Several years ago, when my son was in middle school, he developed a nasty sinus infection. He didn’t have a fever, and I suspected it was a viral infection that would run its course unaided. I told him this, but he was unimpressed.
Partly to make him feel better, and partly because I wanted my diagnosis confirmed, I made an appointment for him to see our pediatrician.
I had a good relationship with our pediatrician. We shared the same philosophy of watchful waiting and not rushing to order unnecessary tests and prescribe unnecessary drugs.
Unfortunately, it was his day off. … Continue reading
Flu season hit hard this year, and the normal, if unwelcome, after effect of many viral upper respiratory infections is a lingering cough.
A recent review of the medical literature found that, on average, a cough will last 17.8 days! Fortunately, most coughs are self limiting; that is, they will get better without special treatment, such as antibiotics.
If you have a question about when to seek medical attention for a cough, visit FamilyDoctor.org ‘Check Your Symptoms’.
For home treatment, however, the drugstore shelves are filled with a dizzying array of cough products. Which one, if any, is best?
Before … Continue reading
Wash your nose?
I wrote in a previous post that frequent hand washing is your best defense against a cold virus; but what about washing your nose? The inside of your nose, to be exact.
You just need a neti pot.
The neti pot is an inexpensive device for saline nasal irrigation, which is a fancy term for nose washing.
A neti pot is easy to use
How do I use a neti pot? It’s very simple. I fill the pot—which resembles a small tea pot or Aladdin’s lamp—with warm saline (salt) solution. Leaning over a sink, I place the … Continue reading
It appears that the 2012-13 flu season is especially severe and has not yet reached its peak, which is when the maximum number of cases have been reported and we start to see a downward trend.
In early November, I posted about the advantages, health-wise and financial, of getting a flu shot.
It’s still not too late, and there is ample vaccine available.
FYI, it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to reach its full effectiveness.
FN… Continue reading
This morning as I scanned internet headlines, one caught my attention: How to beat a cold in just 24 hours.
Wouldn’t that be great if you could cure a cold in a day?
The information source for the article is a professor from the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff, Wales. I never knew such a place existed! I glanced at its website, and it appears to have links to some useful research, so I’ll definitely look there again.
But what does the article suggest and what do I think? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Take a hot shower. Absolutely.
… Continue reading
It’s cold season and products that claim to prevent or significantly shorten colds are flying off the drugstore shelves.
As I emphasized in an earlier post, frequent hand washing is your best strategy to avoid a cold altogether.
Still, the advertisements for such products are both pervasive and persuasive But are they worth buying?
Vitamin C (1000mg) is the major ingredient of Airborne and Emergen-C. Both are made into fizzy drinks. Airborne also claims to have a “proprietary blend” of minerals and herbs, but it’s really about the vitamin C. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will not … Continue reading
A leading health headline today indicates that the 2012-13 flu season is off to an early and strong start.
Flu cases always peak at some point during the season, usually in January or February, but sometimes as late as March and sometimes, apparently like this year, as early as November.
However, it’s not too late to get your flu shot. Despite the early start, flu season will continue into March and April.
Also, this year’s vaccine is well-matched to the reported influenza virus, which means the vaccine is even more likely to protect you.
FN… Continue reading
Germs are everywhere
Being frugal, I live by the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
One of the best ways to prevent nasty seasonal colds and flu (not to mention nasty intestinal ailments) is to wash your hands.
It doesn’t take much imagination to envision the gazillions of germs that are lurking on handles and door knobs and other surfaces that we—and others—touch multiple times a day.
Wash your hands often
Soap and water are the gold standards of cleanliness, but hand sanitizer has become increasingly popular over the last ten years.
I prefer … Continue reading
Feeling sick? Sore throat? Runny nose? Fever?
How do you know if you or your kids have a normal cold or a more serious case of influenza, the ‘flu’?
In general, flu presents with more everything—a sorer throat, a higher fever, achier joints, a more severe headache. I have had the flu once in my life and I still remember how awful I felt. I’ve had dozens of ordinary colds and don’t remember them at all.
Treatment for both colds and flu is typically the same: rest, fluids and pain relievers for the aches and pains.
However, it is a … Continue reading
Get a Flu Shot
With the continuous remodeling of healthcare and health insurance, it seems as if there is little I can do other than ride the waves of change like so much flotsam and jetsam.
But I don’t want to be beach debris. I want a more active role in my health care and that is why I get a flu shot every fall and insist that my family members do, too.
Vaccination against the seasonal flu—inexpensive, safe and effective
Starting as early as September, flu shots are available almost everywhere. You do not even need a doctor’s appointment; … Continue reading