Upper respiratory symptoms such as runny nose, cough, sinus congestion, and sore throat can be quite miserable. These symptoms can persist for up to 14 days and can really be a pain when you need to continue your daily life obligations. Antibiotics are rarely indicated and rarely helpful in the treatment for upper respiratory illnesses, so what else can be done to help reduce some of the symptoms?
With the outbreak of Covid-19, we are now more than ever understanding the importance of preventing the spread of illness. If you are sick, it is of utmost importance to help prevent the spread to others. If you are having cold symptoms, try to avoid others, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and wash your hands frequently. The days of going to work while sick are over, and many businesses have proven that working from home during an illness is a realistic option for many employees.
Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and don’t forget to eat. When you are sick, you may not feel like eating or drinking anything, but skipping these two basic necessities can really add to your discomfort. If you have ever gone a full day without eating, even when you are well, you know that it leaves you with very little energy and can cause a major increase in your irritability. Just ensuring you maintain proper nutrition will go a long way in helping you feel better during a cold.
Humidifiers can help with sinus congestion and help soothe the dry irritation in your throat and lungs. Using a humidifier in the bedroom at night is a good idea in the dry Utah climate, especially when the furnace is running or if you are feeling ill.
Tylenol can help reduce body aches and fevers and can improve how you feel throughout the day.
Throat lozenges, although a temporary relief, can be helpful in soothing a sore throat.
Nasal steroids, such as Fluticasone, can be helpful in reducing inflammation within the nasal passages and help in reducing sinus congestion.
Mucinex can be helpful in clearing excess sputum, reducing cough and improving breathing. Drinking plenty of water to thin secretions is important in helping this medication work.
Darrin VansCoy DNP, AGACNP-BC, FNP-BC
Darrin holds a clinical practicing doctorate degree and two separate nurse practitioner certifications. With over 11 years of medical experience, he has worked in hospital emergency departments, ICUs, interventional radiology suites, on Medevac helicopters, and in ambulances. In addition to his extensive experience, he also has a wide variety of specialized training making him the ideal person to treat urgent and emergent medical conditions.