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Flu Survival Guide: How to Work Through Your Flu

September 30, 2015
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With the start of fall this month, flu season is just around the corner. While we may try our best to avoid coming down with anything, sometimes you just can’t beat the flu. Despite our best efforts, between 5 and 20% of Americans come down with the flu each year. Taking care of yourself when you have the flu can seem impossible. Luckily, there are a few things that can help ease your suffering. We asked flu experts the best ways to work through a flu to have you feeling better, faster.

Get a Humidifier
The winter months bring cold, dry winter weather that can make the flu feel much worse than it actually is. These conditions are perfect for the spread of viruses, and those viruses will linger on surfaces for longer. Keeping the air moist with a humidifier is a great way to ease symptoms such as a dry throat and congestion. In addition, the moisture will make it harder for the virus to linger on surfaces and in the air.

Stay Hydrated
One of the most important things to do when fighting off any infection is to make sure your body stays hydrated. A hydrated body will be able to work properly, and will help ease congestion. While water is one of the best things you can drink, it’s not the only liquid that can help. Hot drinks such as tea can help relieve some of your symptoms.

Change Positions
While the flu may make you want to curl up in bed and stay put, this can actually elongate your symptoms. Try not to spend too much time lying flat, as it can hinder the drainage of sinuses and cause further congestion. Doctors suggest sitting up in bed, or at the very least to change positions once in a while.

Get Medical Attention
If you have come down with the flu, the best way to recover is to seek care from a medical center, such as your nearest walk in clinic. While you may think to visit the emergency room, this can lead to long wait times and hefty bills. According to a study conducted by the Rand Corporation in 2010, nearly one in every five ER visits could be treated at urgent care centers. This could save the health care industry nearly $4.4 billion in costs annually. A typical ER visit costs an average of $1,500, while urgent care walk in clinics cost $150. An urgent care center will get you the medication you need to power through the rest of your flu symptoms.