Managing Flu Symptoms Safely

Seasonal flu is quite common, but the symptoms can vary among individuals. What’s more, it’s a contagious illness that can result in complications if not managed properly.

Seek Treatment if Necessary
Although most people will recover from flu after several days, it’s important to seek treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, stomach pain, pressure on the chest or stomach, dehydration, vomiting, and inability to hold down fluids. A child with the flu must be sent to the emergency room if you see the following signs: fever, rashes, inability to produce tears, and purplish or bluish tinge to the skin. Children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with existing health conditions are at risk of developing complications, that is why they will need attention from a doctor.

Treat Mild Symptoms
The usual flu symptoms include fever, muscle plain, headache, sore throat or cough, and fatigue. These can be managed at home even without getting help from a doctor as long as the symptoms don’t worsen or if the affected person isn’t at risk of developing complications. Rest and drinking enough fluids will help the person feel a lot better, but the other symptoms can be relieved with acetaminophen or cough medicines (however, cough medicine isn’t advisable for children under 4 years). Sometimes the latter will not ease the symptoms, that is why hydration is a better option. Be careful when taking aspirin, however, because it is not advisable for people younger than 19 years.

Steam Baths Can Help Ease Symptoms
To ease congestion and sore throat, fill a tub with hot water and add 1 teaspoon of menthol rub. Then, breathe in the steam from the mixture. You can also have a warm shower to ease some of the aches and pains, but make sure to use a humidifier or a vaporizer to avoid dry air.

Stay at Home
Flu is contagious, that is why you will be advised to stay at home and rest. After all, you wouldn’t be able to complete any task if you have a fever and a headache. The fever is a signal that your body is fighting the virus, but you can manage the aches and pains with over-the-counter medication. Getting enough sleep will help your body fight off the virus, as well as making sure you are hydrated. Fluids not only include water and sports drinks, but soups and fruit juices. It will also help you manage sore throat and cough even without taking cough medicine.

Ask About Antiviral Treatment
If it is necessary to seek help from a doctor, your doctor might mention antiviral treatment if there is a chance of developing complications. Antiviral medication is different from antibiotics and are effective only during the first 48 hours of the onset of the symptoms. Antiviral treatment can also be used to prevent flu infections, but you should ask your doctor about the possible complications.