The common cold is practically an unavoidable part of life. The average child may have seven colds each year—for adults, it’s about three per year. Americans miss a total of more than 40 million days of school or work every year because of a common cold or flu. Having access to effective cold and flu treatment makes a difference not just to the average person’s life but also to society as a whole.

Cold and Flu Symptoms

The symptoms of a cold or flu vary depending on the severity of the illness. Telltale signs of a common cold include a runny nose, a sore throat, coughing, headaches, body aches, a fever, and feelings of tiredness. The flu may exhibit more extreme symptoms, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

It’s important to understand that the flu, also called the stomach flu or the common flu, is not the same thing as influenza—a far more dangerous illness. The Center for Disease Control estimates that influenza kills between 10,000 and 50,000 Americans each year. Doctors and scientists design the flu shots many people get every year to protect us from influenza.

When Should I Go to the Doctor for a Cold?

Although the common cold and stomach flu aren’t generally considered to be serious illnesses, living with the symptoms can make you miserable. Because they are contagious, they may also force you to miss work or school until you feel better to avoid spreading sickness to others.

If you don’t consult a physician or go to urgent care, your cold and flu treatment options will be limited. Common sense home remedies like drinking a lot of water and getting extra rest may ease your symptoms to a point. You can also use decongestants and nasal sprays to relieve your stuffy nose and painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help with the aches and pains. These solutions may prove to be sufficient cold and flu treatments for adults, but kids should always see a doctor.

A simple case of the common cold or flu may lead to bronchitis, pneumonia, or worse if left untreated. Some symptoms may also be misattributed to cold or flu without a proper diagnosis, when they in fact point to more serious issues. There are a few particularly concerning symptoms to look out for:

  • Trouble Breathing or Chest Pain
  • Fever over 100°
  • Persistent Vomiting
  • Symptoms That Don't Go Away

Neither a cold nor a flu should cause shortness of breath or chest pain. If you experience these symptoms, call a doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care.

A high fever is a sign of an infection that may need treatment.

Your body needs fluids to get over an illness. If you can’t keep fluids down by drinking, consult a doctor—you may need an IV to stay hydrated.

When you take over-the-counter cold and flu medicine, your symptoms should go away within about 10 days. If these treatments aren’t effective and you still experience symptoms after two weeks or more, seek input from a medical professional.

Remedy Can Help

When you or your children show signs of a cold or flu, it’s best to seek medical attention right away. Unfortunately, seeing a doctor isn’t always convenient, or even possible. Many people would rather forgo treatment for what they perceive to be minor issues than travel or miss work for an appointment.

We don’t believe anyone should have to choose between convenience and healthcare. Remedy makes consulting with a doctor easy and painless. Just pick up your laptop, smartphone, or tablet to schedule an on-demand video appointment anytime 24/7. You can also schedule a same-day home visit from one of our highly qualified physicians. Remedy providers can write prescriptions and submit them to your preferred pharmacy electronically if medication is necessary.

Remedy’s services are as affordable as they are fast. Although we accept insurance from most major providers, our treatments are reasonably priced even without coverage, and we offer money-back guarantees if our patients aren’t satisfied.

Don’t keep suffering with the cold or flu. Schedule a visit with a Remedy doctor to get the care you and your kids need within minutes.

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