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Health Alert: Upper Respiratory Infections

Health Alert

We are seeing a large number of patients with upper respiratory infections.  If you feel sick, come in before the infection worsens.

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Understanding an Upper Respiratory Infection

common cold
Don’t suffer from the common cold or the flu.

The upper respiratory tract includes our nasal passages, sinuses, pharynx and larynx.  The air we breath is directed through these structures and into our lungs where respiration occurs.  When these get infected, you may experience sneezing, coughing, a sore throat and feeling stuffed up with mucus.

These infections can be either bacterial or viral — and the most common URI (upper respiratory infection) is the common cold — while other infections include sinus infections, laryngitis and tonsilitis.

Causes of an Upper Respiratory Infection

There are over 200 different varieties of viruses which can cause the symptoms of a URI or cold.  The most common is the rhinovirus.

After the virus enters your body, it causes a reaction as your body’s immune system begins to fight it off.  This, in turn, can cause:

  • A Runny nose/increase in mucus production.
  • Swelling of the lining of the nose making it harder to breath and causing congestion
  • Sneezing from your nose being irritated
  • Cough from the increase mucus dripping down your throat

How to Treat a Upper Respiratory Infection

To help you feel better, most URI’s are treated to relieve the symptoms. Some benefit from the use of cough suppressants, expectorants, vitamin C, and zinc to reduce symptoms and shorten the duration.

Nasal decongestants can improve breathing and make you feel a little better; however the treatment can cause rebound nasal congestion

Homeopathic remedies include steam inhalation, gargling with salt water, and the use of a neti pot to reduce congestion.

Analgesics like acetaminophen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can help reduce fever, aches and pains.

When to See a Doctor for a URI

If you or your child have any of the following conditions, please see your healthcare provider or call us:

  • A fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Symptoms lasting more than 10 days
  • Symptoms that are NOT relieved by over-the-counter drugs.

If you are feeling under the weather, come in and a diagnosis at one of our urgent cares so we can get you back on the road to recovery.

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