Respiratory Infection Treatment in Easley, SC
If you are having trouble breathing, that is not to be taken lightly. Come to AFC Urgent Care, where our doctors are trained to diagnose and treat respiratory infections. Call for more information or visit our clinic today.
Upper respiratory infections, also known as URIs, are infections in the upper respiratory tract, such as the nose, throat, pharynx, and larynx. An infection in this part of the body is caused by viruses, therefore antibiotics will not be effective. In fact, if you take an antibiotic for the flu, it will actually decrease their efficacy in the future. Thankfully, there are many ways to find relief from symptoms.
What is the best way to treat a respiratory infection?
When you have been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, also known as the common cold, it can be tricky to find relief. Symptoms may include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches
- Mild, hacking cough
- Scratchy, tickly, or sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Low grade fever (under 100.4°F)
- Thick, yellow or green nasal drainage
Upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics will not help you feel better sooner or avoid spreading the virus to others. To help with other symptoms, try:
- Saline nasal spray to thin nasal drainage
- Avoid smoking or being around smokers
- Drink fluids, but avoid caffeine (water is nature’s best way to clear mucus)
- Use a bulb syringe to help children remove mucus
- Place a cool mist humidifier in the room
You may find some relief of these symptoms with the use of over-the-counter medications.
Medications can help relieve symptoms to get you back on your feet. Your provider may suggest the following medications:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain and to lower fever.
- Ibuprofen for pain, inflammation, or fever if greater than 101°
- Antihistamine to relieve runny nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and nose or throat itching (may cause sleepiness).
- Decongestants (pseudoephedrine) including Sudafed® and others shrink swollen blood vessels and tissues and relieves congestion.
- Expectorants (guaifenesin) to help thin mucus so it will drain easier. Includes Mucofen®, Mucinex®, Humibid LA® or Humibid-e®.
- Cough suppressant (dextromethorphan) to help relieve coughing. Includes Delsym® and Robitussin®.
How long does a respiratory infection last?
Upper respiratory infections can last from 3 to 14 days, though most clear up within 7 to 10 days. URIs occur most frequently during the fall and winter months; however, it is not uncommon to catch one during spring or summer also. Symptoms commonly include the following:
- Upper respiratory congestion
- Nasal discharge
- Low-grade fever
- Pain while swallowing
- Pressure in the face around the sinus area
What is the fastest way to get rid of an upper respiratory infection?
URIs are mostly treated for the relief of symptoms. To reduce symptoms or shorten the duration, some people benefit from the use of cough suppressants, expectorants, vitamin C, and zinc. Other treatments include the following:
- Nasal decongestants can improve breathing
- Steam inhalation and gargling with salt water
- Analgesics can help reduce fever, aches, and pains.
Shop for cough suppressants, expectorants, vitamin C, zinc, and steam inhalers online.
The best protection against URIs is frequent handwashing with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and warm water reduces exposure to secretions that can spread infection. Here are a few other strategies:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wipe down objects such as remote controls, phones, and doorknobs that may be touched by people in the house who have a URI.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you’re the one who’s sick.
- Stay home if you’re sick.
If you or someone you know is struggling with flu-like symptoms, or symptoms caused by the common cold, then contact AFC Urgent Care to find relief for your respiratory infection! We have professional and caring staff who are ready to help you feel better! To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!