You made it through the holiday season without getting sick, so surely you are good to go for 2018, right? Not necessarily.
Whether you’ve suffered a cold already this winter season or you’ve steered clear so far, chances are a cold could be just around the corner, as it is estimated that Americans experience about two colds a year between September and May. That’s why our team at AFC Urgent Care Fountain City wants to be sure you know what to do if a cold strikes.
First Things First: Is It a Cold or the Flu?
Believe it or not, there are actually about 200 different types of colds, which means you can literally have one type of cold, get rid of it and catch another. The most common type of cold is the rhinovirus, but the coronavirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are also extremely common.
It can be difficult sometimes to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu, since their symptoms can be similar. In some cases, only a doctor can truly diagnose which is which.
Symptoms of the common cold (and the flu) include:
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
If you begin running a fever or the symptoms worsen, it’s important to see a physician, since they may signal that you have the flu.
Find Relief From the Common Cold
First, talk with a doctor or pharmacist about your symptoms and what over-the-counter medications may work best. It’s important to make sure that you aren’t taking OTC meds that may interfere with other medications you take or aggravate a medical condition, like hypertension. You also want to be sure that you aren’t taking multiple medications containing the same ingredient, which can lead to dangerous complications.
Second, get plenty of rest. We know—it’s hard to make yourself sit down and relax when there’s so much on your to-do list. But when you’re sick, you need to rest. Not getting the rest you need can make your cold symptoms last longer or even worsen.
Third, stay hydrated. It can be easy to get dehydrated when you aren’t feeling at your best. But drinking plenty of fluids will help your body heal and get rid of a cold faster. In addition to drinking water, you can also eat fruits and veggies containing water (like berries, peppers and melon) or savor popsicles to help keep your fluid intake high.
Finally, consider using a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist. This will help ease congestion and even a sore throat. You may find similar relief from standing in a steamy shower.
Feel like your cold symptoms have been lingering for too long? Visit AFC Urgent Care Fountain City today so we can get you on the path back to better health!