Source: Sheridan ENT
Winter is often called “cold and flu season,” and for good reason. Although you may be exposed to viruses and other pathogens year-round, respiratory infections seem to prefer the colder months.
While the common cold itself does not require medical attention, it can lead to complications such as ear infections or long-term sinusitis, and trigger more severe asthma attacks.
When ear, nose, and throat conditions arise this season, the Campbell County Medical Group otolaryngology clinic is standing by, ready to serve you and get you back on your feet during Wyoming’s long winters.
It’s common for a healthy adult to suffer from the common cold several times a year. Colds are caused by a variety of viruses and usually last about a week to ten days. Although the symptoms can be very uncomfortable, you are unlikely to become seriously ill from a cold. However, colds can lead to sinus and ear complications. People with nasal polyps or a deviated septum may be at risk for chronic sinusitis, a respiratory infection that is similar to a cold but never ends.
Influenza, or the flu, can be more serious than a cold, but healthy people are usually not at risk. Complications related to the flu can be serious and, in rare cases, life-threatening. In addition to sinus complications similar to the common cold, the flu can cause inflammation of the brain, heart, and muscles. People with heart disease may find that their condition is worsened or worsened by the flu virus.
One of the symptoms of a viral respiratory infection is a sore throat. However, strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection and has no respiratory symptoms. If you develop sudden, severe pain in your throat, you may have strep throat. Like colds and flu, strep throat can clear up on its own within 7-10 days, but because the sore throat is usually so severe, complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation may occur. Treatment with antibiotics can shorten the duration of the illness and the length of time you can spread the disease to others.
Pneumonia is caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection and is probably the most serious common respiratory infection. It can be a complication of a cold or flu and occurs when the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed. Infection with pathogens can overwhelm the body’s immune system, which can be serious when it occurs in young children, people over 65, or people with weakened immune systems or other health problems. Even healthy adults can sometimes have difficulty fighting off infections. Symptoms are similar to a cold or flu, but tend to last longer. In severe cases, fluid may begin to accumulate in the lungs.
At Campbell County Medical Group Otolaryngology, we are equipped with the tools and skills to help you with a variety of ear, nose, and throat conditions. Dr. Ryan Black and his team, Kyle Hunter, PA-C, and Micayla Hinds, NP, exemplify excellence every day by focusing on patient care and compassion. Please call 307.688.0110 to make an appointment.