An upper respiratory infection is a contagious infection of the structures of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. Common causes of an upper respiratory infection include bacteria and viruses such as rhinoviruses, group A streptococci, influenza, respiratory syncytial, whooping cough, diphtheria, and Epstein-Barr. Examples of symptoms of upper respiratory infection include sneezing, sore throat, cough, fever, and nasal congestion. Treatment of upper respiratory infections are based upon the cause. Generally, viral infections are treated symptomatically with over-the-counter (OTC) medication and home remedies. Read more: Upper Respiratory Infection (URTI) Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms are headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of sinus infections are generally with antibiotics and at times, home remedies.
Common Medical Abbreviations List
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include: ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease. ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure cap: Capsule. CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea. DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis. DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes HA: Headache IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis JT: Joint N/V: Nausea or vomiting. p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os. q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily. RA: Rheumatoid arthritis SOB: Shortness of breath. T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
Cough: 19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including irritants like cigarette and secondhand smoke, pollution, air fresheners, medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, the common cold, GERD, lung cancer, and heart disease.Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough include stay hydrated, gargle saltwater, use cough drops or lozenges, use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm, and don't smoke. Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include cough suppressants and expectorants, and anti-reflux drugs. Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include narcotic medications, antibiotics, inhaled steroids, and anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example, omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Glands)
Lymph nodes help the body's immune system fight infections. Causes of swollen lymph nodes (glands) may include infection (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasites). Symptoms of swollen lymph nodes vary greatly, but may include fever, night sweats, toothache, sore throat, or weight loss. Causes of swollen lymph nodes also vary, but may include cancer, the common cold, mono, chickenox, HIV, and herpes. The treatment of swollen lymph nodes depends upon the cause.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infection (otitis media) is inflammation of the middle ear. There are two forms of this type of ear infection, acute and chronic. Acute otitis media is generally short in duration, and chronic otitis media generally lasts several weeks. Babies, toddlers, and children with a middle ear infection may be irritable, pull and tug at their ears, and experience numerous other symptoms and signs. Treatment depends upon the type of ear infection.
Sore Throat Home Remedies
Natural and home remedies for sore throat symptoms and pain relief include essential oils, licorice gargles, slippery elm leaves, raw garlic, Throat Coat tea, sage, and acupuncture. Typical symptoms of a sore throat include throat pain, coughing, sneezing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. Sore throats are caused by viral (common cold, flu, mumps), bacterial (tonsillitis, some STDs), toxins, allergens, trauma or injury, or "mechanical causes" (breathing through the mouth).
Tonsillitis is a contagious infection with symptoms of bad breath, snoring, congestion, headache, hoarseness, laryngitis, and coughing up blood. Tonsillitis can be caused acute infection of the tonsils, and several types of bacteria or viruses (for example, strep throat or mononucleosis). There are two types of tonsillitis, acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts from one to two weeks while chronic tonsillitis can last from months to years. Treatment of tonsillitis and adenoids include antibiotics, over-the-counter medications, and home remedies to relieve pain and inflammation, for example, salt water gargle, slippery elm throat lozenges, sipping warm beverages and eating frozen foods (ice cream, popsicles), serrapeptase, papain, and andrographism Some people with chronic tonsillitis may need surgery (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy).
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious. Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (vocal cords). The most common cause of acute laryngitis is infection, which inflames the vocal cords. Symptoms may vary from degree of laryngitis and age of the person (laryngitis in infants and children is more commonly caused by croup). Common symptoms include a "barky" cough, a hoarse cough, fever, cold, runny nose, dry cough, and loss of voice. Chronic laryngitis generally lasts more than three weeks. Causes other than infection include smoking, excess coughing, GERD, and more. Treatment depends on the cause of laryngitis.
Mastoiditis in children and adults is inflammation and/or infection of the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear. The most common cause of mastoiditis is an inner ear infection or otitis media. Acute mastoiditis lasts for a short period, while chronic mastoiditis can last for months to years. Symptoms of acute mastoiditis in children and adults include, pain and swelling behind the ear, pus draining from the ear, and a low-grade fever. Complications of mastoiditis include meningitis, abscess, dizziness, and conductive hearing loss. Mastoiditis requires antibiotic treatment so it cannot be treated at home with natural products or home remedies; however, home remedies may help reduce symptoms of pain, inflammation, and fever. Some individuals will need surgery to cure their infection.
Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and Cures
Sinus headache is caused by a sinus infection or inflammation of the sinus cavities. Symptoms of a sinus headache include pain, runny or stuffy nose, and chronic cough. There are many causes of sinus headaches including sinusitis or sinus infection, allergies, smoke, infections, or colds. Treatment for sinus headache depends on the cause. Some home remedies may relieve sinus headache pain symptoms.
Bad breath can result from poor oral hygiene habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be made worse by the types of food eaten and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Infectious Mononucleosis (Mono)
Infectious mononucleosis is a virus infection in which there is an increase of white blood cells that are mononuclear (with a single nucleus) "Mono" and "kissing disease" are popular terms for this very common illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Hoarseness (abnormal deep, harsh, raspy voice) is caused by a variety of conditions in which the larynx (voice box and vocal cords) are irritated or injured. Causes can include vocal strain or other inflammation of the vocal cords by infection or toxins. Treatment of hoarseness depends on the cause.
