When a common cold or flu spirals out of control, or when a virus morphs into a secondary, bacterial infection, the sinuses, trachea, bronchial tubes or lungs may become infected with a respiratory infection. Most people have experienced a respiratory tract infection in their lifetime, and springtime often creates conditions that are ripe for the outbreak of these kinds of infections. At Medco ER & Urgent Care of Plano, TX, we commonly diagnose and treat seasonal respiratory conditions.
“Pollen can be an irritant that sets off allergies and escalates respiratory conditions,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “We also see a lot of colds and flus this time of year, even with our current focus on social distancing, masks and handwashing. Respiratory infections often develop in the aftermath of colds and flus and need medical intervention.”
What is a respiratory infection?
A respiratory infection occurs when a virus or bacteria takes over the sinuses, throat, airway or lungs. As you may have guessed, a viral respiratory infection is caused by a virus while a bacterial respiratory infection is caused by bacteria. This is usually the result of a secondary infection that takes place after a viral infection.
Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics, but there are some antiviral drugs that can be used to treat viruses if the outbreak is treated within the first 24 hours.
Respiratory infections are classified as upper and lower. Upper respiratory tract infections affect the sinuses, throat, pharynx and larynx. Lower respiratory tract infections affect the trachea, bronchioles and lungs.
Symptoms of a respiratory infection
Different respiratory infections have different symptoms, but most include some of these:
- Fever, chills
- Muscle aches
- Sinus drainage
- Cough – dry or wet
- Shortness of breath
- Painful breathing
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Bluish tinge to skin
Is a respiratory infection contagious?
“Many kinds of respiratory infections are highly contagious,” said Dr. Khan. “An example would be SARS that originated in China and spread rapidly to scan the globe. It is a good idea to treat any kind of respiratory infection as contagious and to try to keep it from spreading from airborne particles or through contact.”
Treatment for respiratory infections
Depending on the severity of the respiratory infection, over-the-counter fever reducers and pain relievers are often the starting point. If your rapid-results lab at Medco ER determines the infection is bacterial, then an antibiotic may be prescribed. Oxygen supplementation may also be used.
Get help fast at Medco ER & Urgent Care
With the convenience of a freestanding ER and little-to-no wait, Medco ER & Urgent Care offers some of the best medical care for respiratory infections. Our board-certified physicians are experienced in diagnosing and treating a range of respiratory conditions. With our help, you can soon be on the path to breathing easy again.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000
Struggling to breathe or becoming short of breath is often a cause for alarm. But even while trying hard to breathe, many people wonder if their condition warrants a trip to the ER. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we’re here 24/7 when you’re having trouble breathing, and we can examine you right away.
“Breathing problems, whether brought on by asthma, allergies or even an unknown problem, should not be ignored,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “It’s best to be seen immediately by an experienced medical provider with expertise in Emergency Medicine. Shortness of breath may be a life threatening issue that should be addressed immediately.”
Symptoms Associated with Breathing Difficulties
When you or your loved one is experiencing difficulty breathing, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If you have any doubt, go to the nearest Medco ER & Urgent Care or the nearest emergency room. Some of the symptoms that indicate it is time to go to the ER include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating and weakness
- Excessive Coughing
- Fever & chills
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Blue tinge
- Faster breathing rate
- Heart palpitations
Causes of Shortness of Breath
Some of the common causes include:
- Allergic reaction
- Stress and anxiety
- Heart attack
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot
“By far the most common cause of breathing difficulties that we treat is Asthma,” said Dr. Vora. “However, you must be examined by a healthcare provider to rule out even more serious causes of shortness of breath.”
What to Do On the Way to Medco ER
When you are struggling to breath and you’re on the way to the ER, you’ll want to know what you can do to increase your oxygen intake. The most important thing to do is to slow your heart rate by remaining calm and relaxed. Take slow, deep breaths and focus on staying calm. If you have a prescribed inhaler-type medication, use it according to the directions.
Diagnostics and Treatment
The physician will need to review your medical history and perform a physical examination of your lungs, heart and airways. He/she may also perform a chest X-ray, CT scan, blood tests, electrocardiogram (EKG), or pulmonary function test to determine the exact cause of your breathing problems.
Once the cause is identified, your physician will determine the best course of treatment, which may vary from a simple breathing treatment to advanced medications administered through an IV line.
Get Fast Treatment at Medco ER & Urgent Care
When your breathing becomes labored and you’re not getting enough oxygen, come to Medco ER right away. Our board-certified physicians are always ready for any emergency and have the oxygen therapy and diagnostic equipment standing by to provide fast help right when you need it the most.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000.