Upper Respiratory Infection Symptoms

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Upper Respiratory Infection Symptoms

If you have the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, you may want to seek medical attention. Symptoms of this infection may vary from person to person. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary. Severe cases can lead to poor oxygenation and dehydration. Other symptoms may include significant confusion. People with heart or lung conditions are also at increased risk for this condition. Children younger than two years old and older adults with dementia or immunocompromised states are also at greater risk of hospitalization. A physical examination and review of symptoms can help to make a proper diagnosis.

Symptoms

Bacteria or viruses cause upper respiratory infections that inflame the respiratory tract. They usually go away on their own without treatment, but sometimes they require medication to improve. A physical exam by a doctor can help diagnose an infection. They will check the throat and nose and listen to the lungs.

If symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be required. Severe cases may lead to dehydration, poor oxygenation, and confusion. Those with a weakened immune system and those with chronic lung or heart disease may also need to be hospitalized. A doctor will diagnose an upper respiratory infection based on the patient's symptoms and physical examination.

Viruses cause most upper respiratory infections. Bacteria are less common but cause secondary symptoms. Viruses cause the symptoms by invading the mucous membrane cells. These cells become inflamed and cause the symptoms of the infection. Bacteria also cause a secondary infection if they infect these cells.

Causes

Different types of bacteria and viruses can cause an upper respiratory infection. These infectious agents cause respiratory tract inflammation, which causes congestion and coughing. In some cases, inhaled particles can also spread to others. The symptoms of an upper respiratory infection include coughing, sore throat, congestion, and fever. Some people experience more severe conditions, such as pneumonia.

Acute respiratory infections can be caused by bacteria or viruses and can be treated with rest and medications. The most common types of infections are bronchitis, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis. A viral infection, such as a cold, can cause pneumonia and a sore throat. Inflammation of the lungs can also lead to shortness of breath and swollen lymph nodes.

People with a compromised immune system are especially susceptible to URI. Smoking, exposure to industrial chemicals, and other pollutants are all known to damage the upper respiratory system. As a result, it is essential to consult a physician for treatment.

Treatment

Upper respiratory infection symptoms include swelling inside the nasal cavity, redness in the throat, and white secretions on the tonsils. The throat may also become painful, and you may have enlarged lymph nodes. Other common symptoms include coughing and bad breath. These infections are most often caused by viruses but can also be caused by bacteria. Fortunately, the majority of upper respiratory infections have a favorable outcome. However, they can have adverse effects on certain people, especially those with compromised immune systems and a history of respiratory infections.

Even though most URIs are self-limiting, it is essential to seek proper treatment as soon as the symptoms appear. Initially, treatment for a URTI involves rest and symptomatic treatment at home. The symptoms may linger for two weeks, depending on the type of infection. Rest is essential during this period, but normal activities can be resumed as long as they don't cause pain or discomfort. In addition to rest, the doctor may recommend increased intake of oral fluids to replace fluid lost during the infection. Treatment for a URTI generally continues until the infection is entirely resolved.