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Cold & Flu Specialist

John Paul Cardin Jr, MD

Family Medicine & Primary Care Physicians located in Long Beach, CA

The common cold is as the name implies; a fairly common illness. If a severe cold, the flu, bronchitis, or sinusitis make you feel lousy, primary care physician John Paul Cardin Jr., MD, can help at his self-titled practice in Long Beach, California. Dr. Cardin offers numerous treatments that enhance your body’s healing ability, reduce symptoms, and help you feel better, faster. Call his office today or schedule an appointment online.

Cold & Flu Q & A

What is a common cold?

Common colds are caused by viruses that infect your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract) through the air or by physical contact. Symptoms of a common cold include:

  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

The U.S. population suffers from 1 billion colds annually. Adults experience an average of 2-3 colds yearly, while children may have them more often. Colds can cause you to miss work or school, and lead to complications – such as sinusitis (a sinus infection) and bronchitis.

What is the flu?

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses that pass through the air. Flu viruses enter your body through your mouth or nose, affecting 5 – 20% of people in the United States annually. The flu is dangerous for people with weak immune systems and symptoms may include:

  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Body or muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion

Cold and flu symptoms are similar but flu symptoms are more severe. If you have a fever, headache, and body aches, chances are you have the flu instead of a cold. Side effects from a cold or the flu may be worse and last longer in young children, older adults, and people with autoimmune disorders.

How long do colds and flu last?

After you’re exposed to cold or flu germs, you might experience symptoms 1-4 days afterward. Colds generally last about 2-14 days, depending on which viral strain you contract and your body’s reaction to it. The flu can last 5-7 days (or longer).

When should I see a doctor?

If your cold or flu symptoms persist, cause extreme discomfort, or get worse, you should check in with Dr. Cardin. There’s no cure for the flu or a cold, but treatments can make you feel better and decrease recovery time.

Dr. Cardin may prescribe medications to help you fight colds, the flu, sinusitis, or bronchitis and relieve your symptoms.

What can I do at home?

Things you can do at home to enhance recovery and ease symptoms include:

  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Take over-the-counter medications as needed
  • Use throat sprays, nasal sprays, or cough drops
  • Gargle with salt water

There’s no surefire way to prevent a cold, the flu, and other viral illnesses, but taking precautions can lower your risk. You may be able to protect your immune system by wearing a mask when in public during cold and flu season, washing your hands with antibacterial soap often, and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Despite your best efforts, a cold or the flu can still creep up and cause debilitating symptoms. If you want to reduce your discomfort, recover faster, and avoid possible complications, call Dr. Cardin’s office or book an appointment online today.