Pharmacy2u By Published:

Much like garish Christmas jumpers and the Queen’s speech, colds and flu often feel like an inevitable part of the winter period. Colds and flu are contracted from viruses which are spread by coughs and sneezes – as well as through touching objects such as door handles. There are over 200 types of cold virus and three types of flu virus, making the probability of catching one of them quite high.

If you catch a cold, then you can expect to experience symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, a blocked nose, headaches, sore throat and a raised temperature. The symptoms of the flu virus can be even more severe, potentially making winter feel bleak.

Top tips for those suffering

If you have contracted either the cold or flu virus then here are some tips to help you manage the infection.

Rest up

While experiencing a cold or flu, try to get plenty of rest and avoid any stressful situations. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, it may be a good idea to take time off work, which will also have the benefit of reducing the risk of infecting others.

Diet & hydration

Help overcome a cold or flu by eating a healthy diet and drinking lots of water. When it is fighting an infection, your body is in need of extra fluids. Although your appetite may be affected, it is important to give your body the sustenance it needs so make sure to eat as many fresh fruit and vegetables as you can as part of a balanced diet.

Pharmacy treatments

To help aid your recovery and alleviate the effects of cold and flu symptoms, you may wish to use non-prescription medicines to help. Painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen can help you to manage symptoms. Decongestants can also help reduce the swelling which can occur around your nose, making it harder to breath. Note that antibiotics are not suitable to treat colds and flu as they treat bacterial infections rather than viruses.

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