Dealing with Cold and Flu

Sep 20 , 2017



Dealing with Cold and Flu

Having a cold or flu is a common and routine complication, and almost everybody gets it sometime or the other, young or old, healthy or not so healthy.

We know we have flu and cold when we get up in the morning feeling groggy, energy-less, with nose blocked, throat hurting and having a headache. There may be slight fever to start with and if not treated becomes unbearable as the day progresses. This sickness takes its time to become better and mostly gets okay after 3-5 days and medicines mostly help in easing the symptoms only.

Most often, when we get a cold or allergy, the membranes and lining of our nasal passages become inflamed and irritated. They begin to make more mucus pulp to flush out whatever irritates, such as an allergen or a contracted virus.

Nose blocks and sinus have many causes like colds, flu, and allergies to name a few. Whatever your triggers are, the symptoms are generally standard.

Watery eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing are some other traits this infection has.

So the symptoms of cold sinus and flu are broadly categorized as below:

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

  • Headache

  • Stuffy nose

  • Mucus buildup

  • Sneezing

  • Fatigue

  • Swollen sinuses

  • Fever

As common cold is a virus, antibiotics do not help in this situation. However, over-the-counter medications may give temporary relief with the symptoms for some time. Also, they have to be repeated for constant comfort. On the other hand, Ayurvedic preparations, are proven to show much better relief in the symptoms as compared to the allopathic versions and are mostly harmless, as the ingredients are majorly herbs & with almost no side effects. Ayurvedic medicines are enriched with scientifically selected, validated botanical extracts and micronutrients. They put the immune system in top-notch form to fight off viruses & other infections, and fasten recovery. We will review this relief version in the latter part of the article.

The remedies you choose should be aimed at specific symptoms. Viruses cause the common cold, including chest and head cold, and flu. Flu symptoms are also similar however may include high fever, heavy head, and muscle pain. Book an appointment with a doctor who may start you on antiviral medications. You may also have a hard time falling asleep at night because you can’t breathe through your nose.

Therefore before sleeping sinus irrigation (Steam Inhaler) is of great help and may assist you to sleep better.

Let us review Sinus infection and its remedies to combat the symptoms:

Sinus Infection

When our nose is blocked, and the air passage is minimal, viruses and other infections enter the system, and due to a congenial breeding ground due to cold, sinus prospers.

Colds are not the cause sinus infections generally, but they do contribute to a fertile ground for sinus infections.

Since we tend to touch our nose a lot when we're sick,  each time we bring in more bacteria to the sinuses and since our sinuses cannot drain, the bacteria stay there and grow.

Sinus Symptoms:

  • Discharge of mucus or a runny nose is a common symptom of Sinus that lasts for more than three to four days.

  • A terrible headache

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Bad breath

  • Thick yellow/green mucus draining from your nose or down the back of your throat.

  • Fatigue

  • Decreased sense of smell

Sinus remedies:

Mostly this acute infection goes away on its own or after a simple course of antibiotics. However,  for immediate relief of the symptoms, we recommend steam inhalation. It can help reduce symptoms while you wait for the antibiotics to do their job.  The relief can put our system into an ease mode, and this, in turn, makes the healing process work better and faster.Decongestants and over-the-counter mucus thinners can also reduce our discomfort to some extent.

It is now imperative to know the difference between a flu and common cold symptoms. A cold is a temperate respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel sick for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations in case not treated at once.

Cold symptoms:

Almost similar as Sinus cold symptoms are a runny nose,  Fever congestion in the nasal passage and sore throat along with fever are common in adults Children are more likely to have a fever to start with.

Several different viruses may cause us cold symptoms.

Cold symptoms usually last for about four to five days. During the first two days that you have cold symptoms, you are contagious. This means you can transfer the virus to other family member or friend so stay home isolated if possible and get some much-needed rest and sleep.

A cold subsides within a week, however, if it still does not show any improvement, we may be having a bacterial infection, which implies that we may need antibiotics now.

Sometimes we mix up between cold symptoms for allergic rhinitis or a sinus infection. Cold symptoms begin quickly and improve within a week. However, allergy and flu continue to remain and trouble for more time.

Flu Symptoms:

Flu has symptoms which are generally more severe than cold ones. Symptoms of flu include a painful and sore throat, fever, heavy head, body aches, congestion, and dry cough.

Flu symptoms slowly improve over two to five days. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia, particularly in the too young,  too elderly, or people with weak lung problems. If you notice shortness of breath, the doctor has to be informed. Another common sign of pneumonia is a fever that keeps coming back after two to three days of gone and settled.

As it happens in cold viruses, flu viruses also enter our body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. Everytime we touch our hand to one of these areas, we could be infecting ourselves with the virus which means that it is imperative to keep our hands germ-free with frequent washing to let both flu and cold stay away from us.

