The flu season is in full swing in the U.S., with activity reaching epidemic levels in most states. Most cold and flu symptoms subside within about two weeks with at home care or anti-viral medications. But each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu-related complications such as pneumonia.
What if your flu symptoms worsen, change, or persist for longer than two weeks? How will you know if it is time to consult with a doctor? Below are four signs that you should consult with your doctor to treat cold and flu-related complications:
Sometimes congestion from a cold can morph into an ear or sinus infection. If you experience ear pain, facial pain, or tooth pain, consult with your physician. When left untreated, sinus or ear infections can last for weeks and lead to more serious complications.
Vomiting and diarrhea are common flu symptoms, especially in children. Patients who have trouble keeping foods and liquids down due to vomiting may be at risk for dehydration and should see a doctor. A physician can recommend a course of action, such as oral rehydration or even intravenous fluids for more severe cases.
The flu is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults. If you have flu-like symptoms, including a high fever, and experience chest pain, pressure, or difficulty breathing, then make an appointment to see your doctor. Many flu patients also develop bronchitis. If you have a bothersome, persistent cough for more than 10 days, you may want to see a health care provider.
If you have a sudden sore throat accompanied by a fever, but no upper respiratory symptoms, then you may have strep throat. Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Other signs of strep throat are pain when swallowing, swollen lymph nodes on the neck, and white or yellow spots on the back of the throat.
While rest, plenty of fluids, and medication can ease cold and flu symptoms, sometimes a consultation with a doctor becomes necessary. If you or a loved one are suffering from cold and flu complications, then schedule an appointment with a physician today.
Think you have the flu? Feel better faster by seeking treatment early. Speak with a US Licensed, board-certified medical provider now – online or by phone with MeMD.