Treatments for Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)

The treatment and management of colds and influenza mainly involves relieving your symptoms, though they ordinarily resolve on their own. If you have a chronic health condition, a cold or influenza can worsen whatever condition you have, particularly diabetes and chronic heart and lung diseases. Occasionally viral upper respiratory infections develop into complications like ear or sinus infections or pneumonia . The goals of treatment are threefold:

  • Make yourself comfortable while the illness runs its course.
  • Manage other conditions so they do not worsen during upper respiratory infection.
  • Prevent complications from developing.
Treatment involves the following:Lifestyle changesMedicationsAlternative and complementary therapiesThere are no surgical procedures for the treatment of colds and influenza.

References

Beers MH, Berkow R. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy . 17th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons; 1999.

Fauci AS, Braunwald E, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.

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