When to Use an Antiseptic Gargle?
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are among the most common ailments in adults and children. Common symptoms include throat pain, pain when swallowing, cold, cough, sneezing, pharyngitis and fever.
It is a known fact that most of the URTIs are caused by VIRUSES, such as adenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza, herpes simplex virus, coronavirus and respiratory simplex virus. In fact, less than 20% of URTIs are caused by bacterial infections that require treatment with antibiotics, while others are mostly of viral origin, wherein antibiotics are ineffective.
As most of the URTIs are caused by viruses, they are highly contagious and can spread from person to person by inhaling respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing. The transmission of respiratory infections can also occur by touching the nose or mouth by hand or other objects exposed to the virus. The first step in the development of URTIs is the attachment and colonization of the respiratory pathogens to the oropharyngeal mucosa, and the first symptoms are typically throat pain or pain when swallowing.
Considering the typical viral origins and early symptoms of URTI, gargling offers a practical solution to URTIs. The center for disease control (CDC), USA recommends antiseptic gargle as the best treatment for URTIs. Among various antiseptics, gargling with povidone-iodine carries unique merits such as:
• Faster onset of action (within 10 seconds)
• Wider spectrum of coverage, including strong anti-viral activity
• Multiple modes of action, and hence no resistance reported till date
When we consider the etiological basis of URTIs & results of several studies, it is easy to narrow down GARGLING WITH POVIDONE-IODINE SOLUTION as an effective measure for the early treatment and reduction of upper respiratory tract infections.