20 Signs You Have a Respiratory Infection

No one likes having a cold. You know why: the intense pressure in the head, the sinus congestion that feels unending and then there’s the coughing…the seemingly unceasing coughing. Unless the symptoms hit like a ton of bricks though, it’s not always obvious whether your symptoms are due to allergies or sinusitis, or if it’s actually an upper respiratory infection (URI), also known as the common cold.

Signs You Have an Upper Respiratory Infection

There are many signs or symptoms of the common cold or an upper respiratory infection. It is not necessary to have all of them for a cold to be present, but the following symptoms are the most common ones:

  • Bad Breath
  • Body Aches
  • Burning Eyes
  • Coughing
  • Discomfort of the Nasal Passageways
  • Excessive Mucus
  • Eye Irritation
  • Fever (may or may not be present – is more common with children, and tends to reflect a flu, rather than a cold)
  • Headaches
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Loss of Sense of Smell
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Pain in the Face
  • Pressure in the Face
  • Redness in the Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Scratchy Throat
  • Sneezing
  • Sore Throat
  • Swelling of the Nasal Passageways

Why You Should Stop Demanding Antibiotic Prescriptions from Your Doctor

While many doctors still hand out prescriptions for antibiotics like they are candy, they do NOT work against the common cold, which are usually viral in nature. Antibiotics, like the name suggests (anti-bacteria) only work against bacterial infections, not those with a viral origin.

So before you visit your doctor demanding a prescription for your cold you may want to consider that

  1. It will be a waste of your time
  2. It will be a waste of your money
  3. It won’t end your misery
  4. It will contribute to the growing number of superbugs that have become antibiotic-resistant largely due to the over-prescription of antibiotics. These superbugs are leading to infections that can cause serious health problems and even death so it is best not to contribute to the serious problem we are now facing.

According to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, there are over 200 viruses that can cause upper respiratory infections. According to the same organization, it is estimated that in any year-long period, Americans collectively suffer around 1 billion colds. A group of viruses called rhinoviruses are largely to blame for colds.

The average adult has between 2 and 4 colds per year while children get 6 to 8 colds annually, or more if they attend daycare.

What Happens When You Catch a Cold

Once the virus enters your body either from droplets in the air or direct contact with someone who is infected, your immune system immediately goes to work, attacking it. The immune system’s response results in an increase in mucus production causing a runny nose, swelling of the nose and nasal passageways causing congestion, irritation in the nose that causes sneezing, and an increased amount of mucus that drips down the throat and causes coughing. Symptoms usually begin within 1 to 3 days after contact with the virus.

How to Ease Your Suffering

Drink lots of fluids.

Get plenty of bed rest to allow your immune system to function optimally.

Take extra vitamin C (at least 500 milligrams, 3 times daily).

Use elderberry syrup to help with sore throats. Follow package directions or make your own.

Take oregano essential oil to help boost your immune system.

Avoid dairy products since they add to the mucus in your body.

While we may come in contact with colds, that doesn’t mean we have to excessively suffer. By adding a few natural remedies and ensuring adequate fluid and rest we can greatly reduce the amount or duration of suffering.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Cancer-Proof: All Natural Solutions for Cancer Prevention and HealingFollow her work.



Thomas M
Thomas M1 months ago

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Caitlin L2 months ago

thank you

Daniel N
Past Member 2 months ago

thank you for sharing

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Jack Y2 months ago


Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago


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John J2 months ago

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John J2 months ago

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Mely Lu3 months ago

Thank you for sharing