20 Feb Cold & Flu Season Advice
Forget Winter, this time of year has undeniably become cold and flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult can expect to contract between two to three colds each year. Skipping an annual flu vaccine puts you at risk for a nasty bout of the flu, as well.
2018 has been an exceptionally rough season for the flu virus, as seemingly everyone has contracted it or shared a home with someone who has. There are times when a cold or the flu are unavoidable and shake out to bad luck, but there are several ways you can minimize your risk of catching either.
What is the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?
The flu and the common cold do share several similar symptoms and it can be extremely difficult to spot the differences going on symptoms alone. Both are respiratory illnesses; however, they are each caused by different viruses.
Typically, the flu is much worse than the average cold with more intense and harmful symptoms. In general, colds are milder than the flu. Cold sufferers will likely have a stuffy and/or runny nose, but rarely results in serious health problems that can lead to hospitalization. The flu virus can often lead to very serious health complications.
Symptoms of a Cold
In most cases, the general symptoms of the common cold occur with a gradual onset and include:
- Aches and pains
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sore throat
- Sneezing and cough
- Discomfort in the patient’s chest
Symptoms of the Flu
Meanwhile, symptoms of the flu virus occur with an abrupt onset and include:
- Feverish chills
- Sore throat
- Stuffy and runny nose
- Muscle and body aches
Preventing Colds and The Flu
There are several different ways to significantly reduce your risk of contracting a cold or the flu.
- Vigilant hand washing is your first step in prevention. Make sure to wash your hands with hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds several times throughout each day. Try to get in the habit of washing after each time you shake hands. It’s not rude; it’s taking an important precaution to keep yourself and those around you healthy.
- Avoid touching your eyes and nose throughout the day, as these areas are the most common pathways for germs to enter your system.
- You need more restful sleep if you’re feeling under the weather. Your body can’t fight a cold or the flu if you’re tired and fighting sleep, so doctors recommend getting a solid eight to ten hours of sleep each night. Binge watching the next season of your favorite series in the twilight hours is always an enticing option, but you need to be well rested to fight off a cold or the flu.
- Avoiding alcohol is another safeguard that can help keep you in your best health. Alcohol inhibits your body’s ability to repair itself. It also interferes with sleep quality and is believed to disrupt REM sleep cycles that rob you of the most restorative part of your night’s sleep.
- An integral part of remaining healthy is your diet. Build up your immune system with healthy food. A diet featuring an abundance of fruit juices, vegetables, and vitamin C will go a long way towards keeping you safe from viruses. Regular exercise will only help in your quest to remain healthy during this dangerous season.
- Keeping a safe distance from anyone displaying the symptoms of a cold or the flu is another safety measure than can keep you in the free and clear. You increase the chance of infection when in close proximity to someone who is ill. Again, try not to worry about being rude. Odds are high that the person displaying these symptoms is every bit as concerned about your wellness as you are.
Sometimes you can contract an illnesses despite your best efforts. Knowing how to treat a cold or the flu will help you recover more quickly and start feeling on the mend as soon as possible.
Top Tips to Treat a Cold
- Keep Hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids not only keeps you hydrated, it can also thin mucus. Water and fruit juices are your best bet when keeping hydrated with a cold.
- Gargling: Try a warm water gargle mixed with a half teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Make sure to check the water temperature, as gargling with water that is too hot can lead to throat burns.
- Salt-Water Gargle: No honey or lemon juice on hand? Mix a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces – an average coffee mug – of warm water. Gargle and rinse several times throughout the day. This particular treatment has the added benefit of killing harmful bacteria in the throat while helping soothe sore and irritated tissue.
- Practice ‘Correct’ Nose Blowing: People often blow their nose without a second thought, but it’s important to clear the nasal passages as much as possible when blowing your nose. Block one nostril while gently blowing into a tissue, then switch nostrils and repeat.
- Use Steam: Fill a pot with boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe deeply. The inhalation of steam is soothing to both the throat and nasal passages, and is extremely helpful with congestion. Try adding 3 to 7 drops of eucalyptus oil to the boiling water and inhaling through the nose for an even more soothing effect.
Top Tips to Treat The Flu
There are a few overlapping treatments for a cold and the flu. In addition to the tips listed above, these home treatments for the flu will help you feel like your normal self in no time.
- Get Plenty of Rest: There are instances where you can continue on with work or school if you have a cold, but it’s extremely important to rest when you have the flu. Be sure to take the time you need in order to recover. The flu is contagious, so staying home is both considerate and necessary.
- Stay Hydrated: Fever is one of the most prevalent symptoms of the flu and can often lead to dehydration. Drinking hot fluids such as herbal tea or warm water with lemon is soothing for your throat and helps fight off dehydration. Be sure to avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol, instead focusing on drinks that help restore your body’s minerals and nutrients.
- Try Vitamin C Supplements: Studies suggest that large doses of Vitamin C can help relieve some of the symptoms of the flu. Vitamin C has been proven critical in supporting immune health. Orange juice is a solid source of natural Vitamin C, but should be combined with supplements to ensure your body is getting enough to fight off your symptoms.
- Use a Heating Pad: Heat helps with the aches and general pain that come bundled with the flu. Use an electric heating pad or hot water bottle wherever you feel pain. Just make sure not to fall asleep with the pad or bottle, as prolonged exposure can lead to burns.
Cold and Flu Season With Drip Hydration
Now that we’ve gone over techniques to prevent or treat the cold and flu, the time has come to reveal your most weapon in battling both. Drip Hydration’s IV Immune Boost Treatment is the next level of precaution and prevention. Containing a blend of electrolytes, IV fluids, vitamins and antioxidants to boost your immune system and relieve symptoms, our innovative IV therapy is the most efficient and effective way to keep your health at its absolute best.
During illness, our bodies require extra fluids to mount an immune system response. IV fluids quickly replenish those reserves in order to get you back to feeling your best. There is no better direction to look than Drip Hydration’s IV Immune Boost Treatment to prevent illness or mount a defensive maneuver once you feel illness approaching. Worried about a cold or the flu? Drip Hydration to the rescue!