Online Care by Board Certified,
American Trained Primary Care Physicians

What we treat

Upper Respiratory Infection and mild Wheezing


A cold is an extremely common infection of the nose and upper airways that can be caused by many different types of viruses. Due to the extensive number of strains, it is impossible to develop immunity against every type of common cold. Adults typically experience two to four colds per year, whereas a young child suffers from three to eight. Colds come back (recur) as there is no one virus that causes them.


The common symptoms of a cold are nasal congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing. You will likely experience mucus discharge, which becomes yellow or green after two to three days. Due to a blocked nose, you may have some sleep difficulty. Overall, you may feel tired and experience a mild fever. 


These symptoms tend to clear gradually, although they are at their worst two to three days after exposure. Once your infection is gone, a cough may persist due to inflammation in the airways, which takes a while to settle. The cough may continue until up to two or three weeks after other symptoms have cleared.


Unfortunately, there is no cure to the common cold. There are some over-the-counter medications you can take, but antibiotics will not help. Plenty of rest and fluids are important for your body to fight off this virus, and sometimes taking Vitamin C can help you feel better. Generally, you should start feeling better within seven to ten days. 


Wheezing is separate from a cough. When you exhale, a high pitched whistling sound is emitted due to narrow airways and/or inflammation. Wheezing can be a symptom of something more serious, and should be treated more seriously than a cold, particularly if you do not have a cold at the same time as you are wheezing. Seek professional care if you are wheezing while you have a fever, as this may be a symptom of pneumonia. Additionally, if you are having severe difficulty breathing, get medical care immediately. If you are coughing up phlegm that is pink or white, this could be a sign of heart failure, meaning you should get emergency care right away. Greenish or grey phlegm could be a symptom of bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD, so you should see a doctor if this persists.


Infections of the larynx (throat), or the trachea (the main airway), or bronchi (the airways going into the lungs) are also common. These infections are sometimes called laryngitis, tracheitis, or bronchitis. Doctors often just use the term upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) to include any, or all, of these infections. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, mucus production, coughing, fatigue, and chest discomfort. In other upper respiratory infections, a cough is usually the main symptom. Other symptoms include fever, headache, aches and pains.





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