Waking up to a bad cough and a stuffy nose always makes for a really bad day. In order to prevent things from getting any worse, it’s important to act fast.
However, your condition may not be solved by a few tablespoons of cough syrup. There are actually a number of illnesses that can cause these symptoms, which are called upper respiratory infections. Urgent Care medical walk in clinics give more diagnoses for upper respiratory infections than any other illness.
To ensure you are receiving the best medical treatment possible, a physician must first know what they’re dealing with by running blood tests or throat cultures. Here are the usual suspects that may be behind your cough:
Common cold: While it’s terribly annoying, the common cold is relatively harmless. The symptoms can include sore throat, coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and fevers. Unfortunately, there currently is no cure for the common cold, but there are plenty of medications that can at least lessen the symptoms.
Sinusitis: This is the inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining in a person’s sinuses. Typically, sinuses are filled with mostly air. In cases of sinusitis, the sinuses become clogged with fluid and bacteria leading to the infection.
Laryngitis: Inflammation of the larynx can irritate the vocal chords and lead to temporary loss of voice.
Pharyngitis: Pharyngitis is the inflammation of the pharynx, a region located towards the back of the throat. It’s essentially the original soar throat. While most cases only go as far as a scratchy throat and some coughing, pharyngitis can be a serious issue in extreme cases that cause difficulty swallowing.
Epiglottitis: Epiglottitis is likely the most dangerous type of upper respiratory infection. If gone untreated, it can even be life threatening. The epiglottis is a small piece of cartilage that covers the windpipe. When it becomes swollen, it can block air flow to the lungs.
If you start to feel that scratchy tingle at the back of your throat, you might as well see a medical physician as a precaution. It’s easier to do so than ever before, with 85% of urgent care centers open seven days a week, 95% of which are open until 7 p.m. or even later. Not to mention that 69% have a wait time of less than 20 minutes. Why risk it?