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Suggest treatment for respiratory tract infection

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 15028 Questions
Hi I've had a cough for a week now along with some nasal congestion. When I breathe I can feel the congestion in my chest. When I cough, it seems to loosen up the congestion then it slowly seems to build up again causing more coughing. Do I need to see a doctor for this or just wait it out?
Posted Thu, 28 Aug 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
should resolve on own

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

It is likely viral, most respiratory tract infections are viral and would resolve with symptomatic treatment.

Since you feel congested, you may want to try the use of a mucolytic agent. This means medication to break up the mucus in your nose and chest so that it can be more easily expelled.

Examples of mucolytics are mucomyst, mucotec, bisolvan, guiafenesin ( found in robotussin).
One of these can be used, they are over the counter medications.

In addition the use of a nasal decongestant, oral and/or topical may also help with the nasal congestion and coughing.
(coughing also occurs because of the nasal secretions dripping backwards down into the throat).
These would also be available over the counter.

Fluids (the help reduce thickness of secretions ) and rest are also important.

In most persons, this can last 1 to 2 weeks but rarely a cough due to viral illness can continue to 6 weeks in some persons.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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