7 Signs of a Respiratory Infection

Respiratory infections, such as the common cold, are often viral, so taking antibiotics won’t do anything to help. The best treatment is to stay hydrated, take it easy, and limit your interactions with other people. However, if your symptoms last longer than a week, it might be a sign that you’re suffering from complications, such as sinusitis or pneumonia.  

At ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, our team of providers can quickly and accurately diagnose the cause of your respiratory infection using state-of-the-art equipment. Once we diagnose you, we can work with you to ease your symptoms and help you feel well again.

7 telltale signs of a respiratory infection 

There are two types of respiratory infections: upper respiratory tract infections and lower respiratory tract infections. Upper respiratory tract infections are often mild, and the immune system is usually able to handle these on its own. Lower respiratory tract infections, however, can be more serious. 

The symptoms of various infections can differ, but there are seven common signs of a respiratory infection. The more of these symptoms you have, the more likely it is that you have a respiratory system issue.

  1. Chest or nasal congestion
  2. Wet or dry cough
  3. Runny nose
  4. Sore throat
  5. Low-grade fever 
  6. Fatigue
  7. Body aches

Some of these symptoms, such as body aches and fatigue, might not occur with other infections. COVID-19 also comes with unique symptoms, such as a loss of taste and smell and a sudden, dry cough. If you think you might be infected with Coronavirus, it’s important that you get tested for that before moving on to other possibilities. 

Respiratory infection symptoms that last longer than a week can be a sign that something more severe is happening. Lower respiratory tract infections typically last longer and are more serious than upper respiratory tract infections. If your symptoms get worse, you begin coughing up bloody mucus, or have a weakened immune system, you should visit a doctor right away. 

Treatment for respiratory infections 

If you’re suffering from a persistent respiratory tract infection or have an acute respiratory infection, we can determine the cause of the infection and recommend treatments. If the infection is bacterial, we can prescribe antibiotics. 

If you’re suffering from sinusitis (blocked and inflamed sinuses), decongestant washes, steroids, and saline washes can help clear things out. Severe cases of sinusitis can be treated using balloon sinuplasty, which is a minimally invasive procedure that opens up your sinuses. 

Are you experiencing symptoms of a respiratory infection? We can get to the bottom of what’s going on and help you feel better. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.

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