URTI vs. Bronchitis: Know the difference

Respiratory infections can be quite common and you might confuse between an upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and bronchitis. Well, this blog will help to distinguish between these two. The upper respiratory tract includes the mouth, nose, sinus, throat, voice box, and trachea. An upper respiratory tract infection is quite often referred to as a common cold. It is one of the most common reasons for doctor visits. The lower respiratory tract includes the bronchial tubes and the lungs. Bronchitis and pneumonia are infections of the lower respiratory tract. Keep reading to find out more.

Common symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection are:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Cough
  • Shaking chills
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Scratchy throat
  • Foul breath

Common symptoms of bronchitis are:

  • Chest congestion
  • Shortness of breath
  • A wheezing or shrieking sound when breathing
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Stuffed nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Mild headache

Possible complications

Some of the common complications of upper respiratory tract infection include:

  • Rheumatic fever from strep throat
  • Spread of infection from sinuses to your brain
  • Middle ear infections
  • Worsening of underlying chronic lung disease
  • Spread of the infection to the heart
  • Muscular pain and rib fractures from vigorous coughing

The most common complication of bronchitis includes adult-onset asthma.

When should you consult a doctor?

Some of the symptoms can resolve in a few days. Depending upon circumstances and symptom progression, you should seek medical care.

  • If you’re pregnant, less than 2 years old, or have underlying illnesses such as asthma then you should seek medical care when you experience shortness of breath.
  • If your cough brings up blood or mucus that thickens or darkens, keeps you awake at night, lasts more than 3 weeks, causes chest pain, you have a foul-tasting fluid in your mouth, a barking sound and makes it hard to speak, then you should seek medical care.

How homeopathy treats holistically?

If you are looking for a treatment that offers holistic healing, then homeopathy is the right approach. Homeopathy builds immunity faster, helps in acute attacks and brings down the frequency and duration of attacks. Homeopathy gives relief and a better quality of life with a holistic approach. Homeopathy indeed has a very good scope in the upper respiratory tract infection and bronchitis treatment. It can offer significant relief from symptoms as well as improve the general well-being of the patient. Homeopathy can shorten the duration of the illness and rule out the need for prescribing antibiotics to the patient. There is a marked reduction in the toxicity experienced by the patient when one is on homeopathic treatment. The homeopathic treatment can also help to prevent complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, right-sided heart failure, etc. As it is a well-known fact, homeopathic medicines are without any side effects whatsoever and are non-habit-forming. Additionally, there is no problem in administering the medicines to any patient irrespective of age.

Self-care tips to follow

Follow the listed below self-care tips to speed up your healing time:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to loosen up the mucus in your lungs. Water, clear juices, or broths are the best choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
  • Stay away from cigarette smoke.
  • Turn on a humidifier to loosen up the mucus in your lungs.


Upper respiratory tract infection and bronchitis can be typically short-lived infections. You can often treat them yourself at home, and they should get better within a week or two. Nonetheless, you might have a lingering cough for several weeks. This indicates that these can turn into long-term conditions that require homeopathy treatment. If your symptoms are severe or they don’t go away after a couple of weeks, you can consult expert homeopaths for treatment.