Pericarditis (Symptoms, ECG, Types, Causes, Treatment)
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardial sac that surrounds the heart. The causes of pericarditis include injury from heart attack, heart surgery, trauma, viral or fungal infection, HIV, tumors, mixed connective tissue disease, metabolic disease, medication reactions, or unknown reasons. Treatment for pericarditis is generally medication, however, sometimes surgery is necessary.
COPD vs. Emphysema
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the term doctors and other healthcare professionals use to describe a group of serious, progressive (worsens over time), chronic lung diseases that include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and sometimes asthma. The number one cause of COPD or emphysema, is smoking, and smoking is the third leading cause of death in the US.
Acute Bronchitis Contagoius Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Recovery Time
Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways in the lung. Acute bronchitis is is short in duration (10 to 20 days) in comparison with chronic bronchitis, which lasts for months to years. Causes of acute bronchitis include viruses and bacteria, which means it can be contagious. Acute bronchitis caused by environmental factors such as pollution or cigarette smoke is not contagious. Common symptoms for acute bronchitis include nasal congestion, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. Acute bronchitis in children also my include runny nose, fever, and chest pain. Treatment for acute bronchitis are OTC pain relievers, cough suppressants (although not recommended in children), and rest. Infrequently antibiotics may be prescribed to treat acute bronchitis.
Rheumatic fever is a disease that sometimes occurs after a group A streptococcal infection of the throat. Symptoms and signs include carditis, polyarthritis, Aschoff bodies, rash, Sydenham's chorea, and fever. Treatment for rheumatic fever involves eliminating the bacteria with penicillin, erythromycin, or azithromycin. Further treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms brought on by the body's immunologic response to the bacteria.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least three months, two years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Croup is a contagious viral infection that affects children's respiratory system. Symptoms include a barking cough, stridor, fever and difficulty breathing. Treatment my incorporate the use of a humidifier, saline nasal spray, and pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat. Signs and symptoms of strep throat include headache, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, and fever. Strep throat symptoms in infants and children are different than in adults. Strep throat is contagious and is generally passed from person-to-person. Treatment for strep throat symptoms include home remedies and OTC medication; however, the only cure for strep throat are antibiotics.
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough (pertussis) is highly contagious respiratory infection that is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis. There are an estimated 300,000 plus deaths annually from whooping cough (pertussis). Whooping cough commonly affects infants and young children but can be prevented with immunization with the vaccine. First stage whooping cough symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, a mild cough with the cough gradually becoming more severe. After one to two weeks, the second stage of whooping cough begins.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle and can be caused by a variety of infections, conditions, and viruses. Symptoms of myocarditis include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Treatment mainly involves preventing heart failure with medication and diet, as well as monitoring for heart rhythm abnormalities.
Is a Sinus Infection Contagious?
Sinus infection (sinusitis) is infection (viral, bacterial, or fungal) or inflammation of the sinuses. Symptoms of sinus infection are cough, bad breath, coughing up greenish-yellow sputum, sinus headache, and other symptoms of the common cold. Treatments of sinus infection are home remedies to soothe symptoms and antibiotics if the infection is bacterial or fungal.
Children's Cough Causes and Treatments
Children's cough causes include infection, acid reflux, asthma, allergies or sinus infection, whooping cough, and exposure to irritants. Treatment for a child's cough include cough medicine for children over the age of four.
Is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Contagious?
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a contagious viral infection that causes symptoms such as decreased appetite, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and mild fever. The incubation period is four to six days, and the contagious period ends after the symptoms disappear.
Is a Cough Contagious?
There are many types of coughs: for example, dry cough, wet cough, a barking cough, whooping cough, stress induced cough, acute cough, and chronic cough. Cough is a symptom of an underlying condition or disease. Treatment of cough as a symptom is generally with OTC lozenges and liquids. The cause of the cough will be necessary to treat.
Diphtheria is a disease that causes symptoms and signs such as fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and swallowing problems. Erythromycin is the primary treatment for diphtheria. Vaccines that prevent diphtheria include the DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious viral infection. Symptoms include fever and nasal congestion and discharge. Treatment focuses on supportive care. This disease has a good prognosis in babies and infants.
MPS I (Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, Hurler Syndrome)
MPS I (also referred to as mucopolysaccharidosis Type I or Hurler syndrome) is a genetic, inherited condition that involves chromosome number 4. Symptoms of MPS I include Thick lips Eye problems Chronic nasal discharge Enlarged spleen or other abdominal organs Joint stiffness Coarsening of facial features There is no cure for MPS I, but signs and symptoms may be managed with enzyme replacement therapy and surgery to improve symptoms.
Bronchiolitis is an illness caused by a variety of viruses that is most common during the winter season. Bronchiolitis symptoms are nasal congestion and moderate nasal discharge accompanied by mild to severe pulmonary distress. Bronchiolitis usually can be treated at home. Some patients may require hospitalization.
