There are many people who suffer from upper respiratory infection symptoms. Upper respiratory infections affect the nasal cavity, mouth and throat. They are usually caused by viruses, germs or bacteria. However, some are caused by allergies. Get the facts about the symptoms produced by this type of infection.
- Runny nose and sore throat: One of the first symptoms of upper respiratory infections is the not-so-attractive runny nose. This happens when nasal passages release mucous or excess fluid. Most runny noses occur during colds or allergies. Other respiratory infection causes include sinusitis, hay fever and asthma. You may also notice that your throat is sore when you have an upper respiratory infection caused by a viral infection. The throat may also become red, swollen and raw from constant coughing.
- Coughing: Another first symptom you may notice is coughing. The cough may produce phlegm or mucous. It may not produce anything at all. This is called a dry cough. Lozenges may help calm the cough, however, it is important to see a doctor if blood is noticed.
- Poor appetite and dehydration: Your ability to eat may be compromised by upper respiratory problems. Food may not taste or smell appetizing during this time. This symptom may also cause dehydration and malnourishment. Most physicians recommend drinking plenty of fluids to prevent this problem. No, this doesn't include an ice cold beer.
- Fever: Your body produces more white blood cells to fight infections. Fevers can be a result of this production. Normal body temperature is 98.6° F. If it reaches over 103° F, you should contact a doctor. There are some things you should not do when you have this symptom. It’s recommended that you avoid overdressing or putting on too many blankets. Avoid bathing in cold water to lower the fever. It can actually increase your core temperature which increases the fever.
- Chest congestion: This respiratory symptom can occur with both upper and lower infections. You may need to breathe through your mouth in order to get enough oxygen. Depending on the congestion’s severity, your doctor may prescribe certain decongestants to help you breathe better and cough up that yucky green stuff.
If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, contact your physician for advice. Symptoms can mask other problems and should be diagnosed by a trained professional.