• What to Do During Cold and Flu Season

    Colder weather is here, which means that cold and flu season has also arrived. While it is impossible to completely prevent these viral infections, there are steps that you can take to help protect yourself and your family from cold and flu infections. Stop by a walk-in clinic in Atlanta to receive a check-up and flu vaccine, and continue reading to learn more about what to do to stay healthy during cold and flu season. flu - season

    Stick to Healthy Habits

    Fueling your body properly is essential for staving off cold and flu infections. Make sure that you eat a balanced diet, and consider boosting your nutrition by taking a multi-vitamin. It is also essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Be sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, as sleep deprivation can make you more susceptible to infections. Avoid spending time with infected individuals, and maintain a clean household to reduce the chance of infection. Smoking can increase your risk of a cold or flu infection, so do not start and consider quitting if you are already a smoker—your doctor can provide resources to help you quit.

    Encourage Handwashing

    One of the most common modes of transmission for cold and flu viruses is picking up germs on your hands and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day, especially before eating, before applying or removing facial products, and after using the bathroom. Encourage your family members to wash their hands as well, and if you have children, be sure that they are familiar with proper handwashing techniques.

    See Your Doctor

    The doctors at your walk-in clinic can offer additional tips to help you stay healthy this season and throughout the year. Your doctor can perform an annual exam to determine if you have any health conditions that could increase your cold and flu risk. While you are at the clinic, ask about getting a flu vaccine—this vaccine is updated every year, so do not assume that you are protected because of a previous vaccination.

  • Symptoms of Strep Throat

    There are many medical problems that can cause a sore throat, including strep throat. If you have a lingering sore throat or other severe symptoms , consider visiting a walk-in clinic in Atlanta. A primary care physician at the clinic can swab your throat for a quick lab test that will determine if you have this bacterial infection. Be sure to tell the doctor at the clinic about all of your other symptoms, which may include those listed in this brief video.

    This video explains that strep throat symptoms tend to develop rapidly. In addition to a sore throat, patients may develop a fever, headache, chills, and difficulty swallowing. The lymph nodes may become swollen, which is a sign that the body is fighting off an infection, and the throat may appear reddened with white patches.

  • When Should You See a Doctor About Cold Symptoms?

    If you have cold symptoms that persist, or seem more extreme than the symptoms you typically experience, you should consider visiting a doctor at a walk-in clinic or urgent care clinic near Atlanta . A doctor or family physician can evaluate your symptoms, perform a physical exam, and determine if you are suffering from something more serious than the common cold. Here is some advice for when you should visit a doctor at a health clinic about your cold symptoms.

    If You Have a High Fever and Worsening Symptoms

    Woman with Cold Symptoms of the common cold are often accompanied by a low-grade fever that disappears after a day or two. You might have a more serious condition than a cold if you have a fever of 103 degrees or more that lasts for more than three days, or if you have continuously worsening symptoms, or flu-like symptoms that disappear and then re-appear. Your primary care physician can perform lab work and testing to determine if you have a more serious illness.

    If Your Symptoms Last More than 10 Days

    The common cold typically goes away in seven to10 days, with or without treatment from a doctor at a health clinic. If you have symptoms that last for more than ten days, particularly hoarseness, a sore throat, or a cough, you should visit an urgent care center or emergency medical center as soon as possible. A doctor at an urgent care near you can determine if you have bronchitis, pneumonia, a respiratory infection, or another serious medical condition other than the common cold.

    If You Experience These Troubling Symptoms

    If you experience certain serious symptoms, you should visit a medical clinic or urgent care clinic as soon as possible for evaluation by a family physician. These symptoms include trouble breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, fainting, confusion, disorientation, severe or persistent vomiting, severe pain in the head or forehead, or loss of consciousness. An urgent care doctor or internal medicine doctor can perform an adult physical exam to determine the severity of your condition.

  • Do You Have Bronchitis or a Cold?

    In most cases, individuals who contract the common cold can care for their symptoms without having to go to a walk-in medical center near Atlanta. Over-the-counter cold remedies can help reduce your symptoms while your body fights off the infection. However, sometimes a cold can lead to bronchitis. The symptoms of bronchitis can be severe. In certain cases, an internal medicine doctor at an urgent care clinic may prescribe medications for patients with bronchitis.

    Understanding the Common Cold

    If you have the common cold, it means that a virus has infected your upper respiratory system. There are more than 100 different viruses that can cause the common cold, although the most common cause is the rhinovirus. The cold virus can spread through direct contact with an infected person or object. It is also airborne, which means it can spread through droplets in the air that are released when a person sneezes or coughs. A family doctor may diagnose you with the common cold if you display symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, cough, congestion, sore throat, sneezing, mild headache, and mild fatigue. The common cold may also cause a low-grade fever and minor body aches. Most patients recover from the common cold within a week or two. Although antibiotics are ineffective against viruses such as the cold virus, a doctor at the urgent care clinic may recommend over-the-counter decongestants, cough syrups, or pain relievers to manage symptoms.