 Symptoms of  common cold and flu:

Uninterrupted fever: A fever that persists for more than three days can be an alarm of various bacterial contamination that should be worked on.

Painful swallowing: when the throat is sore food that we consume gives an acute pain in swallowing, and it becomes difficult to have a solid diet. Therefore it is advisable to switch to liquids till throat recovered.

Constant coughing: If a cough persists even after two or three weeks, it may be bronchitis, which will surely need an antibiotic to recover. Also, asthma is another condition caused by persistent coughing.

Continual congestion and headaches: As we know and have discussed above, colds and allergies cause congestion and blockage of the sinus path, hence leading to (sinusitis). If we feel pain around the eyes and face with thick nasal discharge after a week, we may have got a bacterial infection and possibly need an antibiotic. Most sinus infections, however, do not need an antibiotic.

In few cases, we may need to get emergency medical attention. In adults, signs of a crisis include:

  • Severe chest pain

  • Severe headache

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Persistent vomiting

Prevention of flu and cold symptoms

Now let's discuss some reasons that help us in keeping this infection away:

1. Washing our Hands:

Soap your hands very often and scrub them well. It's an important way to lower your chances of getting a cold or flu. We pick up germs on our fingers majorly and can transmit them in our mouth or eyes. Many viruses spread that way. The most significant hindrance measure for preventing colds and flu is frequent hand washing.  Proper hand washing means rubbing our hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds with a constant yet slow movement of all the five fingers of one hand to the five fingers of the other .finally placing both the hands under running water to clean the soap. And voila we are clean on hands for now. This can be repeated every now and then as required.

2.  Flu Shots:

Do not underestimate the power of this disease; You may be in bed for many days. The flu can even be hazardous, especially for very young children,  or very old adults, or pregnant women. One small prick may pay off for you and your family in the long run for prevention of flu and the common cold. Now this vaccine is available in India and doctors are already giving this inoculation to patients.

3. Get Prepared:

Make sure you have the provisions you need to fight germs. Stock medicines like pain relievers or decongestants in ample. Not to forget tissues, soap, and hand sanitizer for basic hygiene. It is important that the thermometer works.  Buy lots of fluids, herbal tea, and simple comfort foods like chicken/Vegetable soup.Watching some television or reading a book for some time may give relief to the otherwise active and troubled mind.

4. Get the correct Medicine

There is a vast choice of remedies; You can choose from. Medications which have a combination of symptoms and pain relief ingredient along with helping decongestion, and a pain relief, can be conveniently taken. However, they might not be our best solution if we don’t have all of the symptoms they treat.  

5. Skip the Antibiotics

Cold and flu are usually caused by Viruses. Antibiotics only show results with bacterial infections. Hence they won’t help us to feel better. And if we use them when we don’t need them, dangerous germs that are resistant to drugs can breed.

6. Stay at Home

Call in sick at work and relax. Pushing yourself to work instead of rest, may make the recovery much harder. Your cold could last longer, and you could also spread germs to other people.

7. Throwaways to eliminate Germs

When a family member is sick, switch to disposable products in your bathroom until they get better. It's an easy way to stop the spread of germs among family members. Replace cloth hand towels with paper ones, and bring in paper or plastic cups.

Also, consumption of vitamin C may aid the reduction of duration the cold lasts.  

8. Use of Extra Fluids

Liquids will contribute to dilate the mucus, drain your sinuses, and ease a stuffy nose. Water,  vegetable /chicken broth, and fruit-based drinks are healthy choices. Alcohol should be completely avoided. Hot drinks like normal and herbal tea will also warm our airways, helping relieve congestion.

If sick children don't drink enough, offer them lollypop Or let them drink fluids with a spoon or straw.

It is a known fact that allopathic medicines and drugs may give momentary relief and the infection may come back again. However, the Ayurvedic preparations available from well-known pharmacies is a perfect option to go for as these may provide

a permanent cure from the infection along with reducing the symptoms drastically.

9. Natural Treatments

We may try a spoonful of honey mixed with ginger juice to soothe our cough.This can be taken three to four times a day and may work as well as a chemist shop cough syrup.

Also one of the most efficient remedies for cold and flu is Fifatrol tablet. This is a natural formulation from the house of Aimil Pharmaceuticals, enriched with scientifically selected, accepted and approved botanical extracts & micro-nutrients. Fifatrol is a natural, powerful remedy for providing fast relief from cold and flu, nasal congestion, sore throat, body ache & headache. Fifatrol provides multi symptomatic relief.

It may act as a natural antibiotic to normalize the body temperature and boosts the body's defense system. Fights Fever, Infection, Flu, and Headache, naturally.

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