When cold and flu season strikes, sore throats, runny noses, headaches and cold and flu aches and pains can leave you feeling less than your best. Unfortunately, most of us will catch a cold at some time. That’s because common colds are one of the most prevalent illnesses, affecting adults on average 2-4 times a year and children on average have 5-6 per year.
Cold and flu symptoms can make your work day feel miserable. While there’s no cure for the common cold, there are things you can do to help relieve your symptoms.
WHAT’S BEHIND COLD AND FLU?
Sometimes it feels as though you catch one cold after another after another. That’s because there are around 200 different types of viruses that can cause colds. The ‘flu’ (influenza) is caused by completely different viruses to the common cold (influenza A or B). The viruses are spread via a number of ways for example hand contact, from surfaces such as door handles or the air, from coughs and sneezes.
Feeling stressed or not getting enough sleep can increase your chance of catching colds and flu, as can attending nursery or preschool. That’s why may it feel like your kids are constantly bringing home germs! The good news is once you’ve fought off a cold due to a particular virus, you’re unlikely to catch it again.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLD AND FLU
Cold and flu are both viral infections which can affect the nose, throat, sinuses, and airways, but they are not the same. While cold symptoms can leave you feeling unwell, flu symptoms are usually much more severe.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s likely you have caught a common cold:
- Runny nose
- Blocked nose (congestion)
- Sore throat
- High fever
- Muscle aches
- Pressure in ear
Flu can affect your whole body. Symptoms are similar to cold symptoms, but are often more severe and may also include:
- Sudden fevers
- Aching muscles and joints
- Weakness and lethargy
- Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
- Dry, chesty cough
HOW LONG DO COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS LAST?
Cold symptoms develop over a couple of days and it usually takes a few days to fully recover from; but can also last up to 2 weeks in some people. Whilst flu symptoms appear 1-3 days after the infection is caught and symptoms will normally clear up after a week or so.
If your symptoms worsen, or persist for more than 7 days, see your doctor. You should also should consult doctor if: you have chronic condition e.g. asthma or diabetes or if have very high fever with severe headache, abdominal or chest pain.
COLD AND FLU REMEDIES AND RELIEF: WHAT WORKS?
Cold and flu symptoms may leave you feeling unwell, but you don’t have to feel miserable. Here’s a list of cold and flu remedies that may help you:
- Get plenty of rest and stay comfortably warm
- Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids
- Eat regular, healthy meals
- Avoid cigarette smoke
- Soothe a sore throat by sucking on an throat lozenge; or drinking hot water with honey and lemon
Colds and flu are often caused by a viral infection therefore it is unlikely antibiotics will help, so get plenty of rest, keep warm and take a pain reliever. Pain relievers with a decongestant, such as Nurofen Cold and Flu can be taken to help relieve fever, sore throat, aches and pains, and blocked nose/sinuses. It contains contains both a pain reliever and decongestant; to provide no stronger dual relief for your cold and flu pain and congestion.
Some cold and flu medicines shouldn’t be given to young children, pregnant or breastfeeding women or people with certain medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure, asthma). Always ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice first.
SIX TIPS TO HELP MANAGE COLD OR FLU
There are some simple things you can do to avoid catching a cold or spreading one to others:
- Wash your hands regularly, particularly before eating or after blowing your nose
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid sharing drinking or eating utensils
- Clean household surfaces and children’s dummies and toys
All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health matters please contact your doctor. Nurofen Cold and Flu. For Cold & Flu relief. Always read the label.