Child with asthma

Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) - a common trigger for asthma exacerbations

The average Australian adult can expect to contract 2-3 colds per year, while children may experience up to 10 per year, leaving them vulnerable to the long-term effects of colds.1 In addition to this, an estimated 11% of the Australian population reported having asthma in 2020-2021, equating to 2.7 million people.2

Evidence suggests that upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) may lead to an increased presentation and development of asthma, and reduced lung function later in life.3 Both infections precede and exacerbate the presentation of asthma.4 The prevalence of upper and lower respiratory tract infections amongst children3 and adults necessitates the need for awareness of the role these infections play in the development of the immune and respiratory systems.5 This article will explore the relationship between URTIs and asthma, as well as the role of natural medicine in preventing and treating these patients.

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