During flu season, it can be a challenge to decide what you can treat at home and what might require a trip to a medical clinic. The symptoms that come along with the flu will make you feel miserable, but you can typically treat your symptoms at home. If you don’t treat your symptoms properly or if they’re getting worse instead of better, medical attention may be the right answer. Over 200,000 people become hospitalized because of the flu each year, so don’t hesitate to get treatment!
The flu typically comes along with a runny nose and congestion. Most of the time, an over the counter decongestant will help to relieve these symptoms until they subside on their own within a week or so. If the decongestant isn’t helping your symptoms or they don’t resolve within a week, it’s time to visit an urgent care center. Congestion that won’t ease up is a sign of a bacterial infection in your sinus tract which will need to be treated with antibiotics. This is a symptom that doesn’t need a rushed trip to the emergency room, but be sure you don’t put off treatment for too long.
The flu is known for causing a fever as it runs its course through your immune system. You can reduce this fever with over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. If over the counter pain relievers won’t break the fever, you need treatment right away. A fever above 104 should be treated immediately to prevent further damage to the body from such high temperatures. If your child is suffering from the flu, monitor their temperature every carefully and call their pediatrician if it gets above 101.
Dehydration is one of the main reasons people get hospitalized from the flu. Vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms that come along with certain strains of the flu, but they can lead to a very serious case of dehydration. Be sure to intake water and electrolyte filled sports drinks as much as possible if you’re suffering from vomiting and diarrhea, even if you aren’t hungry or thirsty. If you begin to feel faint, weak, dizzy, or confused you should go to an urgent care center right away. The physicians there will likely give you IV fluids and electrolytes to get your body back in working order. The sooner you seek treatment for dehydration the less likely you are to require hospitalization.
Feeling under the weather? AFC Urgent Care Natick provides treatment for seasonal flu-like symptoms on a walk-in basis, so you don’t need an appointment to be seen. Just stop by our urgent care center any day during the week and we’ll get you back to feeling better, sooner!