When It’s Time to See a Provider for a Cold or Flu

It’s that time of year when you hear silver bells as you make your way into the bustling store to do your holiday shopping.  When you snuggle up with your family and that Christmas mug you have reserved for December, filled with steaming hot chocolate. ‘The most wonderful time of the year’ just so happens to collide with flu and cold season. Making this time of year, for those of us that catch a cold or the flu… a little less wonderful.

The flu is usually self -diagnosable but just to refresh our memory. Flu symptoms include fever, cough or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, and more common in children is nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. With rest and self–care measures at home, the average healthy person can expect to be feeling better within seven days, although symptoms of a dry cough may last for several weeks.

However, there are symptoms and factors, where it comes time for us to put down our herbal tea and schedule an appointment with our provider.

Some factors where you should call your provider sooner would be people at high risk for flu complications. Such as children under 5 years of age, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

Take note if any of your symptoms are falling into these patterns:

It’s hard to breathe or you have chest pain.

A cold or flu shouldn’t make you short of breath. If this is happening to you, it could be a sign of something more serious such as asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. In other words, call your doctor asap!

 Congestion and headaches that won’t go away.

Allergies or colds can block up your nose with mucus. This can later lead to a sinus infection, which may require antibiotics. If cold medicine doesn’t give any relief, consult your doctor.

 Your fever won’t break.

If your fever doesn’t go down, it could be a sign you have another infection in your body in need of treatment. An adult fever is classified as anything over 100.4 degrees F.

 Your cough is persistent.

If your cough just won’t go away, it could be due to postnasal drip. But it could also be related to asthma, GERD, pneumonia, or even whooping cough. If you’ve been hacking for more than 2-3 weeks, it’s time to see your provider.

 You feel like something is just ‘off.’

It’s important when experiencing cold or flu symptoms to also trust your instincts. For instance, if you’re feeling worse than ever before, or symptoms are exceptionally painful or severe – it doesn’t hurt to get checked out by your provider!

Schedule an Appointment

At Morgan Family Medicine, we are here to help protect you and your family against the flu and cold. You’re welcome to walk-in or schedule an appointment anytime.  Above all, we want you and your loved ones to spend ‘ the most wonderful time of the year’ healthy.






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