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Upper Respiratory Infection

Colds and the flu are common upper respiratory infections that can make your life miserable for a week or two. Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care in White Plains, New York, offers expert advice on caring for these and other infections, including strep throat, RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and tonsillitis. The team provides rapid testing for diseases like strep throat and COVID-19 and treatments to help you get over your infection. To discuss your symptoms or arrange a test, call Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care or book an appointment online today. Telemedicine visits are available.

Upper Respiratory Infection Q & A

An upper respiratory infection is a condition affecting the upper airway, which consists of your:

  • Nasal passages
  • Sinuses
  • Pharynx
  • Larynx
  • Uvula
  • Tonsils
  • Epiglottis
  • Upper trachea (windpipe)

These structures are all part of the passage that takes in air when you breathe. Below them is the bottom part of the trachea and your lungs, which are the lower respiratory tract.

Some of the upper respiratory infections the team at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care sees most often include:

Common cold
A cold is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract. Symptoms include sore throat, a runny then blocked nose, sneezing, watering eyes, headache, cough, and weakness.

Influenza or flu shares some similarities with colds, but you’re also likely to have a fever and may suffer from nausea and vomiting. Flu is often more debilitating than a cold and tends to take longer to go away.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common upper respiratory illness that typically causes symptoms much like a mild cold. Most people get better in a week or so, but RSV can be a serious problem for older adults and children under one year of age, leading to complications like pneumonia.

Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, cavities behind your face that can swell when they get infected. Sinus infections often develop after a cold, causing intense facial pain and headaches that worsen if you bend over.

Strep throat
Strep throat causes a severe sore throat that most commonly affects children.

Other upper respiratory infections include laryngitis, mononucleosis (mono), pharyngitis, and tonsillitis. Some conditions, like COVID-19, can affect both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. You can also develop a lower respiratory tract infection following an upper respiratory infection, for example, getting pneumonia after having the flu.

The symptoms typical of upper respiratory tract infections are often similar to those experienced by patients who have asthma or allergies.

For most people, upper respiratory infections don’t require medical treatment. Your body kills off the virus in a week or two, during which time you should rest and drink lots of fluids. You can use over-the-counter remedies to relieve symptoms like sore throats and headaches.

Viruses cause most upper respiratory infections, so antibiotics have no effect on them. Your provider at Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care might suggest antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection like strep throat, which they can check using a rapid strep test. They also offer on-site COVID-19 testing.

If your symptoms are due to asthma rather than an infection, your provider can set you up with an inhaler. Likewise, antihistamines can help you manage respiratory allergies.

To get help for severe or persistent upper respiratory infections, call Formé Medical Center and Urgent Care today or book an appointment online.

Are you traveling? Ask us about our same-day PCR test today.

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