Managing Cold and Flu Season

Anna Modeen, Reporter

With the cold and flu season in full swing, we wonder how we can avoid the dreadful feeling of having a cold, and instead feel our normal, healthy selves. Getting your flu shot may seem like the only solution to avoiding the flu, but there are other options to help fight the flu. Flu symptoms usually include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue, which can severely interfere with our personal lives. Here are some tips for easing the dreadful effects of the flu.

Cold and flu symptoms are often similar during the early stages. People with either illness often experience a runny nose, sneezing, body aches, and fatigue. However, different viruses cause these two conditions and can experience different effects. Flu symptoms are usually more severe. The flu can lead to serious issues like sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and sepsis. To determine whether you have the flu or a cold, you have to see a doctor. Knowing which illness you have can help you indicate what you need to do to treat it.

The flu can last for up to one week and can sabotage your personal life. Luckily, there’s way to cut the sickness short, and also making your experience a little more maintainable.

  • First and most importantly, you should stay home and get lots of rest. Overworking yourself can stress your body out, making the flu worst.  
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping hydrated can help your respiratory system hydrated so you can avoid building your lungs up with mucus, leading to an infection
  • Treat aches and fever. Having a fever and aches during the flu can be common because your body is trying to fight off the virus. To help tame these too, take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen.
  • Breathing in steam can help ease congestion, and making breathing easier. A common way to do so is to fill a container with hot water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or over-the-counter menthol.
  • Running a humidifier or vaporizer in your house can moisturize the air around you, helping to lessen congestion and coughing.
  • Buying over-the-counter saline nose drops or sprays can help clear stuffy noses.