Respiratory Conditions That Require Urgent Care

Most respiratory conditions are minor and can be treated at home. However, some conditions require urgent medical attention before they become life-threatening.

Here are two respiratory conditions that should be treated at an urgent care center.


Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that causes inflammation in the airspaces of the lungs. This condition can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Unfortunately, pneumonia can be deadly, especially for young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. The disease slowly fills the lungs with fluid, making breathing difficult.

Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, coughing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, sweating and shivering, fever, and loss of appetite. If you or your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek urgent care. The longer you wait, the more severe the symptoms will become.

Pneumonia is typically treated with antibiotics, although some viral strains do not respond to these medications. If you or your child has pneumonia, urgent care providers will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics and recommend rest and fluids. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.


Asthma is a chronic lung condition that causes the airways to constrict and swell, making it difficult to breathe. This condition can be triggered by allergies, cold air, exercise, or other respiratory infections. While asthma is not usually life-threatening, it can be very uncomfortable and may interfere with daily activities.

Asthma symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain. These symptoms can range from mild to severe. They can occur at any time without warning.

Asthma is typically treated with inhalers, which help to open the airways and make breathing easier. Inhalers can be used as needed or daily, depending on the severity of the condition. However, the inhaler can sometimes lose its effectiveness over time. In such a case, you'll need to act quickly and seek urgent care.

Urgent care providers will likely give you a nebulizer treatment, a type of machine that delivers medication directly to the lungs. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary to monitor your breathing and provide more intensive treatment. In some cases, you may also be given a course of steroids to help reduce inflammation.

Urgent care providers can prescribe a different type of inhaler or other medications to help control the condition. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and exercising regularly. You might also need to have an effective care plan in place in case of an asthma attack. A good plan will include having quick access to your inhaler and knowing when to call for help.