What is a Cold?
Are you feeling under the weather and wondering if you are sick with a cold or the flu? Common cold symptoms usually start between 1 and 3 days after you are infected by a cold. A sore throat, congestion, and coughing are common symptoms of a cold. Usually, these symptoms last approximately 3 to 7 days.
What is the Flu?
While the symptoms can be similar to a cold, the flu is much worse. The flu, otherwise known as influenza, is a contagious illness typically appearing in the winter and early spring. The flu can spread through the upper and lower respiratory tract. If you have the flu, you may cringe simply at the thought of getting out of bed. Plus, a severe case of flu can turn into a life-threatening illness like pneumonia.
Since a cold and the flu are both viral, antibiotics are not effective. There are no medications to treat a cold, but there are antiviral medications that can treat the flu. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, visit us at Vitality Family Medicine.
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat, caused by streptococcal bacteria, is an infection in the tonsils and throat. With strep throat, the throat gets irritated and inflamed, causing severe, sudden pain.
The most common symptoms of strep throat are:
- Sudden, severe woreness
- Pain when swallowing
- Yellow or white spots on the throat
- High fever
- Swollen tonsils and lymph nodes
Strep throat is typically treated with antibiotics. This may shorten the length of time that you are contagious while lowering the risk of spreading the infection through your body. You may need to take an over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol or Advil to help lower your fever and help with pain.
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is when the tubes that carry air to the lungs are irritated and inflamed. When this happens, these tubes become swollen and create mucus, making you cough. Although many people get well within 2 or 3 weeks, some people still have a cough for more than 4 weeks.
Most people can treat symptoms of acute bronchitis without the use of prescription medicine. However, if your symptoms become worse, you may have pneumonia. Since pneumonia can be serious, it’s important to visit our doctors if your symptoms don’t improve.