A dry throat, stuffy nose, and relentless cough are all too familiar, especially during the colder seasons of the year. These symptoms could indicate a common cold or a more serious viral infection called influenza or the flu. At Family Urgent Care in Columbus, Mount Vernon, and Bellefontaine, Ohio, Syed Naqvi, MD, and the team provide expert cold and flu diagnostics and care. To start relieving your cold and flu symptoms, reserve an appointment by phone or online at Family Urgent Care today. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Cold and Flu Q&A
What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
Cold and flu are two terms that people often use interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different respiratory illnesses. They’re both viral infections that attack your lungs and cause nearly identical symptoms, so how do you tell the difference?
For starters, the flu is usually worse than a typical cold. Even though the symptoms are similar, the symptoms of the flu are more severe and come on suddenly instead of gradually, like a cold. In order to know for sure whether the illness you have is a cold or the flu, you need to get tested within the first few days of your symptoms setting in.
Unlike colds, the flu can lead to more complex health complications like bacterial infections, pneumonia, and high fevers.
What are some common cold and flu symptoms?
The symptoms of a cold and the flu are mostly the same. In fact, you probably can’t tell which one you have based on the symptoms alone. Your viral infection might cause:
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Green or yellow mucus
- Sore throat
- Eye watering
- Muscle aches
- A fever
You might have the flu if you have these symptoms, plus nausea, chills, sweats, a poor appetite, or a fever of 102 degrees or higher.
When should I see a doctor for cold and flu symptoms?
Cold and flu symptoms don’t always require a trip to the doctor for a fix. If you simply have a mild cold, you can relieve your symptoms by using over-the-counter decongestants and cough syrups. You should consider visiting Family Urgent Care for your infection if:
- Your fever lasts five days or longer
- Your fever returns after leaving
- You have trouble breathing
- You have severe pain in your head or sinuses
The team at Family Urgent Care can evaluate your symptoms and find a more aggressive treatment to get you back to health.
What are my treatment options for a cold or the flu?
The providers at Family Urgent Care can find you the best possible course of treatment for your cold or flu. There are no drugs available to magically cure your infection, but there are many available to treat the symptoms.
Your provider may recommend or prescribe antihistamines for a runny nose, decongestants for a clogged nose, throat lozenges for a sore throat, and home remedies like using a humidifier. They also advise you to stay home and rest to avoid spreading the infection to others.
If you have cold or flu symptoms and need help managing them, don’t hesitate to call Family Urgent Care or reserve your appointment online today.