We are in the season where more people are coughing and blowing their nose. But, when is it necessary to see a doctor? What may seem like a simple cold can turn into a more complicated condition.
In fact, colds can wear down your immune system, leaving your body vulnerable to other health issues. Colds typically last for two weeks then go away.
So how can you tell if you have a cold or something more serious, like the flu? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the common cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms. However, those suffering from the flu have more intense symptoms along with fever and chills.
“If you are not sure if you or a family member needs to see a doctor, always call your physician’s office to get advice,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent health insurance company.
Below is a list compiled from consumer health website, EverydayHealth.com, of symptoms that require medical attention.
- Fever above 103 F or a fever that lasts more than three days
- Symptoms that last more the 10 days
- Trouble breathing, fast breathing or wheezing
- Bluish skin color
- Earache or drainage from the ear
- Changes in mental state, such as not waking up, irritability or seizures
- Flu-like symptoms that improve, then return with a fever and a worse cough
- Worsening of a chronic medical condition
- A high, prolonged fever above 102 F
- Symptoms that last more than 10 days or get worse
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint
- Confusion or disorientation
- Severe, persistent vomiting
- Severe pain in your face or forehead
- Hoarseness, sore throat or a cough that won’t go away after 10 days