Respiratory infections are common and usually go away with gentle care and rest; however, their symptoms can also be disruptive to your sleep and comfort. At Daily Apple Clinic in Congress Park of Denver, Colorado, Paul Reynolds, FNP, Monica Schonteich, FNP, and the team diagnose and treat respiratory infections in the upper and lower tract. Book your appointment by phone or request one online today.
Respiratory infections are viral or bacterial infections causing inflammation and irritation along your respiratory tract, which extends from your sinuses down to your lungs. Most respiratory infections are in the upper respiratory tract, and upper respiratory tract infections are the most common reason people visit the doctor’s office.
Respiratory infections are most widespread in the fall and winter when people spend much of their time inside. This is because the infections are contagious, and the bacteria and viruses that cause them tend to gather and linger on indoor surfaces.
Most upper respiratory infections come from viruses, but a few come from bacteria. Infections in the upper respiratory tract affect the airways above the larynx, while those in the lower tract are primarily in the chest and can cause excessive coughing.
Respiratory infections like the common cold and the flu tend to cause a collection of predictable symptoms that are easy to identify right away. If you have an upper respiratory infection, the symptoms include:
More severe respiratory infections, especially those in the lower respiratory tract, can have additional symptoms that are a bit more concerning. You should tell your provider at Daily Apple Clinic if your symptoms include a high fever, phlegm that comes up when you cough, rapid breathing, wheezing, and chest pain.
Both upper and lower respiratory infections that are not severe usually go away without any intervention from a physician. You can find numerous over-the-counter medications at your local drugstore for symptom relief, and drinking lots of fluids can do a lot to ease your discomfort.
It’s also important to get plenty of rest while you have a respiratory infection.
If you need further treatment or guidance in easing your respiratory infection, your providers at Daily Apple Clinic are happy to help. They can offer medications that relieve inflammation, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) or steroids.
For bacterial respiratory infections, antibiotics are an effective treatment. If your provider prescribes antibiotics, it’s important you take them according to the instructions and complete the round even if your symptoms go away quickly.
You should stay away from work, school, and other public settings as much as possible if you have a respiratory infection to avoid spreading it to those around you.
To learn more about respiratory infections and find relief from your symptoms, call Daily Apple Clinic or book an appointment online today.