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Respiratory Conditions

Chicago - Millennium Park Medical Associates

Internal Medicine located in The Loop & Lakeview, Chicago, IL

Does a respiratory condition have you down for the count? Turn to Millennium Park Medical Associates, with two locations in the Loop and the Lakeview neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois, for diagnosis and treatment of respiratory conditions. From the common cold to pneumonia, the practice, led by Farah Khan, MD, FACP, can help you get back on your feet. To book a visit, call or fill out the online scheduling tool today.

Respiratory Conditions Q & A

What are respiratory conditions?

Respiratory conditions are chronic illnesses, like asthma, and acute illnesses, like the flu, that affect your respiratory system, or the mechanism through which you breathe, bringing in oxygen for the lungs, and releasing carbon dioxide from the body.

The respiratory system divides into two main groups, the upper respiratory system and the lower respiratory system.

The upper respiratory system consists of the:

Nose and nasal cavity

The inside of your nose, or nasal cavity, is lined with little hairs called cilia and a sticky mucous membrane. The mucus membrane captures dust particles, and the cilia transport those dust particles toward the outer edge of your nose, so you can sneeze or blow them out.

Sinuses

Your sinuses are air-filled cavities that radiate out from your nose and help lighten the weight of your skull.

Pharynx

Your pharynx hides behind your mouth and nasal cavity. It allows air and food to pass into your body, and impacts speech.

Larynx

Your larynx, or voicebox, connects your throat to the windpipe, so that you can speak and sing. 

The lower respiratory system consists of the:

Trachea

The trachea, also called the windpipe, is a tube made of cartilage rings that connects the larynx to the lungs. 

Stem bronchi

The stem bronchi branch off into progressively smaller bronchi branches and deliver air from the trachea to the lungs.

Lungs

The lungs allow oxygen to be taken into our bodies and carbon dioxide out of them.

Alveoli

These tiny sacs live inside the lungs and take in air and diffuse oxygen into the bloodstream. 

What are the symptoms of respiratory infections?

Respiratory infections symptoms vary depending on their type and location. Many upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold, mild influenza, or sinusitis, share overlapping symptoms, such as:

  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Nasal congestion and/or discharge
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Muscle aches

Lower respiratory infections, like bronchitis or pneumonia, are generally more serious and often cause symptoms like:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing that produces phlegm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills, sweating, and/or fever
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting, nausea, and/or diarrhea
  • Fever 

Infections like these typically come from exposure to bacteria, a virus, or fungi. 

When should I go to the doctor for my respiratory condition?

Sometimes you can’t manage your respiratory condition on your own and need to go to the doctor. As a rule, book an appointment if you have:

  • Severe or worsening symptoms
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Chills and a fever above 103℉
  • Symptoms last longer than two weeks

At your appointment, Dr. Khan assesses your symptoms, and runs tests at the practice’s in-house lab. She gets test results before your appointment is over, and sends you home with any necessary prescriptions the same day.

Respiratory conditions are tricky and can often present confusing symptoms. Take the guesswork out of your illness and get back on your feet by booking an appointment at Millennium Park Medical Associates online or over the phone today.