Evaluation and Treatment for Respiratory Infections Questions and Answers
If you are suffering from a respiratory infection, our team can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment for your condition. At Physicians Now Urgent Care, we provide walk-in services at 15215 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. Also, you can also call us or schedule an appointment online for more information.
What are the signs of respiratory infection?
There are two different types of respiratory infection – upper and lower respiratory infection. Symptoms will vary from one person to the next based on where the infection is sitting in their respiratory system. Common symptoms of a respiratory infection can include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Congestion, in either the lungs or the nasal sinuses
- Body aches
Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, loss of consciousness, chills or a fever over 103 F (39 C) may require immediate medical attention. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or go to an urgent care such as Physicians Now Urgent Care.
Respiratory infections are caused by several different issues, and will differ again based on if it is an upper or lower respiratory infection. Upper respiratory infections are caused by a common cold, an acute ear infection or acute pharyngitis. Lower respiratory infections are caused by bronchiolitis, bronchitis or pneumonia.
What are the most common types of respiratory infections?
Respiratory infections are classified into either upper or lower respiratory infections, depending which part of the respiratory system is affected. Upper respiratory infections are found in the higher parts of the respiratory tract, such as the sinuses, nose and throat. Lower respiratory infections on the other hand will affect the lungs and airways. Upper respiratory infections can include sinus infections, the common cold or head cold, tonsillitis, laryngitis and a mild flu. The most common symptom of an upper respiratory infection is a cough, with sore throat, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, achy muscles and headache symptoms potentially being caused by lung infections. Lower respiratory infections are typically found in the lungs or the airways. These infections are caused by bacterial or viral infections and include a severe flu, pneumonia, whooping cough, bronchitis or tuberculosis. Symptoms of a lower respiratory infection include wheezing upon exhaling, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a severe cough that can produce phlegm. If you suspect you have a respiratory infection, seeing a doctor such as one of the physicians at Physicians Now Urgent Care can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment if needed.
What diagnostics can be used for respiratory infections?
To diagnose a respiratory infection, the doctor will ask you about your symptoms and perform a physical exam of the affected area. During the exam, the doctor will focus their attention on your breathing to see if they are able to detect inflammation or fluid in the lungs. The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs while you breathe in and out in order to detect any abnormal sounds. Part of the exam will also include a check into your nose and ears, as well as a check of your throat, both by feeling the glands in your neck and through the mouth. An x-ray or CT scan may be ordered in the case of a lower respiratory infection to provide a visual of the lung condition. Additionally, a lung function test can be performed using a pulse oximetry. This is used to measure the amount of oxygen that is getting into the lungs. The doctors at Physicians Now Urgent Care are very familiar with respiratory infections and are able to diagnose them quickly and easily. With the lab and x-ray services on-site, additional testing can be done while the patient is still in the clinic in order to confirm the diagnosis in one visit so the patient can leave with a complete treatment plan.
How are respiratory infections treated?
The treatment for a respiratory infection will vary based on the type of infection and how severe it is. Some viruses that cause respiratory infections have no known treatment. In these cases, the virus will just need to work its way through the system. Symptoms may be managed through medications prescribed by your doctor or with over-the-counter cold medications. For bacterial infections, your doctor may prescribe you with a course of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Proper diagnosis of a respiratory infection by a doctor through an urgent care like Physicians Now Urgent Care will ensure that you get the right treatment. With options to walk-in or reserve your spot, you can get seen by a doctor quickly to get you on the road to recovery. We serve patients from Rockville MD, Travilah MD, Darnestown MD, Germantown MD, Gaithersburg MD, Colesville MD, and Bethesda MD.