Happy New Year! January is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Unfortunately, many of us are starting 2017 in less-than-productive states – with colds or even flu-like symptoms. If your New Year’s Resolutions are getting put on hold until you recover, let us help you get through this as quickly as possible!
The first question to ask yourself is:
Do I have a viral or bacterial infection?
This is important because antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. The common cold is caused by viruses and does not respond to antibiotics. In fact, taking an antibiotic for a cold can contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
If it is a flu, then you should seek medical care within 48 hours. They will prescribe the proper medication. Tamiflu, in particular, works best within 48 hours of symptoms starting, so make sure to schedule your appointment as soon as possible!
If it’s a cold, however, it could last for 14 days or longer. But there are several home remedies you can try to ease the discomfort of the symptoms:
- Clear your head. Steam from a hot shower, a saline rinse, or a neti pot can all be used to relieve a stuffy nose. Find what works best for your symptoms!
- Stay hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of non-caffeinated liquids.
- Gargle with warm salt water. This can be done as needed to ease sore throat. Use 1 teaspoon of table salt dissolved in 8 oz. warm water. Gargle a few seconds, spit and repeat with remaining salt water.
- Get your rest. It’s important to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Rest is key when it comes to a speedy recovery.
- Stay nourished. Eat chicken soup. Include plenty of orange juice and vitamin C to help the body’s immune system decrease the duration of a cold.
- Keep your air clear. Refrain from smoking and stay away from those that do. As beautiful as a warm fire may be, wood burning stoves and fireplaces contributor to indoor air pollution.
Even with these helpful tips, there are still times when you should seek medical help. If your cold lasts longer than 14 days, or if you have a cold with a fever, persistent cough, extreme fatigue, painful sore throat and or enlarged lymph nodes, seek medical care.
If you know how to tackle sickness, you’ll be able to get back to making the most of your new year, as soon as possible!
When you have questions or need prescriptions filled, #AskDrRob at Meds Direct Pharmacy.