Cold & Flu Advice
Vantage Chemist Cold & Flu advice
A cold is an infection caused by a virus affecting the upper part of the respiratory tract. It usually lasts two to three days and does not cause serious illness in healthy people. Treatments available can relieve symptoms but will not cure a cold. Antibiotics are NOT useful because colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.
Symptoms include a runny or blocked nose, coughing, sneezing, mild fever, headache, mild earache, sore throat and red, watery eyes. Colds are not to be confused confused with influenza (flu), which is a much more serious condition, especially in the elderly and people with other health problems.
Many of the symptoms of flu are similar to those of a cold but there is usually a higher fever with influenza. There may also be chills, fatigue, aching muscles and joints with influenza, and some people have breathing difficulties.
If you often suffer from sneezing and a runny nose during spring or summer this may be a sign of hayfever, rather than a cold.
See a healthcare professional if:
- You are feverish with a temperature above 39°C
- There is difficulty breathing or wheezing
- You cough up green or yellow mucus
- There is severe earache or sinus pain
- The cold lasts more than one week
Not all cold remedies will be suitable for everyone
Ask your pharmacist for advice:
- If the person with the cold is a baby or a child
- If you have high blood pressure, heart problems, stomach or indigestion problems, kidney problems, asthma, urinary retention, glaucoma, thyroid problems or diabetes
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- If you are elderly
- If you are taking medicine for other conditions