Upper Respiratory Infections | Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Woman sneezing

Acute Upper Respiratory Infection 

What is an Acute Upper Respiratory Infection? 

An upper respiratory infection (URI) is a term used to describe an acute infection of the head and chest. Generally, it affects the nose, throat, airways, sinuses and/or ears. URIs are among the most common diagnoses. 

Common Supplements Found in Our Pharmacy to Help Combat Symptoms 

Zinc can be helpful for upper respiratory infections in two ways: First, your immune system needs zinc, so you want to be sure you’re not deficient – which is not uncommon in older people. Second, when taken as a lozenge, zinc works on the throat and can reduce the duration and severity of symptoms. However, when used to treat a cold, zinc must act directly on your throat where it may kill viruses. Just swallowing or even chewing a zinc supplement defeats the purpose. In fact, getting too much zinc may reduce your immunity. 

Vitamin D Taking Vitamin D is unlikely to help people who are not deficient in it. However, when vitamin D is given to people who are deficient, which is the case for as much as 40% of Americans, it does amazing things including reducing the risk of the flu and respiratory infections, including pneumonia. You’re more likely to be deficient if you don’t get out in the sun much (or if your extremities are totally covered with clothing or sunscreen when you do) and don’t consume much dairy or other foods with vitamin D. People with dark skin, the elderly, and those who are obese are more likely to be deficient. Try O.N.E. multi-vitamin which contains 25mg of zinc and 2,000 IU of vitamin D per serving. 

Visit Victory Pharmacy for a blend of symptom relieving essential oils such as (Eucalyptus and peppermint) 

How long will it last? 

Probably longer than you’d like. Symptoms usually worsen during the first 3–5 days, followed by gradual improvement. Most URIs resolve within 10–14 days, even without treatment. 

Treating an Upper Respiratory Infection 

Treatment for a URI generally involves limiting discomfort. The following things can help reduce the severity or duration of the symptoms: 

  • avoiding smoky or fume-filled areas 
  • avoiding steep temperature changes 
  • drinking plenty of fluids 
  • increasing indoor humidity 
  • resting as much as possible 

 Some over-the-counter medicines may also help adults with URI symptoms. These include: 

Antihistamines: brompheniramine (Bromfed), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (Benadryl) 

Pain-relievers: acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil) 

Decongestants: oxymetazoline (Afrin), phenylephrine (Sudafed PE), pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) 

The following can help relieve symptoms: 

  • Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. 
  • For a sore throat gargle warm salt water. 
  • Use a cool mist vaporizer / humidifier. 
  • Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help ease aches and reduce fever. Before starting a new medication, consult your healthcare provider to determine if taking these medications are appropriate for you. 

Preventing Upper Respiratory Infections 

  • Coughing or sneezing into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue. 
  • Avoiding touching your face, nose, mouth, and eyes to keep germs at bay.  
  • Avoiding contact with other sick individuals.  
  • Washing your hands as often as you can, particularly after you sneeze or cough. 

Additional Services Offered by Victory Medical 

Did You Know… Victory Medical is a one stop shop. We offer additional services for your convenience so you can tackle all of your health needs in one spot. 

Victory Medical Offers: 

  • Primary Care: annual physicals, blood work, medication management, EKG, Vaccines, X-rays, Blood work 
  • Heartwise Physical: a comprehensive, preventative, non-invasive, head-to-toe evaluation, that includes 26 tests and takes about 90 minutes to complete. 
  • Pharmacy: receive prescriptions through the convenience of our pharmacy. We also offer compounded prescriptions custom measured and compounded specifically for you. 
  • Urgent Care: Get help whenever you may need it with our Urgent Care clinics that have extended hours. 
  • Natural Hormone Replacement: Want to rejoin the human race and experience renewed energy, a fulfilling sex life, and happiness again? Don’t let the effects of aging drag you down. 
  • MedSpa: Look and feel beautiful at our MedSpa where you will receive quality treatments and products as well as beauty consultations 
  • Coolsculpting: The CoolSculpting fat-freezing procedure is the only FDA-cleared, non-surgical fat-reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat that resists all efforts through diet and exercise. 
  • Ketamine Therapy: Ketamine is rapid acting, has a short duration of action and has been known to drastically help those affected by Chronic Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and PTSD. 
  • Allergy: Allergy testing can improve your quality of life and shed light on the cause or trigger of your bothersome symptoms.  
  • Physical Therapy: Victory Medical provides state-of-the-art physical therapy and rehabilitation for pain management, neurological ailments, and the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries including sprains, strains, fractures, dislocations, and post-surgical needs. 
  • Chiropractic Therapy: Manage pain, heal faster, reduce stress, enjoy life 
  • Weight Loss: Medical weight loss is an effective option for individuals who haven’t had success with other methods, and for people who need their health and safety monitored every step of the way. 


Ask a staff member for more information about any of our services or schedule an appointment by calling 512-462-DOCS (3627)