A Cold or the Flu: What to Ask Your Doctor

Health, Home & Family
on November 18, 2011

You’re sneezing and coughing. You have a headache. Your throat hurts. You have a cold. Or worse, you’re achy and feverish with a bad case of the chills. You have the flu. It’s time to go see the doctor. Prepare for the visit with these questions suggested by Medline Plus:

  • How can I tell if I have the flu or a cold? Flu symptoms are more severe and may include fever, chills and body aches.
  • How can I tell if I have an ear infection? Ear infections often trouble young children when they contract a cold virus. They are less common in adults.
  • How can I tell if I’ve contracted pneumonia? Your doctor can detect the amount of fluid, if any, that has gathered in your lungs.
  • How can I tell if I’ve contracted the H1N1 virus, previously known as “swine flu,” or another type of flu?
  • How can I prevent others from getting sick? Learn what extra precautions to take if you have a young child or an elderly person at home.
  • When will I feel better?
  • Are there over the counter drugs that can lessen the severity of my symptoms? Most people visit the doctor because they want to feel better. Take advantage of your doctor’s expertise and find out how to feel better fast.
  • What should I eat or drink?
  • Are there medicines that will make the symptoms go away faster?
  • Can I take aspirin or ibuprofen? There may be even stronger medications your doctor can prescribe to help symptoms.
  • Should I get a flu shot? Be sure to ask about different types of flu shots, the risks of the flu shot, and how long flu shots help.
  • Are there alternative remedies worth trying? You never know when your doctor might recommend something you’ve never heard of.