Colds and Flu
Everyone gets them, you know the symptoms:
Headache & body aches
What you can do to relieve your symptoms:
- Drink plenty of liquids
- Get some extra rest
- Take aspirin or acetaminophen for fever, aches and pains. But -- don't give aspirin to children.
- Combat stuffiness by using a humidifier in your bedroom and by taking hot showers.
- Avoid cold medicines that treat everything at once. Treat a stuffy nose with a decongestant, coughing with a cough medicine and so forth.
- Do NOT use nasal decongestant sprays for more than 3 days. Continued use can cause yur nose to get more congested.
Try these home remedies:
- Make your own nose drops to relieve congestion. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of lukewarm water. Discard after 3 days.
- Gargle lukewarm saltwater to relieve sore throat.
- Enjoy as much steaming hot tea, chicken broth or hot water as you like. The steam helps poisturize your nasal pasages.
Visit the Etter Health Clinic (or see your doctor) if you have:
- a persistent or high fever.
- swollen glands in the neck.
- a whitish coating on your tonsils or throat.
- any nasal discharge that becomes colored -- yelow, greenish, etc.
- after 5 days of a cold or remains colored after 7 to 10 days.
- persistent earache, cough, or sinus pain.
- symptoms that get better, then take a turn for the worse.
- severe headache with stiff neck, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
- any cold or flu that lasts > two weeks.
- a skin rash.
Preventing Colds and Flu
Colds and flu are not caused by getting cold or wet; they are caused by one of 200 different viruses. People get more colds during cold weather simply because they are indoors more and in closer contact with other people and their germs. To reduce your chances of getting, or spreading, colds and flu:
- Wash your hands often if you're around other people and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Eat and sleep well and get plenty of exercise to keep up your resistance.
- Get a flu shot in the fall, especially if you:
- are over 65
- have chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma
- are a healthcare worker who has frequent contact with patients