What Are UTIs and URIs?
At MedNorth Urgent Care, we treat a range of infections and more that can make it difficult to do everyday things and even may harm the body. Two of the more common issues we treat in men, women, and children are upper respiratory infections (URI) and urinary tract infections (UTI). URIs take a toll on a person's upper airway, which contains the sinuses, nasal passages, throat, and other structures that help us breathe. When they get infected, however, URIs can develop usually in the form of a cold. UTIs form when the urinary tract gets infected. Most people think of a UTI as a bladder infection when really a bladder infection is only one type of UTI that can form. Our team of medical professionals offers effective diagnosis and treatment for both URIs and UTIs at our Kalispell, MT office.
How are UTIs and URIs Treated?
When you notice the signs of an upper respiratory infection (mucus, sore throat, sneezing, fever, watery eyes, congestion) or a UTI (pain in the side or pelvic area, frequent need to urinate, discolored urine, strong-smelling urine, painful urination), you should seek out medical care to help relieve your discomfort.
A urinalysis can help us look for bacteria, nitrates, and blood cells in the urine, which can help us diagnose a UTI. From there, we can create a treatment plan based on the type and severity of your UTI. In many cases, an antibiotic can be prescribed to flush out the infection.
For URIs, we will typically perform a physical exam, throat swab, or something else, depending on your particular symptoms. Based on our findings, we can treat you accordingly, typically with an antibiotic.
URI and UTI FAQ
What are some examples of an upper respiratory infection (URI)?
- Sinus infections (sinusitis)
- Sore throat (pharyngitis)
- Common cold
How long does a URI usually last?
Most upper respiratory infections last about a week or two and typically go away on their own. If you are experiencing symptoms of a URI that last longer than two weeks, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with a physician. If you experience difficulty breathing, a high fever (more than 103 F), dizziness, loss of consciousness, wheezing, or frequent severe coughing, you should seek immediate medical help.
When should I see a doctor for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?
It is typically recommended that you see a doctor for a UTI that is recurring (three or more occurrences in a year), is accompanied by a fever and/or vomiting, or you experience continuing symptoms after two days of taking antibiotics.
Are UTIs common?
Yes, they are. However, women are more susceptible to UTIs than men because of their shorter urethra. Some studies have shown that as many as half of women will develop a UTI at some time in their life.
What are some risks of developing a UTI?
- Genetics (family history)
- Low estrogen levels
- Suppressed immune system
- Sexual intercourse
Treat URIs and UTIs
At MedNorth Urgent Care, Drs. Shane Hill and Scott Rundle work with men, women, and children who have upper respiratory and urinary tract infections on a daily basis. These infections can cause a wide range of symptoms that can leave you feeling ill, uncomfortable, and in some cases, in pain. Generally, UTIs and URIs should be treated with antibiotics to flush out the infection. If you think you or a loved one have a urinary tract infection, like a bladder infection, or an upper respiratory infection, like a cold, visit our Kalispell, MT clinic today.