The common cold and flu are a collection of respiratory viral infections that lead to familiar symptoms such as congestion, fever, muscle and body aches, sore throat, weakness, and nausea.There is a different type of stomach flu that you can experience if you also experience severe nausea and vomiting.There is no cure for these viruses and you have to wait for your immune system to beat them.As your immune system does its job, you can still help relieve and reduce symptoms.
Step 1: OTC medication can be taken over the counter.
Advil and Motrin will help bring down your temperature.Bringing your temperature down a degree or two will make you feel better.Pain related to sore throat and muscle ache from the cold or flu can be alleviated with these medications.Ibuprofen and acetaminophen should always be used in children.Reye’s syndrome can be caused by aspirin.
Step 2: Take a cold remedy.
If you have a cold or flu, you can take an OTC decongestant.Extra medicine for cough and congestion is included in many OTC fever reducers.Do not combine or take any medicine longer than directed.saline drops and sprays are a better option for young children since they are just salt water, if you prefer to stay away from a medication.Always use what you’re told.
Step 3: Gargle with warm water.
gargling with warm salt water is an easy way to soothe a sore throat.gargle for thirty seconds if you put a small amount of the solution at the back of your throat.It’s safe to repeat as needed.Don’t drink salt water since it’s not safe.If using this method with a child, make sure he or she can gargle.
Step 4: Hydrate.
It helps if you drink a lot of water.If your flu symptoms include vomiting, you should drink plenty of liquids to thin the congestion-causing mucus, soothe your sore throat, and prevent dehydration.If you have a stomach flu, replace lost electrolytes by drinking water and sports drinks.For young children, use specific fluid and electrolyte replacement options instead of sports drinks.If you have a cold, you can drink juice and clear soup.Women should aim to drink nine cups of water a day.
Step 5: It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol and caffeine.
If you are sick, you should not drink or consume alcohol.These fluids can make dehydration worse, because they are both diuretics.
Step 6: Get some rest.
The common cold and the flu are caused by viruses.One of the best ways to help your immune system is to get lots of rest.Take time off from school or work to stay home and get more sleep.
Step 7: Take a hot shower.
A humid environment can help to thin and break up mucus, relieve congestion and soothe a sore throat.Take a nice hot shower to take advantage of the natural decongestant option.
Step 8: It’s a good idea to use a vaporizer or humidifier.
Adding humidity to the air around you at home can be accomplished by using a vaporizer.Similar to a shower can, this will help reduce congestion.If you choose a cool mist setting, make sure that you clean the apparatus daily since it can potentially breed mold and make your symptoms worse.
Step 9: Take OTC throat sprays.
You can reduce cough and sore throat symptoms by taking OTC lozenges or throat sprays.These products are safe to use in conjunction with other cold and flu medicines, and they can help relieve the sore throat irritation that causes coughing.
Step 10: Smoking and throat irritations can be avoided.
Smoking can cause many health problems and prolong cold symptoms because the smoke will irritate your throat.Secondhand smoke, fumes, air pollution, and other throat irritants should be reduced in addition to avoiding smoking.
Step 11: You should monitor your temperature.
Children should see a doctor if they have a high temperature.Both adults and children should see a doctor if they have a high temperature for more than three days.
Step 12: Keep an eye on your fluid intake.
If you have symptoms of the stomach flu, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.Dehydration and the loss of vitamins and minerals is a serious problem.Additional steps can be taken by the hospital to keep you hydrated.
Step 13: Look for a bluish color on your child’s skin.
Keep an eye out for a bluish pallor to the child’s skin if you have a young child with flu symptoms.A drop in oxygen levels is a sign that the child is having difficulty breathing.If your child shows this symptom, seek immediate medical attention.
Step 14: You should note the duration of your sickness.
The majority of people recover from a cold or flu in about two weeks.If your symptoms don’t improve for ten days, then you should see a doctor.This may indicate a different cause to your symptoms, or your doctor may have to prescribe medication to help your immune system fight the infection.
Step 15: If you have trouble breathing, note it.
If you have trouble breathing, you should contact your doctor.These symptoms can be an indication that the cold or flu has led to a worse infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis, which will require intervention from your doctor to help you get over the symptoms.
Step 16: Take note of earaches or ear drainage.
If the cold or flu causes an earache or ear drainage, you should see a doctor.This is a sign that you need a prescription for antibiotics.
Step 17: If you experience an altered mental state, see your doctor.
You should see your doctor if you have any confusion, disorientation, or other altered mental state.This can be a problem due to your flu symptoms.
Step 18: There is a vaccine for the flu.
An annual flu vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent a flu infection.The yearly vaccine protects you against several different strains of the flu.You can get a flu vaccine at your doctor’s office.Flu vaccines don’t protect against the common cold, but they do reduce your risk of infections.
Step 19: You should wash your hands frequently.
The best way to kill cold and flu germs is to wash your hands frequently.If you are sick, it will help you not to spread the virus and you will be less likely to contract it.
Step 20: Don’t share cups or utensils.
The cold and flu virus can be transmitted by items that directly contact your mouth.Sharing these items with a sick person is a sure way to get sick.Sharing sick people with others will decrease their chances of getting sick.Cleaning toys, pacifiers, and similar items is important for young children since they end up in the child’s mouth.
Step 21: When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth.
People who cough and sneeze can transmit the virus into the air.It is one of the most common ways that people contract cold and flu.If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth.Experts recommend covering your mouth with a sleeve or elbow.If you must use your hands, wash them with warm soapy water.
Step 22: Take vitamins C and B.
Studies show that taking vitamins C and D doesn’t have a big effect on the virus.It is possible to shorten the duration of your illness if you take vitamins C before the cold or flu season starts.Staying up on your vitamins may help reduce the length of time you are sick.
Step 23: Take the medication.
If you must be around a person with the flu, you can take a medication that reduces your risk of infections.The drugs can reduce your risk between 70 and 90 percent.The drugs come in a variety of forms and require a prescription.There are a number of options, including oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and rimantadine (Flumadine).