Respiratory Infections

Hanumantha Kolusu, MD -  - Internist

Hanumantha Kolusu, MD

Internist located in Quad Cities, Moline, IL

If you have a cough, fever, or are experiencing difficulty breathing, you may have a respiratory infection. Serving the Quad Cities, Hanumantha R. Kolusu, MD, and his team at H R Kolusu MDPC in Moline, Illinois, offer expert diagnosis and treatment of upper and lower respiratory infections. If you suspect you have a cold, flu, pneumonia, or bronchitis, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Respiratory Infections Q & A

What is respiratory infection?

A respiratory infection is a condition that affects the respiratory system, which includes the sinuses, nose, throat, and lungs. A respiratory infection causes irritation, inflammation, and swelling to the lining of the airways.

Viruses, bacteria, and fungi that enter your body through your nose or mouth cause respiratory infections. You may be more prone to respiratory infections if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other chronic respiratory problems.

Respiratory infections are classified as either upper or lower respiratory infections.

Upper respiratory infection

An upper respiratory infection (URI) involves the sinuses, nose, larynx, tonsils, and throat. A URI causes nasal congestion and excessive drainage, which can irritate the upper airways.

Lower respiratory infection

A lower respiratory infection (LRI) involves the airways below your larynx and includes the bronchi and lungs. An LRI can affect the oxygen level in your blood and could be dangerous, if not treated.

Smoking, a weakened immune system, exposure to harsh chemicals, and environmental allergies can increase your risk of getting a URI or LRI.  

What are some types of respiratory infections?

The most common types of URI include:

  • Common cold
  • Strep throat
  • Sinus infection
  • Tonsillitis
  • Laryngitis

Common types of LRI include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis

Both influenza and strep can affect the upper and lower respiratory system. Respiratory infections can start in the upper airways and move into the lower airways, often making symptoms more severe.  

What are the symptoms of a respiratory infection?

If you have a URI, you may experience symptoms, such as:

  • Nasal congestion or pain
  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Sinus pressure
  • Runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Mild fever

If your URI is due to the flu or strep, you may also have body aches, a headache, and extreme fatigue. H R Kolusu MDPC offers in-office testing for both of these potential causes of your respiratory infection.

If you have an LRI, you may have symptoms like:

  • Chest pressure or pain
  • Cough, often severe
  • Coughing up white or yellow phlegm
  • Wheezing
  • Coarse breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pale skin color
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing

The team at H R Kolusu MDPC diagnoses your respiratory infection after an assessment of your respiratory system, oxygen level, and breathing. They may also order X-rays, strep test, or flu test.

What are treatments for respiratory infections?

Your personalized treatment plan depends on the type of respiratory infection and the symptoms you have. Some possible treatments include:

  • Antibiotic medications, injections or oral
  • Steroid medications, injections or oral
  • Antihistamine medications
  • Decongestant medications
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Breathing treatments

Dr. Kolusu may also suggest treatments at home that help heal your respiratory infection, including rest, drinking clear fluids, vitamin supplements, and eating well.

For the treatment of your respiratory infection, call or schedule an appointment online with H R Kolusu MDPC today.