Flatten the 7up, gather all the blankets, and batten down the hatches because it’s officially cold’n’flu season again. As a nation, we love to feel sorry for ourselves when experiencing those first symptoms of the dreaded sniffles, and while different strokes work for different folks, it’s important to remember that certain responses are not appropriate when dealing with relatively mild complaints.
That’s where UnderTheWeather.ie seeks to enlighten us in our flu-busting pursuits. It’s a new website launched by the HSE to help inform people of what steps should be taken when you’re feeling down in the dumps.
We’ve all got our own ways of dealing with common maladies from sore throats and tummy bugs to earaches and sinus infections, with varying degrees of success! However, most of the time, there’s no cure as good as a bit of R & R complemented by some good old-fashioned TLC.
If you’re achin’ all over there’s no harm in resorting to pain relievers (within recommended guideline amounts, of course), but the main piece of advice is to avoid antibiotics as they don't work on common colds/flus.
Antibiotics only have an effect on bacterial infections. They have no effect on viral illnesses (such as colds and flu) whatsoever, and what’s more, the unnecessary overuse of antibiotics helps contribute to the evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of disease which are really, really hard to medicate against.
Often, it can be difficult to differentiate between viral and bacterial infections as many symptoms cross over between the two. But generally-speaking, bacterial infections tend to last longer than viral complaints, so if you’ve been coughing, sneezing, sniffling and spluttering for an extended period of time it’s recommended that you see a doctor for a correct prescription. But other than that – tough it out!
The website offers lots of helpful tips and information on how to identify and treat an infection, and it’s also got expert video content featuring advice from health professionals. It’s broken down into illness-specific directions, which differentiate between advice for kids and adults.