We’re entering flu season, when it seems like everyone you know is out of work or school for at least a week to recover. The flu is much worse than the common cold. You have many of the same symptoms—runny or stuffy nose, cough and sore throat—but much more severe. The flu is often accompanied by a fever, chills, fatigue, body pains and headaches. While your doctor can prescribe medication that can help treat the flu, there isn’t a “cure” once you catch it. Ideally, you should get you flu shots a few months before the start of flu season, but if you didn’t, there are things you can do for relief if you do find yourself with the flu this winter.
1. Use Moisture
Keeping your throat and nasal passageways moist can help relieve congestion, sore throat, cough and sinus pressure. Drink plenty of fluids like water and hot tea to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, both of which can dehydrate you. Use a humidifier to loosen mucus in your sinuses. You can also take a steamy shower and sit in the bathroom afterwards. Placing a warm, damp washcloth over your eyes and nose will help loosen mucus and widen nasal passageways so it can drain.
2. Take Medication
Your doctor can prescribe some medication that might help eliminate the flu, but it unfortunately can’t cure it completely. There are medications you can take to help eliminate symptoms. DayClear™ has products to treat the worst of the flu’s symptoms, including fever, aches, congestion, sore throat and a cough. There are both daytime non-drowsy and nighttime formulas so you can have relief whenever you need it. DayClear™ also offers a medicine to help reduce sinus pressure and pain that comes with congestion.
3. Get Salty
Salt can cure a variety of flu symptoms. Gargling with salt water can help ease a sore throat. You can also flush a stuffed nose with a saline solution to help clear the sinuses, which can relieve sinus pressure and lessen headaches. Use a Neti pot, nasal irrigator or bulb syringe to flush the sinuses with a salt-water solution. Just make sure that the water you use is clean and sterile. You can boil it beforehand to be safe.
4. Prop Yourself Up
Sometimes when you have a stuffy nose, lying down can make the pressure in your head and sinuses feel worse. Prop yourself up during the day while you’re awake to lessen it a little bit. At night, you can use an extra pillow under your head for a little bit of added support.
The best cure for the flu is to get plenty of rest. Stay home from work, get lots of sleep and don’t overdo it. Take it easy even once you feel better. You want to get better, but you also don’t want to get anyone else sick, either. Hopefully you’ll be feeling better than ever in no time.