Problem of the week – Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

This week the problem most prevalent was an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection or URI.  URI’s are typically much more prevalent in colder weather as people are indoors more and come into contract with the infections much more often. The past few weeks in particular have led to many infections in my patients, family and friends.  I too developed this infection and it definitely had a significant impact on my well being.  The most common symptoms seen are:

  • Congested or runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Mild headache

Most URI’s start off as a virus and the typical course is to get worse for the first 3 to 5 days and stabilize and start to show improvement.  But these URI’s have been more stubborn than usual and many people have had persistent symptoms for 2 weeks or more.  Although most URI’s do not warrant antibiotics, if symptoms start to get much worse and lead to more problems then evaluation with a medical provider should be considered.

Symptomatic measures include hydration, pain meds, homeopathic immune function boosters(everyone has their favorites) and cough medicines.  However, if one should develop increase fever, worsening of cough with trouble breathing, increase pain in throat or sinus or head, then consultation with your physician is indicated to be sure the infection has not developed into a more serious one.

As I said, I had this infection myself which did evolve into a more serious one which required antibiotics in my case.  It’s not unusual for symptoms to persists for 2 to 4 weeks even as one gets better.  Good luck to those who have one of these infections and rest assured with proper management and time it will resolve and you will feel well again.   Make sure you rest and get the recovery you need.

Dr B





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