Upper

Respiratory Infection Treatment

An upper respiratory infection (URI) occurs in the sinuses and/or the throat. URIs develop in the lungs and airways and are very common viral infections where bacteria is easily spread from one person to another. People can become sick by touching an infected surface and then touching their face; this gives the virus or bacteria an avenue to infect the individual. Sick individuals who sneeze or cough without covering their mouth can expel droplets that can infect others.

Individuals with a weakened immune system or a heart condition are more likely to experience serious complications as a result of an upper respiratory infection. For instance, pneumonia, an infection of the lungs, is an uncommon but potentially serious complication that can result from a common cold infection.

Most URIs are caused by viral infections, but in cases where a bacterial infection may be present, CallonDoc may prescribe an antibiotic. Available antibiotics include Azithromycin (Z-Pak), Doxycycline, and Ceftin. Your doctor will determine which treatment option is best for your upper respiratory infection.

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Nasal congestion

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Sore throat

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Runny nose

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Frequent sneezing

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Frequent coughing

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Headache

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Fatigue

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Fever

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Weakness

The most common upper respiratory infections include rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and adenoviruses. These viruses are highly contagious and can spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. They can also be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the nose, mouth, or eyes. While viruses are the primary cause, bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae or Haemophilus influenzae can occasionally lead to more severe respiratory infections, such as sinusitis or bronchitis, but they are less common causes of URIs.

Upper respiratory infections are typically diagnosed based on clinical symptoms. There is no specific laboratory test to diagnose a common cold. Instead, doctors rely on recognizing the characteristic symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes fever. In some cases, if there's uncertainty about the diagnosis or if complications are suspected, a healthcare provider may perform tests like throat swabs or blood tests to rule out other infections like strep throat or the flu. However, for most uncomplicated URIs, clinical evaluation and symptom assessment are sufficient for diagnosis.

Due to it primarily being caused by viruses, URI treatment primarily focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the body's natural healing process. Alongside prescribed medication for specific symptoms or complications, treatment often includes rest, hydration, and maintaining good overall health. Staying well-hydrated helps to thin mucus and soothe a sore throat. Adequate rest gives the body the energy it needs to fight off the infection. Over-the-counter cold remedies may help alleviate symptoms like congestion and cough, but they do not cure the underlying viral infection.

Upper Respiratory Infection caused by bacterias can be treated with antibiotics such as:

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Azithromycin (Zpak)

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Augmentin

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Doxycycline 

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Cefuroxime

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Albuterol

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Cough suppressant

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Oral steroid

On top of staying hydrated and well rested, the best home remedies for upper respiratory infections include: 

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Humidify the Air: Using a humidifier or taking a steamy shower can help relieve congestion and soothe a sore throat.

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Gargle with Salt Water: Gargling with warm salt water can ease a sore throat and reduce inflammation.

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Honey and Lemon: A mixture of honey and lemon in warm water or tea can help soothe a sore throat and alleviate coughing.

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Nasal Irrigation: Saline nasal sprays or neti pots can help clear nasal congestion and promote better breathing.

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Ginger and Garlic: Ginger tea or garlic can have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that may provide relief.

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Herbal Supplements: Certain herbal supplements like echinacea or zinc may help reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms, but consult a healthcare provider before using them.

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Soups: Bone broth, chicken noodle, harvest vegetable, tomato basil, golden turmeric, and more soups provide an ample amount of nutrients for those sick with URIs while providing something easy to eat. 

As they are generally self-resolving, ongoing management of an upper respiratory infection most often involves completing prescription medication as directed, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and keeping your body strong enough to fight off the disease with nutritious foods and liquids. Supportive measures include rest, hydration, and over-the-counter remedies for symptom relief, like decongestants, pain relievers, and cough suppressants. It's crucial to follow the healthcare provider's instructions regarding medication usage and complete the prescribed course if antibiotics are given. Additionally, maintaining good hygiene practices, such as frequent handwashing, helps prevent the spread of the infection to others. If symptoms persist or worsen, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Preventing upper respiratory infections (URIs), such as the common cold, involves taking precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to viruses and maintaining a strong immune system. Here are some preventive measures:

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Hand Hygiene: Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps reduce the spread of viruses. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

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Avoid Close Contact: Limit close contact with individuals who have URIs to minimize the risk of transmission.

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Cover Your Mouth and Nose: When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose. Dispose of used tissues properly.

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Face Masks: Wearing face masks, especially in crowded or indoor settings, can help reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses.

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Avoid Touching Your Face: Refrain from touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this can introduce viruses into your body.

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Stay Home When Sick: If you're feeling unwell, stay home to avoid spreading the infection to others.

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Vaccination: Consider getting flu and COVID-19 vaccines as they can protect against specific viral infections.

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Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep, and manage stress to support a strong immune system.

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Clean and Disinfect: Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops.

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Avoid Smoking: Smoking weakens the respiratory system and increases vulnerability to respiratory infections.

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Upper Respiratory Infection Overview

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How It Works

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prescriptions delievered to your doorstep
Step 1
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Step 1
Answer questions about your health

Enter patient information and medical history as well as answer questions relating to your symptoms. This should only take about five or ten minutes.

online doctors review your treatment plan
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Our providers will review your visit

Our board-certified medical providers will create a custom treatment plan based on your condition and medical history. You can follow your treatment status with our consultation tracker any time after your visit has been submitted, this is located in your patient dashboard.

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Get Rx delivered to your pharmacy or doorstep

Pick up your prescription at your pharmacy of choice within 1-2 hours.  After you receive your treatment plan, connect with your pharmacy to see when they will have your Rx fulfilled. For some medications we offer home delivery options for your convenience.