You can take all of the precautions in the world, but sometimes you just can’t avoid getting the flu. Maybe it started with a cough or a sneeze, or maybe one day you woke up with body aches. You may have thought it was just a bad case of allergies, or maybe you just shrugged it off as the cold. Achy muscles, respiratory symptoms and sudden fever all point to one thing: the flu.
There’s no cure for the flu, but there are some ways that you can help to ease flu symptoms. With flu season in full swing, it’s important to know what to do if you think you may have the flu. Here are seven tips to help you beat the flu this season:
Get the flu shot
One of the best ways to beat the flu this season is to avoid getting it altogether. Every flu season is different, and the flu affects people very differently. The flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop in the body, and these antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Although getting the flu shot doesn’t eliminate your chances of getting the flu, it certainly does decrease your odds of getting sick.
Stay at home to rest
If you’re a workaholic, it can be tempting to try to push through your symptoms and go into work. It’s important that you stay home from work or school, especially because you’re very contagious during your first few days with the flu. Take advantage of your time off and let your body have some much-needed rest.
Drink plenty of fluids
When you’re at home in bed, it can be easy to forget to eat and drink. However, it’s important that you remember to increase your fluid intake and drink plenty of water, sports drinks and clear soups. Fluids help keep your respiratory system hydrated and can help thin mucus that can build up and cause infections.
Use a humidifier
If the air is dry, a humidifier or vaporizer can help add moisture to the air and help ease congestion and coughing. If you’re using a humidifier, make sure you keep it clean in order to prevent bacteria and mold from growing.
Sit in a steamy bathroom
If you don’t own a humidifier, try sitting in a steamy bathroom instead. Sit in your bathroom with the door closed and allow your shower to run hot water until the room fills with steam. Inhaling the moisture can help to open your airways and can help with congestion.
Try over-the-counter medication
If you’re experiencing aches and pains due to a fever, try over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to treat your symptoms. If you don’t know which one you should be taking, call your doctor to get recommendations.
Call a teledoctor
Doctors are flooded this time of year with patients, especially if you live in an area with a high population of seasonal residents. When it comes to the flu, the sooner you go to the doctor to get antiviral flu medication, the sooner you’ll feel better.
With traditional doctor’s visits, you could wait hours, or even days, for an appointment. One of the benefits of a telehealth provider is that you get a call back within minutes. Additionally, teledoctors have the ability prescribe medications for the flu, and they can send those prescriptions to your pharmacy.