Ease Your Symptoms
Fight a fever: Do drink plenty of liquids. A fever can cause perspiration, and if you don’t replenish those fluids you run the risk of dehydration. Don’t try to power through it. Going to the gym or socializing with friends can stress your body and slow recovery. Also avoid cooling off with ice packs, which can burn your skin. Opt for a cold washcloth instead. Call your doctor if you have a temperature that’s higher than 103 degrees, you have a headache and neck pain, or you fever doesn’t break after two days. Fevers caused by viruses go away in a day or two. Lingering ones could signal something more serious, such as kidney infection or pneumonia.
Lessen sinus pain: Do use a saline spray or rinse to help clear out mucus buildup and reduce the pressure on your sinuses. Take a decongestant that contains pseudoephedrine, which can quickly shrink up your inflamed sinus blood vessels that are the source of the pain. Don’t rely on steroid nasal sprays to fix the problem. A recent study revealed that people who took a placebo recovered just as quickly as those who used a steroid spray. Call your doctor if you symptoms don’t subside in a week, the pain you’re experiencing is severe or you have a fever that’s higher than 100 degrees. In those cases, it’s possible you have a bacterial sinus infection that requires treatment with antibiotics.
Soothe sore throats: Do stir a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water, then gargle with the solution to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Repeat every two to three hours. Don’t ask for antibiotics. Most sore throats are caused by viruses; antibiotics won’t work because they’re effective only against bacterial infections such as strep throat. Call your doctor if you don’t feel better (or you feel even worse) after a day or two or you see white spots on the back of your throat. —which cold indicate a strep infection. If your sore throat recurs frequently, it’s possible you have chronic postnasal drip or acid reflux, a condition in which acid travels up the esophagus and causes a burning sensation.
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