    Recognizing Acute Bronchitis

    Bronchitis Acute bronchitis is a common illness that often develops as a result of a respiratory infection such as the common cold . This is known as a secondary infection. If you have bronchitis, it means that the lining of your bronchial tubes is inflamed. Most patients with bronchitis recover within two to three weeks. However, a cough may linger for a month or longer. In addition to a cough, bronchitis can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and a mild fever with chills. Bronchitis can also involve the production of mucus. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe medications to improve breathing, particularly if you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If the infection is caused by bacteria, rather than a virus, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics.

  • Should You Go to the Doctor for a Cold?

    In most cases, the symptoms of a cold do not require a visit to an urgent care clinic near Atlanta. Staying home from work or school, drinking plenty of fluids, and using cold medicine in accordance with the product instructions are all steps you can take to help yourself feel better within a few days. However, certain symptoms may indicate that you do need to see a family physician at an urgent care clinic . Severe or persistent symptoms may mean that you have another medical problem.

    Sick with a Cold Are You Having Problems Breathing?

    Go to an urgent care clinic right away if you’re experiencing difficulty breathing. Respiration problems shouldn’t occur because of the common cold. If you do have trouble breathing, it may mean that you have developed pneumonia or that you’re experiencing a flare-up of your asthma symptoms. If you experience chest pain and shortness of breath, you need immediate medical attention.

    Could You be Dehydrated?

    Doctors at walk-in clinics strongly recommend drinking plenty of fluids while ill. This is particularly important if you’re nauseous, vomiting, or suffering from diarrhea. These symptoms can increase the risk of dehydration, which can be a serious medical condition. If you aren’t able to consume fluids without vomiting , you should go to the urgent care clinic. The doctor can administer fluids intravenously if need be.

    Do You Have a Persistent Fever?

    It isn’t common for adults to have a fever when they have a cold. Mild fevers with the commovn cold more often occur in children. If you do have a temperature over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit and the fever doesn’t go away, it’s a good idea to consult an urgent care doctor. A fever could be indicative of another medical problem, such as a different type of infection.

    Is Your Congestion Lingering?

    Many people develop secondary infections after suffering from cold-like symptoms. If you experience congestion and headaches that won’t go away with over-the-counter remedies, you may have a sinus infection. Bacterial sinus infections can cause facial pain, thick yellowish or greenish nasal discharge, stuffy nose, and a cough that produces mucus. At the urgent care clinic, you may be prescribed antibiotics to treat a bacterial sinus infection.

  • Distinguishing Between Colds and the Flu

    As the winter season draws near, many primary care physicians see an escalation of patients suffering from colds and the flu. In many cases, though, those suffering from these conditions cannot distinguish between the two. While both a cold and the flu may warrant a trip to a medical clinic near Atlanta, each medical ailment comes with distinct symptoms that require different treatment measures.

    A Cold

    A cold can refer to one of more than a hundred viruses that impact your immune system, which is why some people suffer from multiple colds throughout the year. Under most circumstances, though, colds present similar warning signs. For instance, colds may take 48 hours or more to develop. As a result, some individuals might comment that they can feel a cold coming on before they exhibit noticeable symptoms. When they do, sinus congestion is a common side effect. Sneezing is another prevalent complication. Throat irritation is a warning sign as well that may come with a recurrent cough. Colds can also be physically exhausting, which is why rest is an effective way to alleviate symptoms and recover as quickly as possible. However, seeing a medical doctor may be necessary if symptoms persist or worsen. Especially when a cold evolves into bronchitis or another condition, it may require the help of a primary care physician to monitor symptoms.

    The Flu

    Distinguishing Between Colds and the Flu

    As mentioned, the flu is another common complaint during the winter months. Yet this condition can cause more serious side effects than those seen with a cold. The flu often brings on a high fever that may require medical center treatment if it spikes too high. Flu symptoms can also include breathing difficulties, body chills, and body soreness. In general, cases of the flu can develop more rapidly than the cold, making it possible for a person to feel ill in a matter of just hours. Primary care physicians warn those who might have the flu to seek the help of a medical doctor as soon as possible. A primary care clinic can provide special medications to address the warning signs of the flu when treated shortly after diagnosis. In addition, a primary care physician can evaluate patients to ensure that their conditions do not turn into more severe health ailments such as pneumonia.