What Are the Best Home Remedies for an Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection and what causes it? Learn more about upper respiratory infection, the common cold, and how you can treat upper respiratory infections at home.
Sweet Syndrome (Acute Febrile Neutrophilic Dermatosis)
Sweet syndrome (acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis) is a skin condition that sometimes occurs due to an immune system response to RA, pregnancy, certain cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases, blood disorders, respiratory tract infections, and particular medications. Symptoms and signs include characteristic skin lesions that grow and spread into clusters. Sore eyes, high fever, mouth ulcers, headache, and aching joints may accompany the lesions. Though Sweet syndrome may resolve on its own, more severe cases may require medications like corticosteroids.
When Should You See a Doctor for Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection? Learn the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and what to do about it.
What Exactly Does a Respiratory Therapist Do?
Respiratory therapists deal with patients having breathing difficulties caused due to lung diseases. They are trained to rehabilitate people with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, and occupational lung diseases that can result from genetic and environmental issues.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Bad Taste in the Mouth
- Metallic Taste in the Mouth
- Loss of Taste Sensation
- Bad Breath
- Chronic Cough
- Swollen Tonsils
- Upper Respiratory Infection
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
- Cold & Flu FAQs
- Common Cold FAQs
- Ear Infection FAQs
- Bronchitis FAQs
- Respiratory Virus (RSV) Strikes More Infants
- Symptoms of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS-CoV) Virus Infection
- Strep Throat Complications
- Acute Bronchitis Treatment Treatment Medications and Home Remedies
- Emphysema Symptoms
- Nosebleeds: First Aid
- Acute Bronchitis: How Long Do Symptoms Last?
Medications & Supplements
- Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Penicillin (Antibiotics)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Ext, Little Fevers Children's Fever/Pain)
- codeine (for Pain)
- Amoxicillin vs. Cipro
- gentamicin injection (Garamycin)
- Doxycycline vs. Cipro
- Amoxicillin vs. Ampicillin
- clindamycin, oral (Cleocin)
- Cipro, XR (ciprofloxacin) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- cefdinir (Omnicef has been discontinued)
- Amoxicillin vs. Ceftriaxone
- benzonatate (Tessalon Perles)
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Doxycycline vs. Keflex
- guaifenesin (Robitussin, Mucinex)
- Doxycycline vs. minocycline
- Amoxicillin vs. Penicillin
- prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. cefuroxime
- licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Doxycycline vs. Levaquin
- hydrocodone (Zohydro ER)
- hydrocodone/homatropine (Tussigon)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- echinacea (echinacea sp.) - oral
- Levaquin (levofloxacin) vs. Keflex (cephalexin)
- penicillin G benzathine (Bicillin L-A)
- zinc acetate - oral, Galzin
- pseudoephedrine (Oral, Afrinol, Sudafed)
- Suprax (cefixime) vs. Rocephin (ceftriaxone)
- penicillin V potassium (Beepen-VK, V-Cillin-K)
- Zinc for Colds: Lozenges & Nasal Sprays
- Side Effects of Bicillin C-R (penicillin g benzathine/penicillin g procaine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Coronavirus Could Lead to Vast US Hospital Bed, Ventilator Shortage, Emergency Doc Predicts
- Coronavirus Doesn't Have to Scare You or Your Kids, Psychologists Say
- Checklist: What You Need to Know About Coronavirus
- 440 Coronavirus Cases, Nine Deaths in China
- Human-to-Human Transmission of Chinese Coronavirus Confirmed as Case Numbers Surge
- Sepsis Causes Far More Deaths Worldwide Than Thought
- Mystery Chinese Pneumonia Virus Identified, Gene-Sequenced
- Low Levels of Key Blood Cells Could Signal Higher Death Risk
- China Reports First Death in Coronavirus Outbreak
- Can You Get the Cold and Flu at the Same Time?
- Feather Bedding Caused Man's Serious Respiratory Condition
- Scientists Spot Signs of Virus Behind Disease Paralyzing Kids
- Dirty Air Kills 30,000 Americans Each Year
- Infections, Especially UTIs, May Be Triggers for Strokes
- Should Air Quality Checks Be Part of Your Travel Planning?
- Your Showerhead May Be Bathing You in Germs
- Mumps Spread Quickly at Texas Cheerleading Meets: Study
- Plastic Trays in Airport Security Loaded with Respiratory Viruses
- Respiratory Disease Death Rates Have Soared
- Emflaza Approved for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
- Oldest Person in U.S. Dies at Age 114
- Flu Shot May Curb Respiratory Infections in People With Heart Failure
- U.S. Doctors Still Over-Prescribing Drugs: Survey
- Esbriet, Ofev Approved to Treat Deadly Lung Disease
- Hospital-Acquired Infections Cost $10 Billion a Year: Study
- Babies' Vulnerability to Colds Tied to Immune Response at Birth
- Infections Might Raise Stroke Risk in Children: Study
- FDA Approves First Combo Drug for Diabetes, Cholesterol
- Low Vitamin D in Newborns Linked to Wheezing
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