If you have experienced any sort of respiratory infection or ailment, you know just how debilitating and uncomfortable it can be. No one wants to go through their day sniffling, sneezing, and feeling light-headed. But when do these symptoms require medical attention, and where should you go? Find out these answers and more below.
What Is Acute Respiratory Sickness?
Acute respiratory sickness is any sort of infection or ailment that affects the respiratory system. In plain terms, any illness that affects your breathing, whether it’s through your nose or mouth, is a respiratory ailment. These can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, irritants, and more.
Acute respiratory sickness can be symptomatic of a wide variety of illnesses that range in severity. Respiratory sickness can point to the flu, the common cold, sinus infection, pneumonia, bronchitis, and more. Respiratory illnesses are especially common in wintertime, or any time you are exposed to a large crowd of people (such as at the airport or going back to school).
What Can I Do to Treat Respiratory Sickness on My Own?
Sometimes respiratory sickness is so severe that it requires professional medical attention. If you think your respiratory illness is just the common cold or something else you can treat on your own, there are a few home remedies you can try before seeking professional help.
Try soothing your symptoms with hot liquids like soup, broth, or decaffeinated hot tea. Adding some honey and lemon to your tea or just plain hot water may also help. The heat can soothe a sore throat and help liquids pass through your nasal passageways. You should drink lots of fluids (avoid caffeine) and get plenty of rest. You may also try using a neti pot and/or gargling saltwater. If your symptoms get worse or you don’t notice any improvement, you need to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause of your illness.
What Can I Do If I Can’t Get Rid of Respiratory Sickness on My Own?
If your symptoms are so bad that they are debilitating (such as missing work), or you can’t alleviate symptoms in your own, you should visit your local urgent care center.
You can simply walk into your local urgent care center without an appointment and see a doctor quickly to find out what’s causing your respiratory illness and how to treat it. You may need a course of antibiotics, a steroid shot, prescription allergy medicine, or other treatments that you can’t get over the counter. Instead of making an appointment and waiting to see your regular healthcare provider, get a diagnosis and treatment for your respiratory illness fast from urgent care. Urgent care centers usually accept health insurance and out of pocket payment options.