Saturday, February 07, 2009

Health Tips for February 7

Health Tip: Do I Have a Cold or Flu?

If you're sneezing, coughing and have a fever, do you know how to tell whether you've caught a cold or have the flu?

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this list of cold symptoms, and how to tell them apart from symptoms of the flu:

  • In general, cold symptoms are milder and come on slowly, while symptoms of the flu tend to occur very suddenly.
  • It's probably a cold if you have a fever no higher than 102 degrees. The flu usually causes fevers higher than that.
  • It's probably a cold if you have symptoms including a congested or runny nose, sneezing and coughing, watery eyes, and a sore throat.
  • Symptoms of the flu often include nausea, chills, sweats, vomiting, muscle aches, and loss of appetite.

Health Tip: Caring for a Canker Sore

If you have a canker sore, it may be painful to chew until it goes away, which usually happens on its own over time.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these suggestions to help relieve the pain of a canker sore:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Try a topical pain-relieving ointment for canker sores, such as Anbesol, Zilactin-B, Orabase or Orajel.
  • Rinse your mouth with a solution of equal parts Milk of Magnesia and Benadryl liquid allergy medication. Rinse with, but don't swallow the solution, every few hours.
  • Take vitamin C or a vitamin B complex.
  • Take zinc lozenges, or an herbal mouthwash that contains sage and chamomile.

No comments: