An In-Depth Guide to Urinary Tract Infections: Everything You Need to Know

01 Sep 2020

At one time or another in your life, you must have suffered from an upper respiratory infection. These infections are one of the most common reasons that send most people to our emergency room near you, seeking treatment.

During peak seasons like the winter or fall, we always experience an influx in the number of people who visit our 24-hour emergency room, exhibiting the different symptoms that usually indicate an upper respiratory tract infection.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, In a Nutshell

Typically, your upper respiratory tract, which includes the throat, nasal passage, pharynx, sinuses, larynx, and trachea, is affected when you have an infection. The upper respiratory tract is often susceptible to several bacterial and viral infections, which usually vary in both intensity and severity.

Upper respiratory tract infections can elicit different symptoms based on the region of the upper respiratory tract infected. It is fundamental to understand that there are several forms of upper respiratory tract infections.

Some of the viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory tract infections include:

  • Adenovirus
  • Rhinovirus
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • Metapneumovirus
  • Streptococcus bacteria
  • Diphtheria bacteria
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia

Upper respiratory tract infections are often airborne and can be spread through contact or by sneezing and coughing. This makes these infections highly contagious and infectious once an outbreak begins.

Let’s look at the different forms of upper respiratory tract infections that can be treated within our emergency clinic near you.

Forms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

The Common Cold

The common cold has to be one of the most frequently encountered types of upper respiratory tract infections. This is a viral infection, which attacks your whole upper respiratory tract. The rhinovirus often causes colds; however, they can also be linked to viruses such as influenza and coronavirus.

The viruses attack the upper respiratory tract triggering immune responses that lead to the symptoms usually exhibited by patients suffering from the common cold, such as:

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Blocked nose

Laryngitis

This is a viral infection that leads to the inflammation of the larynx or voice box. It often gets confused with a sore throat; however, in reality, it is quite different. You might exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • a sore throat
  • you may lose your voice
  • swollen glands
  • the urge to always clear your throat
  • hoarse voice
  • dry cough
  • dry throat

Pharyngitis

This form of upper respiratory tract infection is commonly referred to as a sore throat, which can be attributed to the pharynx’s inflammation. It can be linked to the streptococcus bacteria, which also causes tonsillitis and strep throat. It can, however, also be caused by a viral infection and you might show some of the following symptoms:

  • a sore and dry throat
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • headache
  • chills
  • running nose
  • sneezing
  • cough
  • body aches
  • a feeling of malaise
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • difficulties swallowing

Sinusitis

This is an infection that occurs when the paranasal sinuses become inflamed. Sinusitis occurs when mucus accumulates within the sinuses after they become inflamed. These are the symptoms that you might experience:

  • headaches
  • nasal congestion
  • running nose
  • cough
  • facial pain and pressure
  • loss of smell and taste
  • foul breath
  • fatigue
  • nasal discharge
  • fever

Epiglottitis

This form of infection occurs when the epiglottitis becomes inflamed. If it is not treated, the epiglottis can get infected, then swollen, which can cause it to obstruct your airways. This is why it is viewed as a life-threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.

If you or your loved one suffers from this infection, you need to rush to our walk-in-clinic for immediate medical attention and prevent future complications. Be on the look-out for the following symptoms:

  • a high-grade fever
  • sore throat
  • difficulties swallowing
  • a hoarse voice
  • drooling
  • difficulties breathing
  • a high pitched sound when inhaling

Rhinitis

This is an infection that occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed. Rhinitis can either be caused by an allergic or non-allergic agent. The allergic form of rhinitis is commonly referred to as hay fever. Some of the symptoms that you might experience are as follows:

  • sneezing
  • nasal congestion
  • itchy and watery eyes
  • running nose
  • postnasal drip
  • coughing
  • hives
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • sore throat

When Should You Seek Medical Attention?

The intensity of your upper respiratory tract infection will determine whether you need to seek immediate medical attention at our emergency room near you. If your symptoms persist or are getting worse by the day, it is wise to seek immediate medical attention.

You should contact our 24- hour emergency room if you experience the following symptoms while having an Upper respiratory tract infection:

  • A persistent high fever
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Blue skin or lips
  • If your symptoms persist for more than two weeks
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat

Contact us at Memorial Village ER for efficient diagnosis and treatment of upper respiratory tract infections.

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