Cold or flu: Which one is ailing you?

Winter is coming. Influenza and the coronavirus are spreading fast in the United States, infecting many healthy adults and children of all ages. With more
people spending time cooped up indoors, those illnesses can travel easily from person to person.

When you feel symptoms flaring, it’s not always easy to identify whether you are suffering from cold or flu since both have similar primary symptoms. Here
are a few pointers to help you discern the nature of your illness and address the symptoms quickly.

Common Flu Symptoms?

Flu symptoms include fever, pain and tiredness around the eyes; aches in muscles and joints; headache; dry cough; weakness or extreme fatigue; red, watery
eyes; and a sore throat and runny nose.

Have the Flu ? What Do You Do?

If you manifest severe symptoms, be sure to see a doctor immediately. Those symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, severe vomiting, chest and belly
pain, and trouble breathing.

Where more mild symptoms are present, the best treatment is to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.

Common Cold Symptoms?

Cold symptoms are usually more mild than flu symptoms. They generally do not include a fever nor the marked body aches that accompany flu. A cold usually
starts with a sore throat and develops into a runny nose and cough. A fever can occur with colds, but this is not as common.

Colds may go a way in just a few days, but the flu will often linger for close to a week and can even escalate into pneumonia.

Treatment “Best Practices”

Since cold and flu are caused by viruses, there’s no real treatment, but you can address the symptoms. First of all, stay at home since viruses are easily
spread. Medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, and non-inflammatory medicines can relieve some of your discomfort (though be aware that
decongestants and antihistamines can have side effects that disrupt your sleep patterns.)

If you’ve managed to stay healthy thus far, you can increase your chances of staying well by washing your hands frequently, eating well, getting plenty of
sleep, and managing your stress. As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.