Now that cold and flu season is here, it's important to protect your health. One of the things you need to know is that the cold and the flu are two very different illnesses. While they'll both make you feel miserable, the cold is a relatively minor illness. However, the flu can be downright devastating. Here are three things you need to know about the common cold and the flu.
What's the Difference?
When it comes to cold and flu season, it's very important that you know the difference between the two illnesses. As stated earlier, colds are relatively minor illnesses. If you get a cold, you may feel miserable for a few days. You'll develop a runny nose, and suffer from bouts of uncontrollable sneezing. You might even suffer from a minor cough associated with post-nasal drip. However, if you come down with the flu, you'll know you're sick. The symptoms will come on very quickly. The flu comes complete with a sore throat, high fever, and chills. As the illness progresses, you may develop more serious complications such as pneumonia and bacterial infections.
How Do You Treat Them?
If you've got a cold, you can treat it with rest, plenty of fluids and over-the-counter pain medication for the aches and pains. With rest, your cold symptoms should go away in just a couple of days. However, if you have the flu, you'll need to see your doctor as soon as you develop symptoms. Your doctor may be able to provide you with medication that will reduce the symptoms and help you feel better quicker. Once you've visited the doctor, you should stay home until you're no longer experiencing symptoms. That way you won't expose anyone else to the flu.
What Are the Warning Signs?
When you have a cold, there shouldn't be any warning signs to worry about. In most cases, it will pass within a day or two, without medical intervention. With the flu, you'll need to monitor yourself for more serious symptoms. The warning signs you should watch for include severe weakness, difficulty breathing, uncontrollable coughing, and chest pain. You should also seek emergency medical care if you develop a fever that's accompanied by a rash.
Cold and flu season is never fun, especially if you end up getting sick. To protect yourself against the flu, you should get a flu shot as soon as possible. Be sure to contact your doctor or a flu services professional if you develop any of the symptoms associated with the flu.