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Nov 4

Do I Need to See a Doctor for a Cold?

No one enjoys the common cold. That is a fact of life. Sicknesses caused by bacteria and viruses have been around for the entirety of human history and, up until the 19th and 20th centuries, are the cause of millions of deaths. Thanks to modern medicine, knowledge, and practices, we have been able to preserve many lives from sicknesses and diseases that used to be fatal, such as the flu, cold and the complications that can come from them. Even though we have medicine to treat a lot of sicknesses out there, there still isn’t a cure for virus-caused sicknesses such as the common cold and the flu. So is going to the doctor the best thing for you? The answer: it depends.

Cold? Flu? Something Else?

The first thing you are going to want to do is figure out if you have a cold, the flu or something else. The flu actually has a lot of similar symptoms as a cold, but there are a few significant differences. There is a nice chart that WebMD has created to make the comparison easy, but the main symptoms to look for are a fever, headache, body aches, and severe exhaustion. Those are all symptoms of the flu that you either don’t experience at all with a cold or are a very rare symptom.

The typical symptoms of a cold are fairly typical of what most people experience when they get sick: stuffy/runny nose, sore throat, and a cough. If you have other symptoms that don’t line up with a cold or the flu, you more likely than not have a bacterial infection. The only way to be sure is to go see your doctor and be tested.

When Should You See The Doctor?

If you know you have a cold or the flu, you don’t necessarily need to go to the doctor. Viruses can’t be destroyed by antibiotics, you just have to let your body’s immune system fight them off. The best thing for you to do is to get medicine that will ease the symptoms so that you don’t feel miserable all the time. You can ask your doctor what they recommend or you can look up various symptom-relieving medicines on the internet, either way you will have some relief from those awful symptoms.

If you don’t start feeling better within 10 days or certain symptoms worsen, that is when you should go see a doctor. Some of these symptoms include:

  • fever doesn’t go away
  • light-headed
  • difficulty breathing
  • vomiting
  • hurts to swallow
  • dehydration
  • pain or pressure in your chest
  • if any symptom lasts more than 7 days

If you know that you don’t have flu-like or cold-like symptoms, go see the doctor. Your doctor will be able to quickly tell you what you have and can give you the medicine you need for a speedy recovery.

Not Feeling Well?

If you think you have a bacterial infection or just don’t seem to be getting better, come in to see one of our award-winning doctors. Give us a call at (801) 724-9840 to schedule your appointment today!

 

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