Ekenazi Health pediatrician
During this more difficult than usual cold and flu season, many of us have felt ill and asked ourselves these familiar questions: Should I go to the drugstore to buy an over-the-counter remedy, go to my doctor or an urgent care center to get an anti-flu medication, or would I be better served staying home drinking fluids, resting and taking medicine for fever and pain?
It is important to understand viruses like the flu to help you decide how to deal with a potentially serious situation.
You can ease the misery at home by drinking lots of fluids, ingesting some hot soup or herb tea with honey and getting plenty of rest. You’ll also want to humidify the air. Try a warm compress over your forehead and nose to relieve headache or sinus pain, and battle a sore throat with cough drops, throat lozenges and honey, which can also be effective at easing a troubling cough.
To open clogged airways, bring a pot of water to a boil and remove it from the heat. Drape a towel over your head, close your eyes, and lean over the water under the “tent,” breathing deeply through your nose for 30 seconds.
If you live alone and have a family member or friend who has offered to check in on you and make sure you have everything you need, welcome their generosity with open arms. Their kindness and personal touch will be a tremendous comfort to you.
If you are having problems breathing, extreme discomfort, holding down or taking in liquids or noticing a decrease in your urine output, you should seek care immediately. A health-care provider may prescribe Tamiflu to help decrease the symptoms of influenza if it is within 48 hours of developing the infection.
If your symptoms are severe enough that you decide to go to your doctor, an urgent care clinic or the emergency room, it’s a good idea to bring a list of all the medications you take, including over-the-counter medicine, vitamins and supplements. This list should include how much of each medication you take as well as how often you take it, in addition to a list of allergies.
If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself, please call 317-880-8687 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.