Coughs and colds are bothersome ailments that have affected all of us at one time or another. These nuscenses are created by viruses in the body. Your doctor can diagnose a common cold based on your symptoms. In some cases, an X-Ray may be used to determine if there are any infections that need to be addressed.
Cold symptoms vary widely from patient to patient, however, commonly these consist of:
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Mild fever
- Runny nose or stuffy nose
- Mild body aches
You may need to see your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after about a week. If you begin to experience sinus pain, a high fever, a deep cough resulting in colored phlegm, or difficulty breathing, it is important to make an appointment to see you doctor. These could indicate a worsening condition.
Though coughs and colds must “simply run their course,” there are ways that we can help alleviate symptoms and help you to feel better quicker. Because they are caused by a virus and not bacteria, antibiotics are of no help. Treatments are aimed at managing and alleviating symptoms. These can include but are not limited to:
Pain Relievers: anti-inflammatories with acetaminophen are commonly used to reduce fever, headaches and swelling in the sinuses.
Cough suppressants: cough and cold medications can be given to patients over the age of 4 years old.
Decongestants: decongestant nasal sprays are available to adult patients to assist in breaking up mucus build up in the nasal cavity.
If left unchecked, both coughs and colds can lead to more severe conditions including bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infection, and strep throat. Flu and cold symptoms are very similar to one another, therefore it is extremely important to monitor your symptoms closely and keep track of their length and severity.
Some things you can do at home to help combat these ailments are:
Drink plenty of water- hydration is key. Broth, water, juices, and lemon water are all good choices
Consume warm liquids- mild temperature liquids like soups or broths are a great way to get nourishment while also healing the throat and body. Hot liquids are shown to promote nasal drainage, break up congestion, and make breathing a little easier.
Get plenty of sleep- rest is essential in allowing the body to naturally fight the virus. Also, staying in reduces the risk of spreading germs to others.
Adjust room temperature- a warm environment is best for fighting off illness. Having a vaporizer or humidifier to create a bit of moisture in the air can be helpful in breaking up congestion.
Sometimes the chicken soup just won’t cut it! If you have been suffering from your symptoms for more than a week and none of the home remedies seem to be taking effect, reach out to our highly trained medical team for help. We can assess your situation and help determine the best course of action to treat your symptoms.
For more information on coughs and colds or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (602) 362-2983!