Can there be anything more uncomfortable than a runny nose, continuous sneezing and coughing accompanied by a sore throat, fever or headache/body ache? We don’t have to imagine this because we all have gone through this more than once. What makes it worse is the fact that we are carriers of the virus; one sneeze is all it takes it to pass it on to someone else.
1. Do I have the flu or is it just a common cold?
Common cold and influenza (flu) is caused by viruses that affect the respiratory tract. Many symptoms can overlap, so it becomes difficult for one to assess if they have a common cold or flu. A common cold manifests as milder symptoms and will affect one for a shorter period, while all types of flu will have severe symptoms and the impact of the flu can spread over a few weeks. Flu can also lead to other serious health complications, whereas symptoms of a cold go away after treatment.
2. Symptoms of colds and flu
Cold, invariably, starts with a sore throat, and develops into a runny nose and congestion, headache and cough. Mucus from the nose gets thicker as one gets better. Children can develop a fever but it is rare in adults. The symptoms will last for a week and can be treated without fail if it doesn’t indicate an infection or allergy.
Flu symptoms are more severe and have a sudden onset. One will experience a sore throat, fever, body, headache, congestion, and cough. The fever could subside and come back. A person with the flu will feel tired for more than a week even after recovery. One needs to visit a doctor only if the fever or cough does not subside, the headaches and body pain is severe and one feels pain while swallowing.
3. Old-timey remedies for cold and flu
Common cold and flu have been treated with home remedies for ages. One reason is, even if you take medication, a cold or flu will still take a week or so to wear off. Medication, therefore, becomes redundant. Old-timey remedies for colds and flu that have been passed on through families or communities are very popular. Thanks to the Internet and the spread of social media, people are not only aware of such remedies from their communities, but we also have access to those of other cultures and geographies.
One common thing that can be seen among all cultures and systems of medicine is that the treatment for cold and flu focuses on the following points:
- Being in clean and hygienic surroundings
Even though cold and flu can be treated well by homemade remedies, it might not be an ideal option for those would need additional or urgent medical attention, such as:
- Infants and children under the age of two
- Senior citizens over the age of 65
- Pregnant women and those who have had babies in the recent two weeks
- People who are suffering from ailments like cardiovascular or lung disease, diabetes, HIV, cancer, anemia and kidney disease