Advertisement

How should I treat an upper respiratory infection?

For upper respiratory infections, such as sore throats, ear infections, sinus infections, colds and bronchitis, try the following:

  • get plenty of rest
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer
  • avoid smoking, second-hand smoke, and other pollutants (airborne chemicals or irritants)
  • take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain or fever (do not give aspirin to a child)

For children and adults, over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants and saline nasal sprays may help relieve some symptoms. Remember, always use over-the-counter products as directed. Many over-the-counter products are not recommended for children younger than certain ages.

Over-the-counter medicines may help relieve symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, fever and aches, but they do not shorten the length of time you or your child is sick.

Continue Learning about Viral Lung Infections

What can I do to avoid viral lung infections?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
You can stay away from sick people if you want to avoid viral lung infections, but that's not always...
More Answers
Are antibiotics needed for an upper respiratory infection?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Antibiotics are almost never needed for upper respiratory infections. The vast majority of upper res...
More Answers
Can antibiotics treat viral lung infections?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
People with viral lung infections are not given antibiotics as a course of treatment because these d...
More Answers
How common is viral lung infection?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Viral lung infections are very common. In fact, viral lung infections often begin with an infect...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.