Spring has sprung but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods just yet when it comes to cold and flu season. Upper respiratory illnesses (URI) are common in the early spring, just like the fall and winter seasons. The upper respiratory system includes the mouth, nose, sinuses, larynx, throat, and trachea. Unfortunately, many of the these URIs are viral and cannot be treated by antibiotics. These infections are not usually treated with antibiotics unless there is proof of a bacterial infection.
The common cold is a URI and a viral illness. Symptoms can include: a stuffy nose, muscle aches, sneezing, a sore throat, post-nasal drip, cough, and a mild fever (under 101.5). A cold can last anywhere from 3 to 14 days. If you’re illness is lasting at least 10 days with no improvement, you should schedule an appointment for an evaluation with the doctor. Also, if you are experiencing a high fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, confusion, chest pain, teeth-chattering chills, or rib pain, you should make an appointment to see the doctor as soon as possible. At my office, our nursing staff can triage patients quickly with the above-mentioned issues. We can test for influenza (the flu) and low oxygen levels to check for more serious illnesses beyond a cold or allergy. We can also test for strep throat in our office quickly through a swab test.
Since viral infections cannot be treated with antibiotics, there are many remedies a person can do to lessen the symptoms and duration of his or her URI. Below, I’ve shared a few things that can be used when suffering from a URI.
- Vitamin C – When taken at a high dosage (1000mg 3 times a day), vitamin C has been known to shorten the duration of a cold.
- Zinc gluconate (Coldeez brand) – Take 5 to 6 lozenges per day every two hours. The high level of zinc gluconate (13.3 mg) improves symptoms and shortens duration of illness.
- Antihistamines (Zyrtec, Claritin, Alavert, Loratidine, Tavist,) can help with coughs and drying secretions.
- Vicks menthol rub can help breathing and provide relieve at night when applied to the chest, throat, and upper lip.
- Nasal saline can help flush out nostrils.
- Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammation medication can reduce a fever, headaches, and muscle aches. If you are on blood thinners or anti-platelet therapy, use acetaminophen instead of Iburprofen or asprin. If you are allergic to NSAIDS, avoid Ibuprofen, Aleve, or aspirin.
Below, I’ve shared are a few links to medicinal products I offer and approve on my website to help ease URI symptoms.
If you’re experience a long-lasting cold, flu-like or strep throat symptoms, give me, Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipids & Wellness of Fort Myers, and my team a call today at 239-362-3005, ext. 200 or click here to contact us to schedule an appointment today.