What Are the Common Symptoms of a Respiratory Infection

Respiratory Infection

What Are the Common Symptoms of a Respiratory Infection?

A respiratory infection is any infection that affects the lungs, airways, or other parts of the respiratory system, such as the nose and throat. Anyone can get a respiratory illness; however, it is more common in infants, children, and people with weakened immune systems.

Many of these infections are caused by viruses but can also be caused by bacteria, fungi, or airborne allergens. Knowing the signs of respiratory disease is a must, so you can take steps to treat and prevent it. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:

1. Coughing

The most common symptom of a respiratory infection is a productive or unproductive cough. A productive cough means that mucus or phlegm is being expelled from the lungs when you cough. An unproductive cough is when there is no mucus present. A dry cough may also be present, which usually indicates irritation in the airways. It can be caused by allergies or a sign of a more severe condition, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

2. Shortness of Breath

Another symptom of a respiratory infection is shortness of breath. This is often accompanied by tightness or pain in the chest. It can be very uncomfortable and make it difficult to breathe. Shortness of breath can indicate something more serious, like pneumonia or a pulmonary embolism. Pay close attention to this sign and seek medical attention if it persists or worsens.

3. Wheezing

Wheezing happens when you breathe due to a narrowing of the airways. It often indicates inflammation, irritation, or an obstruction in the lungs. Many respiratory infections cause wheezing, which can indicate asthma or COPD. See a doctor immediately if you experience wheezing while having other respiratory symptoms.

4. Fever and Chills

When you have a fever and chills, it indicates that your body is dealing with an infection. You may experience a high fever, indicating that the illness is more serious. You may also have chills that vary in intensity along with the fever. If you have a fever with chills that last for more than a couple of days, it is best to seek the advice of a doctor at once.

5. Fatigue

If you’re tired and have difficulty doing your usual activities, it could be a sign of a more serious health problem. This could be due to a respiratory illness that is causing extreme fatigue. Get medical help to make sure you’re not dealing with something serious.

6. Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion is a tell-tale sign of a respiratory infection. This is when your nose is stuffy, inflamed, or runny. It can be uncomfortable and lead to other symptoms such as headaches, sore throat, or earache. Nasal congestion can also be considered a sign of an allergy if it persists or worsens over time.

7. Trouble Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

If you have difficulty sleeping due to a respiratory infection, it’s time to talk to your physician. Not being able to sleep soundly can be quite irritating, and the inability to breathe properly can make it harder to drift off or remain asleep.


These are just some of the common symptoms of a respiratory infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a medical professional for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Early treatment is key for respiratory infections and can help prevent complications.

Morristown HC is dedicated to helping you get the best possible care for your respiratory infection. We offer a range of treatments and therapies to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life. For inquiries, contact our 24-hour nursing care facility in Morristown, NJ.