Respiratory Therapist/URI


Hello Sir,

30 y/o male, occasional smoker(5 Cigs a Month if that). 3 weeks ago, I came down with a Repiratory Infection. I was coughing up Green/Yellow sputum,Fever, Body Aches, NO BUENO. After Chest X-ray and flu swab was negative, was put on Augmentin 875 MG for 10 days, Mucinex D and a Abuterol Inhaler. Fast forward to today, The Fever has been gone, green/yellow stuff is gone(Except In the mornings when I wake up, I cough it up along with some Blood traces in it). I still have a cough and it still feels like my chest is rattling. Nose is still running and I notice I sneeze more. Went in for a follow up 2 days ago. They took another chest x-ray which was negative again(Said my lungs where clear, but I feel my chest rattle when I breathe at times. Plus the blood in my sputum scared the crap out of me, but I think it might be due to throat irritation since it dont happen but in the mornings mostly). Was given a Z-pack and sent on my way.

Now to my question. How long do Respiratoy infections last? I had mines for 20 days now. Also, what else can I do so I can start breathing better and not having to cough every 2 seconds? Thank you for all your help

Hi Richard,

There is no reliable way to predict how quickly a Respiratory infection will run its course, as we all heal and respond to illnesses differently. Based on your symptoms, it almost sounds more like bronchitis, which is when you have junk in your upper airways moreso that in your lungs. Drink a lot of water and pure fruit juice (helps you stay hydrated and makes mucus thinner and easier to clear up), rest and sleep when you can, take a good multi-vitamin made for young men and hang in there. Late Winter is a rough time for these little buggers because of the seasons trying to change, the climate playing games with us, etc.

Larry, RRT  

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators ("Respirators") - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

Past/Present Clients
Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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