6 Symptoms of an Upper Respiratory Infection

iStock-621258770.jpgWhile one of the most common reasons for doctor visits, upper respiratory infections are often confused for something less severe since symptoms mirror many different illnesses. Upper respiratory infection is also the illness that causes the most people to miss school or work. But by identifying the symptoms early and receiving treatment in a timely manner, you can minimize the amount of time you’re sick and can get back to your daily routine in no time.

Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge and congestion
  • Fever
  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Nasal breathing

In most cases, upper respiratory infections are contagious and can be spread when one person inhales fluids that are in the air from an infected person coughing or sneezing. The infection can also be spread when someone touches the nose or mouth of someone with the virus.

Treatment

If you have symptoms similar to those above, it is important to get plenty of rest and limit exercise and other physical activities. You should also make sure you’re staying hydrated. Depending on which symptoms are most severe, you may benefit from an antihistamine, cough medicine, a decongestant or steroids. A doctor will be able to determine which medication is best for you.

When To Seek Medical Care

While some people are able to recover fully without ever seeking medical care, many begin to experience a worsening of symptoms and have to see a doctor. If your symptoms last more than two weeks, become worse, you experience difficulty breathing, have difficulty swallowing or believe your infection has become chronic you should seek medical care.

If you’re suffering from symptoms that mirror an upper respiratory infection, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

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Cold vs. Sinus Infection

iStock-453203163.jpgThe symptoms of a sinus infection and cold are very similar, making it easy to confuse the two illnesses. As similar as the symptoms are, treatment for both is quite different. Because of this, it’s important to properly diagnose what you have so that it can be treated effectively and you can heal quickly. Below are some of the main differences between a sinus infection and a cold.

Symptoms of a Cold

If you’re suffering from a cold, you will likely experience one or more of the following symptoms: sore throat, cough, headache, stuffy nose, build up of mucus, sneezing, fatigue, swollen sinuses and fever.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Much like a cold, sinus infection symptoms include headache, cough, fatigue and a stuffy nose. In addition to these, sinus infection-specific symptoms are sinus pressure, thick yellow or green mucus, bad breath and a decreased sense of smell.

Treating a Cold

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done to treat a cold as antibiotics can’t help a viral infection. There are some over-the-counter medications that can make you feel better, although they won’t do much to treat the illness. The best way to avoid getting a cold is to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.

Treating a Sinus Infection

In most cases, a doctor should be the one to treat a sinus infection. He or she will likely prescribe an antibiotic, although steroids, decongestants and over-the-counter mucus thinners are also used commonly to ease the pain.

If you’re suffering from cold or sinus infection symptoms and believe you should see a doctor, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Dressing for Cold-Weather Workouts

iStock-464942804.jpgWhile many people are working to get back into shape at the beginning of the year, it can be difficult to exercise outside with the weather being so cold. Whether you’re planning to jog, go skiing or simply go for a walk outdoors, it’s important to dress both warm and comfortable. If you are planning to exercise outdoors, following the tips below will help you get the most out of your workout.

Start At The Base

The base layer of clothing should be tight fitting and made of wicking material that will keep you both dry and warm. It’s important to avoid cotton as it traps moisture and stays wet. Good materials to look for include polypropylene, silk, polyester, Thermax, Thinsulate and wool.

Continue With The Mid Layer

This is the layer that provides the most insulation. Typically this layer is looser than the base, but should be tight enough to touch the bottom layer. Polyester, fleece, wool and newer synthetic/natural blends are all good options for the middle layer.

Finish With The Outer Layer

The outside layer is responsible for blocking wind and allowing moisture to escape. Usually this layer includes ventilation and consists of wind-resistant materials.

Cover Your Extremities

To properly dress for cold weather, it’s crucial that you cover your head, hands and feet. Wearing a hat, gloves, socks and shoes can help you stay warm during the winter months. Wind-blocking fabric is best for hats and gloves. Fleece is another warm option, although it does not provide protection from the wind.

