It’s that time of the year again when our schedules are getting hectic, the weather is inconsistent and the common cold and flu can get the best of us. As a Traveling Nurse you are on the go and it’s very important that you stay healthy and feel good on and off the job. Let’s review some of the symptoms of the common cold and nasty flu and also look at some suggestions to help prevent you from feeling under the weather this winter.
Symptoms of colds and flus
It’s the yearly colds and virus that can put us down for a period of time and makes us feel uncomfortable. Colds usually are not dangerous to your overall health but may set you back with symptoms including:
- Generic stuffy nose
- Congested headaches
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Decreased appetite
Colds generally settle in the nose. While symptoms usually last between 1 and 5 days, most often symptoms are over within 7 days with possibly a lingering cough for another week.
Flus are similar to colds but you may have symptoms which can make your entire body feel sick instead of just settling in the nose. Flus can take many forms but the most common form includes the following symptoms:
- Abrupt high fever ranging from 102 to 106
- Body aches
- Flushed face
- Loss of energy
After 2 to 4 days the symptoms of the entire body begin to slow down and respiratory symptoms begin to increase. Viruses can settle anywhere in the respiratory track which produces symptoms of a cold.
The main difference between a cold and the flu is that you have a better chance of preventing the flu. Every year scientists gather data to produce vaccines to prevent the flu. Vaccine results can vary from year to year but are a valuable tool in prevention.
Home remedies for the cold and flu:
- Drink plenty of water: by drinking plenty of water it helps to cleanse your body and wash out your cold and flu. Also, try adding a little lemon to help balance the pH and keep your body hydrated.
- Feed a cold, starve a fever: The best way to remove congestion is to reduce your food intake. You are ill because of congestion and if you feed a cold, you need to starve a fever. Drink plenty of fresh fruit juices, vegetable juice or broth to help the hunger.
- Blow your nose frequently: by blowing your nose often rather than sniffing mucus back into your head, you will loosen up the pressure improving your breathing.
- Rest: Getting plenty of rest helps your body strengthen your immune system which will fight off colds and flu’s.
- Take a hot shower: Hot showers or a bath helps to moisturize your nasal passages and releases congestion which can make you feel better.
- Gargle: An easy home remedy is to gargle; it is a simple way to moisten a sore throat. Try adding a teaspoon of salt in warm water, the salt reduces the tickle and scratching in your throat.
- Use salve under your nose: Salve can help save the skin around your nose from frequent tissue use, using a mentholated salve can have the added benefit of clearing your breathing passages too.