You woke up this morning and something didn’t feel quite right. You suddenly remembered that last night your throat was a little scratchy, and you were really hoping a good night’s sleep would take care of that. Instead, today you feel like you’ve hardly slept at all and you can barely breathe through your nose. To top it off, you’re coughing now too.
You can tell yourself anything you want, but the reality is: you’re sick.
It’s that time of the year again — the air is crisper, the leaves are falling, and you have a cold or the flu. Do you need to know which one? Well, yes. Knowing will help you decide whether to tough it out or take the day off. More importantly, it will tell you if you need medical assistance and should book an appointment with CT Sinus Center.
So how do you know? The common cold and the flu are often mistaken for each other. Both illnesses cause a sore throat, congestion, coughing, and fatigue. Both can also cause headaches, although they are more common and more severe in the flu.
In addition, colds tend to sneak up on you a little at a time, first your throat and then your nose . . . The flu, on the other hand, comes on quickly and just hits you. Conversely, a cold begins to go away in just a few days, while flu symptoms can linger for weeks and may require medical help.
Temperature is another indicator of whether you are suffering from cold or flu symptoms. A cold won’t present a fever over 102 degrees, but the flu will. (Note: Be aware that a high fever, especially a persisting one, is a sign of infection and should be checked out immediately by a medical professional. If you are experiencing this, don’t wait, call us at (203) 574-5997.)
Still not sure what’s making you miserable? Are you experiencing chills and sweats, nausea and cramping, loss of appetite, and even muscle aches? If not, and you are just stuffy, drink plenty of liquids, get some rest, and see if you are feeling better in a few days. If not, make an appointment with us to see if you are suffering from allergies or sinusitis, and we can sit down with you and talk about our options for granting you permanent relief.
However, if after a few days you aren’t feeling any better or are feeling worse, you most likely have the flu. Like with a cold, make sure you drink plenty of liquids and get a lot of rest. You can also speak to your doctor or pharmacist about flu medications to lessen your symptoms while you wait it out. Most of all, take it easy for a few days and avoid contact with others to avoid spreading the virus.
And while you may be down for the count for a while, the flu usually passes after about two weeks. But if you don’t see any improvements within that time, schedule a consultation with one of our experts to see how we can help you get back on your feet.