A bad cough or a seasonal cold can interrupt your sleep, hurt your chest, and take a real physical toll on your body. And in many cases, cough and cold symptoms will have you visiting your family doctor. Not sure what kind of treatment you’ll receive after a cough and cold diagnosis? Keep reading to learn more.
Any family practice physician will tell you that there’s no cure for the common cold. So if you’re looking for antibiotics, you’re out of luck. But if an upper respiratory infection is responsible for your cough, that’s when antibiotics will help. How can you tell the difference between respiratory infection and a common cold? You might not be able to! That’s why it’s so important to go see a doctor for cough and cold symptoms.
Since there’s no cure for the common cold, treatment options will usually focus on the symptoms you’re experiencing. For example, if your most problematic symptom is a cough, your doctor may recommend or prescribe cough suppressants. Here are a few other treatment options your doctor may recommend.
- Pain relievers: Fever, sore throat, and headache symptoms will be relieved most quicky by painkillers. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are usually the options that your doctor will choose between. Fortunately, nothing stronger than that is prescribed for a typical cold. Considering that out of 20.5 million Americans ages 12 years and above, 2 million were addicted to prescription pain relievers, most primary care providers try to avoid opiates at all costs. Your doctors will also advise if your teen or child should take aspirin. In most cases, children and teens recovering from illnesses such as chickenpox or flu should never take aspirin. The medicine can cause Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare life-threatening condition.
- Decongestants: If you’re suffering from nasal congestion, it’s probable that your doctor will prescribe some form of decongestant. If they prescribe a nasal spray, remember that using it for any more than five days could result in rebound symptoms. Decongestant sprays and drops are not recommended for kids younger than six years.
- Cough suppressants: Cough suppressants like cough syrup are recommended for older kids and adults. If you’re prescribed one of these options, make sure to follow the dosage instructions to the letter. In addition, be careful if your children are prescribed a cough suppressant. The FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics both strongly oppose giving any type of cough suppressant to children younger than four.
If you’re looking for home remedies to complement your medication, look no further than your own kitchen. A hot bowl of homemade chicken soup not only tastes delicious, it can help ease some of your congestion and soothe an irritated throat. In addition, there are vital nutrients provided by the chicken in your soup. And don’t forget to get plenty of rest!
When your cough and cold symptoms just won’t go away, make sure you see a doctor. Their diagnosis and treatment will help you feel better and get back on your feet in no time.