How Do I Get Rid of a Lingering Virus?
Many people in the Cincinnati area are visiting their primary care physicians with complaints of lingering cold symptoms.
Seth Isaacs MD , an ear, nose and throat physician with TriHealth Group Health , discusses viral illnesses and the best ways to get rid of them.
Viral Illnesses: What Are the Symptoms?
"The majority of [sinus diseases] start off as a viral infection, so not only will you get the typical nasal congestion and post-nasal drip, but you also get the fatigue, headaches and muscle aches that go along with a viral illness," Dr. Isaacs explains.
When to Visit Your Doctor Again
If you experience symptoms for more than 10 days or so, Dr. Isaacs suggests additional care, which may mean taking another prescription.
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"If someone has had these symptoms for over 10 days, you start to worry that it becomes a bacterial sinus infection," he explains. "Typically, people will need, I would say, a 10-day course of antibiotics. I would also recommend some steroids - either taken orally, such as prednisone, or else even just some steroid nasal sprays."
Dr. Isaacs also points out that a 10-day treatment is just a start, which is why another antibiotic may be prescribed. "We have seen these viruses that have been lingering for three to four weeks, so patients have been symptomatic for that long and often they don't' respond to antibiotics right away."
Tips for Managing Symptoms
In addition to taking the proper medications, Dr. Isaacs also suggests:
- Staying hydrated
- Getting plenty of rest
He also says that, in some cases, using a nasal washer neti pot filled with salt water may be helpful. However, make sure you use distilled or bottled water in your nose in order to prevent the risk of infection.