Just about anyone who has undergone cold and flu treatment will tell you how annoying and irritating both these conditions can be, and the toll it takes on your daily routine and more importantly, your health.
From my earliest recollection of having the cold or the flu, it involved a lot of coughing and sneezing and just snapping at almost everyone who dared to come near the sniffling, sneezing monster.
And it wasn’t funny at all with numerous visits to the bathroom or not finding a tissue when you need one and most of all, the quarantine period.
Both these illnesses are due to viruses, with the common cold and the flu spread through one’s saliva or nasal secretions. Of course, when you take the necessary precautions, you wouldn’t need to worry, but in the case that you do contract either of these irritants, you’ll be happy to know that we will explore how the common cold and the flu are best treated.
Now, both share many of the same symptoms: chest discomfort, cough, stuffy nose, sneezing and a sore throat. But before you think that both these ailments are one and the same, think again. If we draw a comparison, the flu is the nastier of the two by a long shot.
So, here are some additional symptoms more associated with the flu: High fever, chills, headache, intense muscle pains, exhaustion, and a loss of appetite which could last for almost a week, and if not treated could lead to pneumonia. The common cold, however, is not that debilitating, yet is annoying in is own way with the symptoms lasting for three to fours days at the most.
Now if you have caught a cold, you’d use antibiotics… right? Wrong. Yes, you heard me. Antibiotics are not effective with viral attacks, and the common cold is the work of a virus, nor is there any recommended antiviral drug for colds. So, what then?
Colds are not necessarily treated with a course of medicine as they hardly last that long but only in the case of patients or old people who have a long history of medication are serious countermeasures taken. However, in order to combat the symptoms of the common cold, the use of decongestants and anti-histamines can be helpful.
Decongestants help you breathe easy whereas antihistamines are very effective when it comes to dealing with a running nose and bouts of sneezing. Now in the case of cough-related illnesses, anti-tussives and expectorants are used widely to suppress the urge to cough and of course, ease the patient’s respiratory tract by dissolving the mucus that has thickened.
Another recent development is the use of Zinc supplements to shorten the duration of the common cold.
In the case of the flu, the most common method of treatment is through the use of antiviral drugs that are commonly prescribed by your physician. They target and eliminate the viruses responsible for the attack on your body’s system. Amantadine, rimantadine, zanamivir and oseltamivir are antiviral-drugs that are used in this form of treatment.
Another method involves providing relief from the symptoms of the flu, while allowing the body’s immune system to destroy the viral infection itself.
I forget the exact quote or author, but it’s a great one: “Modern medicine is used to distract the patient, while the body heals itself.”
Cold and Flu Treatment – 7 Secrets to Speed Up Recovery
- Stay at home
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink a lot of liquids
- Avoid alcohol use and tobacco smoke
- Consider over-the-counter medications to relieve flu symptoms
- Consult a doctor early on for best possible treatment
- Remain alert for emergency warning signs
Obvious? Maybe. Regularly practiced? Definitely not.