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5 Common Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections make up some of the most common medical ailments. It can be difficult to tell respiratory infections apart, especially in their early stages. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on your sore throat, stuffy head, or congested chest. While it could just be a common cold, it could also evolve into something more serious. 

At ENT of New Orleans in Marrero and New Orleans East, Louisiana, our team of ear, nose, and throat specialists have experience dealing with respiratory illnesses of all kinds, ranging from sore throats to bronchitis. If you’re having trouble shaking a persistent cough, we can help determine the cause and provide treatment. 

Common respiratory infections 

Respiratory infections are illnesses that affect the upper or lower respiratory regions. This includes your sinuses, airways, throat, and lungs. There are a number of viral and bacterial respiratory infections, but here are five of the most common ones: 

1. The common cold

A cold can cause congestion in the head, a blocked or runny nose, and a sore throat. 

2. Rhinitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, and pharyngitis

These four similar infections start with a bacterial or viral infection in the nasal passages, sinuses, voice box, or throat, respectively. They cause swelling, pressure, and pain.

3. Bronchitis

An infection that goes deeper is a lower respiratory infection of the bronchial tubes. Severe cases can lead to persistent coughing and chest congestion. 

4. Tonsillitis

An infection of the tonsils can turn into a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and tender lymph nodes. In severe or chronic cases, you might need a tonsillectomy.

5. Pneumonia

Rarer, more serious infections, such as pneumonia, should be discussed with your doctor right away. In many cases, pneumonia symptoms include respiratory issues, fever, body aches, and fatigue.

Keep an eye on your symptoms

Telling apart respiratory infections can be difficult, especially if you’re in the early stages of an infection. The common cold can clear up on its own within a week or so. Some bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections, however, aren't affected by antibiotics. This is why it’s important to see a doctor if you’re not sure what you have.

In any case, wear a mask and limit your exposure to family and friends. If symptoms escalate, visit a doctor. Tests can be done to determine what’s causing your infection, and then a treatment plan can be designed for you. 

If you have a respiratory infection, the health specialists at ENT of New Orleans can see what’s behind it and help you get better. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.

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