According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anywhere from approximately nine million to 41 million people get the flu in the United States each year. If you have ever had the flu, you know how miserable the symptoms can be. There are several ways you and your doctor can work together to treat the flu and help you feel better faster.
On the other hand, you can make mistakes that might actually make you feel worse. Here are a few influenza treatment mistakes you need to avoid.
Not Getting Your Flu Shot
One of the biggest mistakes you can make concerning the flu is not protecting yourself by getting a flu shot. The flu shot effectively prevents certain strains of the flu or lessens the severity of your symptoms. Remember, it is never too late to get the flu shot, even if you are in the middle of cold and flu season.
However, sooner is always better, so talk to your doctor about an influenza vaccine and when you should schedule an appointment. Be aware that you can experience a mild reaction to the flu vaccine, such as soreness at the injection site and some body aches. However, these side effects usually go away very quickly.
Ignoring Your Symptoms
Several symptoms are associated with influenza, including:
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Shortness of breath
In most cases, you can simply stay in bed and drink plenty of liquids until you feel better. However, there are some instances when your symptoms become so severe that they should not be ignored. If you have a very high fever that cannot be controlled with OTC (over-the-counter) medications, you cannot breathe, or your symptoms worsen, it is time to visit your doctor.
Even if your symptoms are mild, you should talk to your doctor right away. There are antiviral medications that, if taken within a few hours or days of your symptoms' onset, can help lessen the severity of your symptoms and help you get better faster.
Going Back to Work Before You Are Ready
You are starting to feel more like yourself and ready to head back to work. Unfortunately, it is essential that before you resume your regular activities, including work, school, or exercise, you should be fever free for several hours without any OTC fever reducers. Otherwise, you could risk becoming even sicker and spreading the influenza virus to your coworkers.
From ignoring your symptoms to not talking with your doctor, when it comes to treating the flu, there are several mistakes you need to avoid.
Contact your doctor to learn more about flu treatments.