma, commonly referred to as asthma, is a chronic respiratory disease characterised by the inflammation of the airways of the lungs.

Causes of asthma?

Asthma attack can be triggered by exposure to an allergen, such as tree, grass or pollen, dust mites, cockroaches or animal dander. Other common triggers are irritants in the air, such as smoke or chemical fumes, and strong odours, such as perfume.

Is asthma fatal and how can it be managed?

Asthma ordinarily causes no permanent lung damage. When asthma is controlled, the condition of your lungs returns to normal. So, it is important that you take care of yourself and see your doctor on a regular basis so an asthma control plan can be developed for you and followed by you.

What is emphysema?

Emphysema is a long-term, progressive disease of the lungs that primarily causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the air sacs in the lung. In people with emphysema, the lung tissue involved in exchange of gases primarily oxygen and carbon dioxide is impaired or destroyed. Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

What is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that start off in one or both lungs; usually in the cells that line the air passages. The abnormal cells do not develop into healthy lung tissue; they divide rapidly and form tumours. Causes by gene mutation .Most lung cancers are the result of inhaling carcinogenic substances.

What is sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea is a common disorder in which y one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths is while sleeping. Sleep apnoea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts sleepBreathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.

What Is Cystic Fibrosis?

Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic condition that causes severe damage to the respiratory and digestive systems. This damage often results from a build-up of thick, sticky mucus in the organs. The most commonly affected organs include the:

  • lungs
  • pancreas
  • liver
  • intestines

Respiratory Problems associated with this disease is:

  • wheezing
  • a persistent cough that produces thick mucus or phlegm
  • shortness of breath, especially when exercising
  • recurrent lung infections
  • a stuffy nose
  • stuffy sinuses
What is the treatment for tuberculosis?

Following is the dry regimen for tuberculosis?

For initial empiric treatment of TB, start patients on a 4-drug regimen:-isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide, and either ethambutol or streptomycin.

How are respiratory allergies treated?

Allergy drugs such as antihistamines and decongestants may make it easier to breathe for some people with allergies. These medications can be delivered orally or through nasal sprays. In addition, inhaled steroids may give relief to some with chronic allergies and sinusitis.

When Should I see my doctor for an upper respiratory tract infection?

Typically, upper respiratory tract infections will run their course in a week or two, and professional medical care is not needed. However, you should see a healthcare provider if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature higher than 100.4º F
  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • Symptoms that are not alleviated with over-the-counter medicines
  • Symptoms that are severe or worsening
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Impaired swallowing
How is a respiratory tract infection diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose your upper respiratory tract infection based on a review of your symptoms, a physical examination and, occasionally, laboratory tests.

What will doctor examine for diagnosis upper respiratory tract infection?

  • Swelling and redness inside the nasal cavity
  • Redness in the throat
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • White secretions on your tonsils
  • Enlarged lymph nodes around your head and neck
  • Eye redness
  • Facial tenderness
  • Fever
In which patient can respiratory tract infection get complicated?
  • Weakened immune system
  • Cough has persisted for more than three weeks, losing weight, chest pain or  any lumps in your neck
  • 65 years of age and above
  • you've been admitted to hospital at some point during the past year
  • type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes
  • history of heart fail
  • steroid medication
What are some diagnostic tests done for respiratory tract disease?

Other tests for lung infections, such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis, may include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Pulmonary Function tests
  • Blood tests or cultures
  • Arterial blood gases.
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Lung biopsy. ...
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan or MRI.
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