Upper Respiratory Infection - Symptoms

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What were the symptoms of your upper respiratory tract infection?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

What are the symptoms of upper respiratory infection?

Generally, the symptoms of upper respiratory infection result from the toxins released by the pathogens as well as the inflammatory response mounted by the immune system to fight the infection.

Common symptoms of upper respiratory infection generally include:

  • nasal congestion,
  • runny nose (rhinorrhea),
  • nasal discharge (may change from clear to white to green)
  • nasal breathing,
  • sneezing,
  • sore or scratchy throat,
  • painful swallowing (odynophagia),
  • cough (from laryngeal swelling and post nasal drip),
  • malaise, and
  • fever (more common in children).

Other less common symptoms may include foul breath, poor smelling sensation (hyposmia), headache, shortness of breath, sinus pain, itchy and watery eye (conjunctivitis), nausea, vomiting diarrhea, and body aches.

The symptoms of upper respiratory infection usually last between 3-14 days; if symptoms last longer than 14 days, an alternative diagnosis can be considered such as, sinusitis, allergy, pneumonia, or bronchitis.

Bacterial pharyngitis (strep throat due to group A streptococcus) may be considered if symptoms continue to worsen after the first week in the absence of runny nose, cough, or conjunctivitis. Prompt testing and initiation of appropriate antibiotics is important due to the risk of developing rheumatic fever, especially in children.

Epiglottitis is an upper respiratory infection in children that may have a more sudden onset of sore throat, feeling of a lump in the throat, muffled voice, dry cough, very painful swallowing, and drooling.

Upper respiratory infections in the lower part of the upper respiratory tract, such as, laryngotracheitis, are more commonly featured with dry cough and hoarseness or loss of voice. Barking or whooping cough, gagging, rib pain (from severe cough) are other presenting features.

Return to Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

See what others are saying

Comment from: Pebbles, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I can deal with the runny nose, cough, headache and chest pain, but the fatigue is unbelievable. My symptoms of upper respiratory infection started 4 weeks ago, so I hope I get better soon. Steroid shot, antibiotics Z Pak and then doxycycline, and decongestants haven"t helped at all. I am hoping that the healing process is happening but I can"t tell that it is.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Ronnie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 11

I have a respiratory infection that was so bad that it caused me to have an acute bronchitis as well. Doctors treating me were reluctant to give me an antibiotic drug but needed to kill off the infection. The antibiotic produced additional phlegm, and thus coughing, which I didn"t need more of, because the results of the coughing were chest pain. Time is the cure here, I had to take a whole week off from work. I am in strict bed rest. Hope I don't have COPD.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!