You may end up with a respiratory infection when virus or bacteria find their way into your lungs through the mouth or nose. At Diligent Medical Care, PC, in Union City, New Jersey, Mohammad Chaudhry, MD, and Sharon Mirante, APN, diagnose and treat adult patients with upper or lower respiratory infections. If you suspect your cough, runny nose, and fatigue is more than seasonal allergies or a cold, call the practice or book an appointment online today.
A respiratory infection is an infection of one of the parts of your body that’s responsible for breathing, such as the lungs, throat, airways, and sinuses. Respiratory infections affect either the upper or lower respiratory system, or both at the same time.
The upper respiratory system runs from your vocal chords up to your sinuses. Common infections of the upper respiratory system include the common cold, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. The lower respiratory system runs from the vocal cords down to your lungs. Common infections of the lower respiratory system include pneumonia and bronchitis.
Most respiratory infections are caused by coming into contact with someone else carrying a virus or pathogen, but other factors increase your risk of infection, including:
Sometimes the common cold can develop into a respiratory infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. If you have cold symptoms that aren’t improving over time, call Diligent Medical Care, PC, for an appointment.
The most common respiratory infection symptoms include:
Symptoms affect people in different ways. Some experience minor symptoms while others require immediate medical treatment for respiratory infections. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you experience chest pain and tightness, difficulty breathing, or a fever over 103℉.
When you visit Diligent Medical Care, PC, for respiratory symptoms, your doctor checks your lungs for abnormal breathing sounds and discusses your symptoms with you. Sometimes your doctor requests an X-ray to look for fluid or inflammation in the lungs.
Swabs from your mouth, nose, or throat help determine the cause of your respiratory infection to determine the best course of treatment. For example, bronchitis is usually a viral infection and antibiotics can’t treat a viral infection.
Respiratory infections are often treated with rest, anti-inflammatories, cough medicine, or antivirals. Inhalers may be prescribed if you have any difficulty breathing to open your airways.
If you think you have a respiratory infection, call the practice or schedule an appointment online today.