Happy Wellness Wednesday Family Tree family! As we gear up for cold and flu season, we thought we'd spread some awareness on how you can fight "the cold." Now, while the common cold and influenza can be fairly different in how we treat them, they are both caused by viruses. The annoying part about viruses is that antibiotics are completely useless against them. Far too often we hear from patients that have had cold-like symptoms for over a week, and when we ask what they've been trying to feel better, we almost always get the same answer .... "nothing." Just because an antibiotic won't fix the problem, doesn't mean nothing will. So here are some symptom-control tips from the friendly docs of Family Tree Primary Care in Oviedo, Florida.
Over the counter meds are fantastic! Often times the cold/flu section of a pharmacy can be intimidating and everything looks the same. Most of them are just different combinations of an overall set of medications. Here's a quick guide to the ingredients, and try to match your symptoms to what you need.
**Guaifenesin - an expectorant or chest decongestant. Basically this thins out the mucous in your chest and can make it easier to cough up all that junk in your chest and make it easier to breathe
**Dextromethorphan - a cough suppressant. These can help reduce your cough reflex and reduce body aches and help you sleep more comfortably. Be careful with overuse though, as often that cough (while annoying) is your best friend because it clears out your lungs!
**Fluticasone - a very common intranasal steroid spray. These help reduce the inflammation on your nose. These are different from intranasal antihistamine sprays.
**Pseudoephedrine - a nasal/sinus decongestant. The 12 and 24 hour variants are usually sold with antihistamines like Claritin or Allegra. These you have to get directly from the pharmacist. We like the 12hr version because sometimes patients get very hyper on this medication, so the 12hr will cover you during the day and not keep you up all night!
**Antihistamines like Claritin or Allegra - these can help keep the mucous production on your nose down and keep more mucous from pouring down your throat into your lungs.
There are also great non-pharmacological ways to feel better like saline nasal rinses/sprays, teas with honey, turmeric, and menthol drops. As always, talk to your doctor if you have illnesses like asthma, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, or may be pregnant, as these can easily alter which medicines may be effective/safe.
Wash your hands routinely, stay home when you're sick, and if you're a patient at Family Tree Primary Care, come get your flu shot with us for $20!
Read more from the CDC! https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html