Many people tend to use the words “flu” and “cold” interchangeably, but they are two very different things. Knowing the difference between the two is important, because whereas a cold is usually a mild inconvenience that passes by in a few days with little lasting impact, a flu is a much more serious condition and can do serious damage to a person’s health if not treated. If your “cold” displays any of these 4 symptoms, don’t wait to come to our Costa Mesa medical clinic for further treatment.
One of the surest signs that you are sick with more than a cold, or that your cold has mutated into something more serious, is if you are running a high fever. When an adult is running a fever of 102 degrees or more, it is a sign that their body is fighting off a serious infection, bacteria, or virus. While your body may be able to kill off the offending condition by itself, it is still best to see a doctor. Treatment can help you get over your flu faster, and can check for signs of more serious conditions that might not be obvious at first.
Another sign of a sickness in need of medical attention is when symptoms return a few days after disappearing. Seasonal colds hit once, and then go away completely, which means that your recurring symptoms may be a sign of a secondary infection contracted while your immune system was compromised. Because even a mild cold can stress your immune system, it can leave you open for infection by another virus, or even a serious “superinfection.” If your cold symptoms appear again after just a few days, speak with a doctor as soon as possible. While it’s possible you may just have come in contact with a secondary virus, the risk of serious infection is real enough that it shouldn’t be left up to chance.
Severe Muscle Ache
Some colds are accompanied by mild muscle soreness and fatigue. If you are so sore and fatigued you can’t even get out of bed, however, it is likely something much more serious. Severe muscle ache and fatigue are signs that you have come in contact with a flu virus. If left untreated, flus can develop into further medical complications like lung infections, as well as spread to the people with whom you come in contact. A doctor can help treat flu symptoms and give you medicine that will help it pass sooner, decreasing the likelihood of more serious symptoms developing.
Heart palpitations, also known as an irregular heartbeat, can be a sign of serious conditions like dehydration, or even a virus that is attacking the heart itself. If your cold symptoms are accompanied by an irregular heartbeat, it can signify that your cold is developing into something more serious that needs immediate medical attention.
If you have an existing medical condition such as diabetes, kidney problems, or other chronic medical conditions, it is best to speak with a doctor even if your cold isn’t accompanied by any of the above conditions. Even minor colds can lower the body’s defenses, leaving already compromised immune systems even more vulnerable to serious illness.
For more information on colds, flus, and treatment options, contact Xpress Urgent Care today at 949-548-8400.