Warm or hot shower for the flu?

A hot shower can help soothe the irritation from the flu.

But cold water and ice packs can also be soothing.

Shop for cold packs.

7. Wear cotton gloves

Wearing cotton gloves doesn’t seem to make the flu any worse, but it may help prevent infection.

Avoid getting the flu by not touching your face. If you touch your face, wash your hands immediately afterward.

Wash your hands often, especially if you have a cold or flu.

8. Don’t smoke

Smoking is one of the top causes of the flu.

You may be more likely to contract the flu if you smoke. That’s because smoking irritates your respiratory tract.

Don’t smoke if you’re sick. If you decide to quit, talk with your doctor.

9. Use nonprescription cough or cold medicine

Nonprescription cough or cold medicines can help to reduce coughing and congestion.

To get the most from these medicines, take them according to the directions.

If you’re using a cough medicine for the first time, wait until it’s time to use it.

If you’re using a cough medicine for the second or third time, skip it.

10. See a doctor if you cough up blood

Coughing up blood is common with the flu. It may be a sign that your body is fighting off the infection.

It can also be a sign that you have an underlying medical condition such as:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Pulmonary embolism

If you have a high fever and a cough that doesn’t get better, see a doctor.

They may be able to diagnose and treat the underlying condition.

11. Wear a face mask

A face mask can help keep your airways open by keeping germs from entering your lungs.

Avoid touching your face. Wash your hands thoroughly. Then, gently blow your nose and cough out the mucus.

If you still have a lot of mucus, cough up a little more.

If you can’t get rid of the mucus, cough more forcefully.

12. Take over-the-counter pain medication

Over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help with pain.

It’s important to take the full dosage of medication. Your doctor may increase the dosage if necessary.

You may find that taking your medication before bed helps you sleep better.

13. Stay hydrated

Drinking fluids can help your body fight off the flu.

Wash your hands frequently. If you have a cold or flu, make sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue.

Then, put the tissue in a cup or bowl and add about eight ounces of water.

Drink the water right away. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays can help with congestion.

These sprays may cause drowsiness. Talk with your doctor before you use them.

14. Exercise

Exercise can help you stay healthy and strong. But a little extra rest is important too.

Exercise can help reduce your risk of getting the flu.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are important parts of a healthy lifestyle.

15. Practice good hygiene

Practicing good hygiene can help prevent the spread of germs.

Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water.

Don’t touch your face. Wash your hands after you’ve touched your face.

Don’t share anything that could have germs on it.

16. Take a warm bath

A warm bath can help soothe your body and loosen your muscles.

If you have a cold or flu, a warm bath can help loosen your congestion.

You may feel some relief after a warm bath. You may also feel better if you take a warm bath before bed.

Don’t sit in a hot tub for too long.

Shop for warm bath products.

17. Use a humidifier

A humidifier can help increase humidity in the air. This can help relieve congestion.

Dry air is more irritable than wet air. Dry air can also make it harder to breathe.

Shop for humidifiers.

18. Eat warm, bland foods

A warm, bland diet can help keep your body nourished.

It’s important to eat a variety of nutritious foods.

Cooking an appropriate variety of healthy meals can keep your body hydrated.

Avoid spicy, greasy, or acidic foods.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, too.

19. Try a nasal decongestant

A nasal decongestant can help relieve congestion and congestion.

Nasal decongestants may cause drowsiness.

They’re usually safe to use. However, if you have a heart condition, you shouldn’t use nasal decongestants.

Shop for nasal decongestant sprays.

20. Take an OTC cough suppressant

OTC cough suppressants can help ease your cough. They work by relaxing your muscles. This relieves cough.

If your cough is severe, your doctor may recommend a stronger OTC cough suppressant.

Shop for OTC cough suppressants.

21. Take an OTC pain reliever

OTC pain relievers can help with pain and reduce the swelling and irritation caused by the flu.

Don’t take them if you have a fever.

Shop for OTC pain relievers.

22. Rest

Stay active to help ease your body’s recovery.

If you have a cold or flu, you may be able to manage it with rest.

But if you have a severe case of the flu, rest may not be enough to help you recover.

Talk with your doctor before you stop exercise.

23. Eat foods that contain vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It can help your body fight off the flu.

Foods that contain vitamin C include:

  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Turnip greens

You can also add vitamin C to your bathwater.

Shop for vitamin C supplements.

24. Take a pain reliever

You can take an OTC pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) to help with pain.

It’s important to always take the full dosage.

Talk with your doctor before you take OTC pain relievers.

Takeaway

The flu is a viral infection. It can cause a high fever, body aches, and a dry cough.

Most people recover from the flu within a week or two. But the flu can be serious and cause complications.

If you have the flu, you can take a few simple steps to help your body fight off the infection.

The flu can be a complicated illness, but with a few simple steps, you can help yourself and others feel better

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