When in doubt, remember that layering is crucial when outdoors in the wintertime. While it’s important to stay comfortable, it’s more important to stay warm and safe. If you’re looking for more helpful tips and up-to-date medical information, check in on the Denton Regional Urgent Care blog regularly this holiday season. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Causes of Adult Earaches

iStock-487718626.jpgIt is more common for children to develop an earache, but adults can suffer from them as well. Although rarely serious, earaches can be miserable and extremely painful. When adults develop an ear infection, it is usually one of two categories: acute middle ear infections or outer ear infections. If you believe you are suffering from an earache, read below to find out the differences and where to seek treatment.

Outer Ear Infections aka Swimmer’s Ear

Commonly known as swimmer’s ear, an outer ear infection commonly affects swimmers who have been exposed to germs that grow in warm, moist conditions. Symptoms of an outer ear infection include ear redness, itchiness inside the ear, drainage from the ear, pain when moving the head and a fever.

If you’re suffering from an outer ear infection, it can usually be treated with antibiotic eardrops. Depending on how severe the infection is, a doctor may need to remove some pus and debris from inside the ear. To avoid swimmer’s ear, try drying your ears with a blow dryer (on the lowest setting) after you’ve been swimming.

Middle Ear Infections

Although most common in children, middle ear infections can plague adults as well. Any time fluid or bacteria gets trapped inside the ear, it leaves the ear at risk of an infection. A middle ear infection can be identified by a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, hearing loss, balance problems, ear pain, fever and drainage from the ear.

Most of the time, this type of ear infection can be easily treated; however, if you suffer from regular earaches, you should see a doctor to determine the root of the problem. To avoid middle ear infections, try to avoid cigarette smoke, don’t clean your ears with Q-tips and take a decongestant when time you have a cold, as suggested by your doctor.

If you suffer from recurrent ear infections, consider seeking medical care at Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. 

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

3 Ways to Care For Stitches

iStock-625202702.jpgStitches are given for a number of different reasons. If you’ve experienced a wound that is considered at risk of infection, you will likely require stitches. In order to avoid infection, even after stitches are received, it’s important that your wound is cared for and observed properly.

Keep Stitches Dry

Find out from your doctor how long you need to keep your wound dry. In most cases, it’s important to avoid scrubbing or soaking the wound for at least the first 48 hours. Your doctor will let you know when your bandage can be removed and when you can wash the wound to remove the crust.

Treat Your Bandages Properly

If your wound is in a place that is unlikely to get dirty or where clothing will not rub against it, you may not need a bandage. However, if a bandage is required, it’s important that it is changed every 24 hours or any time it gets wet or dirty. Ensure you are following care directions given by your medical professional.

Remember They Are Temporary

Stitches can seem miserable when they itch and feel irritated, but remember they will be removed soon. Most stitches are removed between 4 and 14 days, depending on their location. Your doctor will be able to determine how long they need to be left in based on the depth and size of the wound.

If you’ve suffered a wound that you believe may require stitches, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.

Winter Workout Motivation

iStock-502808850.jpgShorter days and colder temperatures make working out much less appealing, especially if you typically perform your workouts outdoors. But most people tend to eat more during winter, especially during the holidays, so it’s smart to keep up the hard work through winter. If you’re lacking motivation to work out during the winter months, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself going.

Keep Consistent

Put your workouts on the calendar so you set a pattern. This will help you think of your workouts as an appointment, which isn’t optional. For added encouragement, try finding a workout buddy or group class so you’re held accountable for your workouts.

Wear the Right Clothes

This is especially important if you’re planning to work out outdoors. Be comfortable and safe by investing in high-quality clothes and accessories. Good mittens, ear warmers and a packable vest are good to have as well. Bonus points for clothes that are both warm and cute!

Set Goals for Spring

Keep yourself moving during winter by signing up for a race at the beginning of spring, making it an absolute necessity to work out even when it’s cold out. If you’re not a runner, come up with a number of pushups or miles to walk each week and work to complete that by spring.

Become a Morning Person

Because it gets dark so early during the winter, working out first thing in the morning is one way to ensure your workouts get done. This prevents you from making excuses at the end of the day.

If you’re planning to begin an exercise routine, you should consult a doctor to make sure you’re in good health. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for a general health assessment. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

 Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.