Hugo M Toro, MD, PA
Board Certified Internal Medicine located in Katy, TX
Common respiratory conditions like colds can lead to bronchitis, which causes a persistent, chesty cough and makes you feel pretty miserable. If you have a cough that won’t quit, or your cold symptoms aren’t getting better, Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, a board-certified internist, and his team can help. For practical advice and effective treatments when you have common respiratory conditions like a cold or bronchitis, call Dr. Toro’s practice in Katy, Texas, today to schedule a consultation.
Common Respiratory Conditions Q&A
What is the common cold?
The common cold is a type of upper respiratory tract infection that’s one of the most common infectious diseases around. It’s not unusual to have several colds every year, and sometimes more, throughout your lifetime.
Colds spread easily. When someone who has a cold coughs or sneezes, they exhale tiny droplets of moisture that are full of the cold virus.
If you breathe in these droplets or touch anything that has the virus on it, you could get the same cold. This is why observing basic rules of hygiene is so important to prevent the spread of infections.
The common cold isn’t a single virus; rather, it’s a collection of many different viruses that cause similar symptoms.
The good news is that once you’ve had a particular cold virus, your body builds up an immunity to that specific virus. The bad news is that with so many cold viruses in existence, there’ll always be some for which you haven’t got any immunity.
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an infection of the airways that carry air into your lungs. These airways, called the bronchial tubes, swell and create thick mucus that causes a chronic cough.
Bronchitis typically develops when you’ve had a cold, flu, or other respiratory infection. In some cases, colds and flu make you vulnerable to a bacterial infection that causes bronchitis. This is more likely to happen if you:
- Have a compromised immune system
- Smoke or live with a smoker
- Work in a dusty environment
- Breathe polluted air every day
- Live where air quality is poor
Bronchitis is most often an acute condition, but it can become a persistent, chronic health problem.
What are the symptoms of common respiratory conditions?
Symptoms of common respiratory conditions include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- General malaise
- Low-grade fever
- Swollen glands
- Shortness of breath
- Chest congestion
- Whistling breaths
- Chills and aches
Coughing is the primary symptom of bronchitis. You might bring up mucus that’s white, green, or yellow because of the infection. Cold symptoms vary in severity, depending on which virus you have.
For instance, one cold might make your throat exceptionally sore but not make you sneeze very much. Another might cause explosions of sneezing but just a slight scratchiness in your throat.
Do I need medical attention for common respiratory conditions?
You might not need medical attention for a common cold, providing you’re in good health otherwise. For the most part, the common cold is nasty but brief. Most people recover from the worst symptoms within a week and feel back to normal within two or three weeks.
Some colds make you feel worse than others. If you feel unwell, rest and drinking plenty of clear fluids is the best remedy. There are numerous over-the-counter remedies that you can buy, some of which might help ease the severity of your symptoms.
However, there’s no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use because they work on bacteria, not viruses. In fact, using antibiotics unnecessarily isn’t a good idea, as it encourages the development of treatment-resistant bacteria.
The Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, team can help if you have severe symptoms, using other therapies. You should also see them if you think you might have complications such as pneumonia or bronchitis, or your cold symptoms aren’t clearing up. If you have bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia, the team may prescribe antibiotics.
Call Hugo M Toro, MD, PA, today if you wish to book an appointment.
For more information about respiratory conditions, Hugo Toro, MD, PA recommends the following sources: