Upper Respiratory Infection Treatment in Santa Barbara, CA

What is an Upper Respiratory Infection?

A respiratory tract infection affects the part of your body that is responsible for breathing. An upper respiratory infection can affect your sinuses and your throat, while a lower infection may affect your airways and lungs.

Your upper respiratory system includes your sinuses and throat. Upper respiratory infections are very common and include symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Dr. Charish Barry is a board-certified pediatrician with extensive experience diagnosing and treating children throughout the Santa Barbara area for upper respiratory infections. Call (805) 845-1221 to request an appointment at our pediatric office in Santa Barbara today.

What are Types of Upper Respiratory Infections?

Types of upper respiratory infections include:

Common cold – Refers to at least 200 different viruses that cause a cold and often have a wide range of symptoms like a cough or runny nose.

Epiglottitis – When your breathing tube in the back of your throat gets inflamed.

Laryngitis – When your voice box becomes inflamed and you may sound hoarse or lose your voice.

Pharyngitis – More commonly known as a sore throat usually caused by a virus, but could be strep throat caused by a bacteria.

Sinusitis – Inflamed sinuses known as a sinus infection, with mucus, congestion or pain behind your forehead and eyebrows.

These upper respiratory infections are very common. Depending on your condition, you may experience a combination of these types of infections or an overlap of symptoms. Your healthcare provider can help determine which type of condition you have and the best course of treatment for you.

What Causes Upper Respiratory Infections?

Upper respiratory infections are often contagious and very common. You often get an upper respiratory infection when a virus (or bacteria) enters your respiratory system. The germs from your hands enter and infect your body.

For example, you might touch an infected surface or shake hands with a person who’s sick. You then touch your mouth, nose or eyes. This can also happen if someone coughs or sneezes. The droplets from the sick person can transfer and other people can breathe in those germ-filled droplets.

To avoid upper respiratory infections be sure to wash your hands frequently, live healthy, and avoid those who may be sick. It is wise to take extra precautions if you interact with babies, the elderly, or other groups that may be vulnerable.

What are the Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Infections?

Symptoms that indicate an upper respiratory infection include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes (swelling on the sides of your neck)

What Can I Do if I have an Upper Respiratory Infection?

Most upper respiratory infections are viral and do not respond to antibiotics. This means you will need plenty of rest and fluids to help you feel better. You may take medication to help relieve your symptoms, such as pain relievers. Most importantly, however, your body will need to fight back against the infection.

If you happen to have strep throat, on the other hand, that is a bacterial infection and you may need antibiotics.

Your provider will determine the cause of your upper respiratory infection and the best treatment for you.

Be patient with yourself as some upper respiratory infections can last a week or so. Most of the time, they go away on their own. If you are having issues beyond two weeks, reach out to your doctor as it may be something more serious.

Request an Appointment

If you suspect that your child may have an upper respiratory infection, please contact Petite Pediatrics today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Charis Barry will be able to fully evaluate your symptoms and administer any tests as necessary. To make an appointment, please call (805) 845-1221.

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