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Nasopharyngitis is known as the common cold in general terms. It leads to chronic inflammation of nose, paranasal sinuses and pharynx due to an infection.

What is Nasopharyngitis?

Nasopharyngitis is known by many names such as acute corya, head cold, rhinopharyngitis or just ‘cold’. It is an inflammatory condition that is caused by an infection. Nasopharyngitisis a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It primarily affects the nose, the throat, sinuses and sometime one or both eyes in form of conjunctivitis.

Indications of Nasopharyngitis

The symptoms of nasopharyngitis appear as a result of the body’s immune system acting against the infecting virus, rather than the destruction of tissue itself.

The symptoms begin with fatigue, feeling tired, sneezing, headache or feeling chilled. In a few days, one gets a runny nose along with cough. After the initial exposure, the symptoms reach their peak in 2 to 4 days. They last for about 7 days and at times till 3 weeks.

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These symptoms of nasopharyngitis include:

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Causes of Nasopharyngitis

Nasopharyngitis is caused by viral infection. The most common causative group of virus is rhinovirus. Other viruses that can lead to common cold include picornavirus, human coronavirus, influenza virus, adenovirus, human parainfluenza viruses, enteriviruses, human respiratory syncytial virus, etc.

The virus is transmitted by airborne droplets containing nasal secretions. It can also be passed on by coming in contact with contaminated objects. Hand-to-hand and hand-to-surface transmission of aerosols is the most common way of catching a cold. Thus, children at daycare centers or schools, people in a crowded environment or living in close proximity with an infected person can lead to the spread of colds.

Diagnosis of Nasopharyngitis

In most cases, self-diagnosis is carried out. Upper respiratory infections usually include the nose, throat, pharynx and bronchitis. Thus, it is usually considered as a common cold infection.

Treatment for Nasopharyngitis

There is no cure for nasopharyngitis. Treatment includes management of the symptoms as the condition resolves on its. Use of analgesics and antipyretics helps alleviate symptoms of pain and fever. Over-the-counter cough and cold medications also help to resolve the symptoms. However, these medications should be avoided in case of children under the age of 6 years. Antihistamines, decongestants, throat lozenges, etc. also help improve the symptoms. The traditional chicken soup also helps one feel better when down with cold. Vapor rub also helps treat cough, congestion and allows one to sleep better.

Nasopharyngitisis a self-limiting condition. It gets better within 10 to 15 days. Frequent hand washing can help reduce the frequency of the common cold. In case of any doubt, speak to your healthcare provider for more details.

Written by: Saptakee sengupta

Date last updated: April 05, 2015