Respiratory disease is a medical condition that includes pathological conditions that affect tissues and organs which assist in making gas exchange possible in the organisms. Respiratory disease ranges from self-limiting and mild, such as the common cold, to life-threatening conditions such as lung cancer, pulmonary embolism and bacterial pneumonia. Various respiratory disease conditions include disorder of upper respiratory tract, bronchi, bronchioles, trachea, pleura and pleural cavity, alveoli, and the nerves and muscles of breathing.
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Upper respiratory tract disorder or infection (URI or URTI) is a medical condition caused by acute infection that involves upper respiratory tract such as sinuses, nose, larynx or pharynx. Pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, common cold, and otitis media are some of the most common upper respiratory tract disorders. Upper respiratory tract disorders are caused by direct invasion of the mucus membrane (inner respiratory tract lining) by bacteria or virus. Rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sore throat, cough, fever, odynophagia and malaise are some of the most common symptoms observed in the patient diagnosed with upper respiratory tract disorder. Some other symptoms of the disease are headache, foul breath, hyposmia, sinus pain, shortness of breath, conjunctivitis, vomiting diarrhea, nausea, and body ache.
Upper respiratory tract disorder can be diagnosed by physical examination, laboratory tests and review of symptoms. In physical examination, physicians look for redness and swollen inside the wall of nasal cavity, white secretions on the tonsils, redness of the eyes, redness of the throat, and enlarged lymph nodes around neck and head. Laboratory testing is usually not performed for examining upper respiratory tract disorders as most of the upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses and no specific treatment for different types of viral upper respiratory tract disorder is available in current scenario. Some of the laboratory tests that are performed for diagnosing upper respiratory tract disorder include imaging tests (X-ray and CT scan), blood tests and sputum tests.
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Upper respiratory tract disorders can be treated with antibiotics and decongestants. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, diphenhydramine, dextromethorphan, codeine, guaifenesin, dexamethasone and prednisone are some of the antibiotics that are prescribed to the patients suffering from upper respiratory tract disorders. Oxymetazoline, phenylephrine and pseudoephedrine are some of the most commonly prescribed decongestants for the treatment of upper respiratory tract disorders. Antibiotics are rarely used as a treatment option for upper respiratory tract disorders as they are associated with many side effects and also can initiate secondary infections and bacterial resistance.
The market for upper respiratory tract disorder diagnostics and therapeutics is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020 owing to increasing incidences of respiratory disorders across the globe. Similarly, constant changing climate condition due to global warming and pollution has further accentuated the risk for developing upper respiratory tract disorders. This in turn is expected to drive the growth of upper respiratory tract disorder diagnostics and therapeutics market. Currently, North America accounts for the largest share of the global upper respiratory tract disorder diagnostics and therapeutics market. This is due to the fact that the U.S. has witnessed for large patient pool suffering from upper respiratory tract disorders.
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Some of the major players operating in upper respiratory tract disorder diagnostics and therapeutics market include Alcon, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc and Verona Pharma Plc among other significant players across the globe.