You are sniffly and feel like your energy is slowly draining away as the clock ticks by. What in the world is going on? Should you take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for this headache or do you let it pass? Is that cough you are experiencing due to allergies, it is Florida after all, or is it something more? Sound familiar? For many of us, trying to decipher the differences between a cold, sinus and allergy symptoms, and the flu can feel daunting. There are overlaps in symptoms, however, knowing how to distinguish the difference is incredibly important, especially for more vulnerable populations like seniors. Champion Home Health Care has the honor of serving Melbourne, FL seniors with the absolute best in-home health care throughout Brevard County. We love seniors and cherish the opportunities we have been given to serve them in a multitude of ways. From medication management and meal preparations to long-term nursing care, we love what we do. We have seen the detrimental effects of the flu and want everyone to pay attention to their symptoms and know when to seek further medical advice. Read on for more information.
First and foremost, colds and the flu are both respiratory illnesses resulting from a virus of some type which can display similar symptoms. A cold generally begins gradually. It may begin with a sore throat and then build up to a runny nose and sneezing, your head may ache, you could even have mild body aches. However, these symptoms take a few days to pile on. With the flu, you may experience the same symptoms at a much more rapid pace. You feel bad from the start. It feels like you’ve been hit hard and fast. The flu and the viruses that cause it creates a rapid illness that can lead to other complications such as pneumonia. This is why it is so important to know your body and act quickly. You should also know that colds do not turn into the flu. They both come from different origins. Your muscles and joints may hurt with the flu. A high fever is not uncommon either. Seniors are especially vulnerable to the flu and further populations because as we age our immune systems weaken.
Ultimately, it is always best to know what you are dealing with. Because the symptoms of both a cold and the flu can overlap, why not play it safe and schedule an appointment to visit the doctor. They can perform a simple physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms. In order to check for the flu, they will most likely perform what is known as a rapid influenza diagnostic test to test for flu antigens. A swab of the back of the throat or nose is all that is needed here and results come within 15 minutes. An easy visit to your health care provider can give you the answers you need and the power to combat whatever your illness is. Why not be proactive? With knowledge comes power, so protect yourself and the seniors in your life by acting swiftly. It could save a life.