Having a cold can make it difficult to go about your daily life comfortably. With no real treatment options available except for rest and over the counter medications, avoiding a cold this fall is the best way to ensure you’re feeling your best. Find out how to fight off the irritating symptoms of a cold and how to avoid catching one in the first place.
What Causes a Cold
A cold is a viral infection that can be caused by one of hundreds of different viruses. Viruses infect your body through direct contact. This commonly occurs by touching public areas such as door handles after someone who is infected has touched them. It can also occur through coming in contact with droplets released into the air by sick people coughing or sneezing.
Viruses are very common, and rarely lead to serious illness. Because of this, oftentimes you won’t know exactly which virus you have when you’re sick. However, there are some common symptoms which almost always indicate you may be suffering from a viral infection.
Common symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Low fever
Although urgent care can treat many different illnesses, if you develop a high fever, or have severe symptoms you should seek medical treatment in the emergency room. To learn more about the illnesses we treat, visit our general illness page on our website.
How to Avoid a Cold this Fall
Sometimes, it seems inevitable that you will catch a cold at some point during cold and flu season. If you have kids who are going to school or you’re commuting into an office, the chances for exposure to a cold causing virus increase. This being said, there are a few steps you can take to help lower the chances of catching a cold this fall.
- Regularly disinfect your home’s common touch points. This includes door handles, bathrooms, the kitchen sink - anywhere that you touch regularly. This will ensure that viruses are not living on these surfaces.
- Practice good hand-washing protocols. Washing your hands for a full 30 seconds with soap and water will kill any viruses that you have accidentally picked up.
- Be prepared on the go. Having hand sanitizer and tissues are both great ways to ensure that you are practicing good hygiene during cold and flu season. It’s the courteous thing to do, and it can help protect you and your family from illness.
- Prioritize your health. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating well and dressing appropriately for the weather. All of these things can help boost your immune system, making it easier for your body to fight off viruses.
- Be a good neighbor. If you’re sick, be sure to isolate if possible so that you don’t get anyone around you sick. Always cough and sneeze into your elbow to prevent airborne illnesses from spreading and keep your kids out of school if they’re not feeling well.
Staying healthy during cold and flu season can sometimes seem impossible. With these simple tips and tricks, avoiding a cold is a little easier. If you do experience symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Cold Diagnosis & Treatment Options at Urgent Care
Unfortunately, with temperatures dropping and the weather changing, our bodies are more prone to viral infections in the fall. Due to this, it is not uncommon for colds to circulate. Due to the mild nature of the viruses that cause colds, it is rare that medical intervention is required. Instead, your body usually can fight off the virus on its own, it will just take some time.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms such as a productive cough or swollen lymph nodes, it is always a good idea to seek medical care. Urgent care can help provide a fast diagnosis with in-house lab testing capabilities without a long wait or expensive medical bill like the emergency room. Your medical provider will be able to provide a customized care plan after your exam, including over the counter medication recommendations and instructions.
Get Cold Symptom Treatment Near Short Hills, NJ, at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills
If you’re feeling under the weather, AFC Urgent Care Short Hills is here to help. Our medical providers are able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of illnesses and can provide customized care plans without the long waits and expensive costs associated with visiting the emergency room. We accept most insurance plans, and can offer a discounted self-payment option for patients who are paying out of pocket for their care. To speak to a medical professional on our team about services that we offer, call us directly at (973) 671-5350.