For purposes of medical functions such as diagnoses and treatments, the respiratory system is divided into the lower and upper respiratory tracts – with the vocal cords essentially being the dividing point. An upper respiratory infection can therefore affect the nose, sinuses, and throat, whereas a lower respiratory infection affects the trachea (windpipe) and lungs.
Upper respiratory infections include the common cold, pharyngitis (a sore throat), sinus infection, and laryngitis, whereas lower respiratory infections include bronchitis and pneumonia. Let’s talk about some of the main factors and symptoms surrounding an upper respiratory infection, and where you can go in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, FL for outstanding comprehensive medical care.
Symptoms of an Upper Respiratory Infection
The most common signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Watery, reddish eyes
- Hoarse voice
- Body aches
- Nasal congestion
- Swollen lymph nodes (under the jaw area)
Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include the streptococcal bacterium, rhinovirus, influenza virus, and coronavirus, including COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019).
Upper respiratory infections are highly contagious. Common transmission routes are through touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth afterward, or breathing in infectious particles from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or exhalation.
How Is a Respiratory Infection Diagnosed and Treated?
A physician will ask you about your symptoms and will then perform a physical examination, which includes checking your eyes, nose, ears, throat, and the sound of your breathing. The doctor can order other tests if they suspect that you have another infection, and these tests may include a throat and nasal swab, a chest X-ray, a pulmonary function test, or a sputum test.
If the cause of your infection is a virus, treatment will involve getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids. If the cause is a bacterium, your doctor will give you a prescription for an antibiotic.
When to See a Doctor
Upper respiratory infections usually go away on their own, but they can linger if you have developed a secondary infection. See a doctor if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- A fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Difficulty breathing
- Very sore throat
- Raspy voice
- Losing your voice
Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Treatment in Sarasota and Bradenton
If your symptoms are getting worse or not improving, see a doctor. Intercoastal Medical Group is a multi-specialty practice, and our physicians are highly trained and experienced in treating a wide range of illnesses and diseases in patients of all ages.
We hope you will choose us as your primary care provider. We offer medical imaging, laboratory services, and medical specialists covering virtually all areas of the body. All of this makes receiving treatment wonderfully convenient for you.
For any questions or to make an appointment with one of our Internal or Family Medicine providers, call our clinic nearest you today or fill out our convenient appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!