Travelling With Colds? Here’s What You Should Know

 

Colds  and coughs can be troublesome when you’re travelling and can sometimes lead to worse problems. So make sure you recognise the symptoms early and don’t let complications get a hold.

It’s not just the culture that’s different and exciting, the viruses are too. The common cold is common the world ever,and because colds are spread by droplets for example, sneezing and close personal contact. You are more likely to get them in crowded urban environments. Travelling in crowded public means of transport or by eating in overcrowded restaurants. Air pollution and hawking  in our towns and spitting compounds is problem in our ubarns areas are another risk factor to getting colds.

As for symptoms, you know the score-normal or slightly raised temperature, runny nose, sore throat and perhaps a cough. Colds usually go away in a few days without any special treatment. But when you’re travelling you’re more vulnerable to complications like sinusitis,bronchitis and ear infection. Recognise the symptoms of a colds as a sign to take it easy for a day or two for better rest.

Drinking plenty of fluids, treat yourself to some good meals and take simple painkiller if necessary for any aches or pains. Make your own colds remedy by adding honey or sugar to lemon or lime juice and top with boiled water. If there are no complications, antibiotics are of no use since colds are caused by viruses not bacteria


Sinusitis

This usually follows a colds, and can be painful-literally. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull above the eyes and on the either side of nose, designed to make our head lighter so they don’t drag on the ground. If the lining of the cavities becomes infected and the normally empty spaces fill with mucus or pus, it causes you pain.

Symptoms are headache usually over you forehead or face pain, which is worse when you strain or bend over. Your forehead or cheeks may feel tender when you press them. You may feel mucus dripping down the back of your throat. Typically the pain isn’t there when you first get up in the morning, but comes on during the morning, reaching a crescendo about lunch time before gradually receding. It’s possible to be quite ill with it, with fever and aches and pains.

try steam inhalation with menthol, eucalyptus, tea-tree oil or tiger balm as a first measure, together with simple painkillers.If this doesn’t help, you could try taking a nasal decongestant like pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 60mg four times daily. Avoid pseudoephedrine hydrochloride if you have high blood pressure. Antihistamine may also help.

If you have a fever and you feel rough, you’ll probably need a course of antibiotics- see a doctor if possible. If not, suitable antibiotic are co-amoxiclav 625mg twice daily for five to seven days. Or cafaclor 500mg twice a daily for five days.

Flying can make the pain worse, so start taking a nasal decongestant the day before you fly or use a nasal decongestant spray. Underwater diving also makes it worse, so avoid diving until you feel better.

Hey Fever(Allergic Rhinitis).

This  common condition is usually due to an allergy to some things in the air, such as pollen. It can often be difficult to decide whether your symptoms are because of colds or an allergy. Though if the symptoms persist and you otherwise feel reasonably well, it’s probably hay fever.Hey fever involves lots of nose blowing. Other symptoms include sneezing, and itchy eyes, roof of the mouth and sometimes ears too. Your chest may feel tight as you can get asthma with it.

If you know you’re susceptible to hay fever, it’s a good idea to bring all your usual remedies with you while travelling. If it’s being nuisance, try antihistamine tablets to start with but if this doesn’t control it, you could try a nasal spray containing steroid. The amount of steroid in them won’t cause any general problems. Nasal spray with steroid includes beclomethasone dipropionate spray. It needs to be taken regularly to have the best chance of working.

Influenza

Flu and other similar viral illnesses are spread in the same way as colds and are more likely when you’re travelling for same reasons. Although we tend to think of colds and flu as the same thing, they actually have very different symptoms. Flu tends to start quite suddenly, often with a high fever. It can make you feel pretty dreadful, with headache and generalised aches and pains. You may have a runny nose sore throat with it and often a dry cough that can last for several weeks. Although the illness usually lasts  fews days,it can leave you feeling tired and out of energy for some time. There’s a vaccine against flu which is recommended for older people.

There’s no specific treatment for flu but,  as for colds common complications such as as a chest infection may be more likely when travelling, so it’s worth taking care of yourself. Rest up-you probably won’t feel like doing much for a day or two anyway. Simple painkiller can help lower the fever and relieve aches and pains, and any of the remedies discussed under colds may help your symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids because it’s easy to get dehydrated with  fever. Once the fever is down, step up the food as you start to feel better.

As flu is a viral illness, antibiotic won’t do you  any good unless you get complications. The trouble with flu is that the symptoms are so nonspecific that lots of disease can mimic it. This can be hard to tell if it’s flu or something more serious like malaria.

To give you some guidelines, when you need to see a doctor if;

  1. Your temperature of over 39ºC and it can’t be lowered antipyretics.
  2.  You feel breathless, start to cough up green sputum. Or you have chest pain-this may indicates a chest infection.
  3. Having a severe headache, neck stiffness and hypersensitivity to light-you may have meningitis.

Sore Throat

Like colds you can get an uncomfortable throat if you’re travelling in dry and dusty situation. Also when you’re mouth-breathing because your nose is blocked or if you are doing strenuous exercise. Drinking plenty of plenty of water eat moist food like fruits and vegetables. Chewing of sugar-free gum is advisable if get hold of it. Your lips can get very dry under these conditions and cracked lips are uncomfortable, as well as an infection risk. The tender skin of your lips is also very sensitive to the sun, so use lip salve with sunblock and use it reapply regularly throughout the day.

Sore throat can be caused by infection, usually viral, often with a viral eye infection (conjunctivitis).It can also alone or as part of other illnesses like colds, flu and glandular fever. It usually clears up on it own after a few days without any special treatment. Simple measures for treating a sore throat are to gargle regularly with salty water or a solution of soluble aspirin or paracetamol. Having lots of warm drinks will also help: add some grated ginger, lime juice  and honey to cup of hot water.

Third, sore throat can be caused by bacterial infection. The  reason this matters  is that some bacterial throat infections can occasionally lead to serious complications especially in children. Unfortunately, the only sure way to tell bacterial and viral sore throat apart is by a laboratory test. But as a rule of thumb, you need to seek medical advice for severe;for example if you can’t swallow solids. Also in of persistent sore throat for more than fives days without improvement. This will need to be treated with antibiotics. Suitable antibiotics are Co-amoxiclave 625mg twice a day for five day or 500mg  of cefaclor twice a day for five days.

colds sores

Colds sores are caused by herpes virus infection which recurs periodically. If you’ve had those before, the stresses of travel are quite likely to make them recur. Other factor that make recurrences more likely include sunlight, fever and menstruation. You usually know when one is coming on because you’ll feel a burning sensation on the edge of your lip followed by blister, usually the next day. They take about a week ato clear up. Acyclovir cream 5% can be effective if you apply it as soon as you feel the burning starting,

Secondary bacterial infection is a risk so try to avoid touching the sore with your fingers. This is a good practice anyway, as you can introduce infection in your eye if you then rub your eyes.

Mouth Ulcers

These are more likely to occur if you’re stressed or if you’re taking proguanil as an antimalarial, but otherwise they’re a bit of a mystery. Regularly swishing your mouth out with salty water or an antiseptic mouthwash eg chlorhexidine.You can also apply small amount of toothpaste to the ulcer can help, although all these measures will sting at first.

Cough

Lots of things can make you cough in this world we are living especially in our aburns areas. This include physical hazard like dust, smoke and air pollution. Also infection like colds,flu, chest infection-bronchitis, asthma and even malaria. Other rarer causes of cough which you don’t to worry unduly about, including lung flukes,hydatid disease and various worm infestation. Many chest infection are caused by viruses, unless you’ve got chronic lung condition or it may follow as flu.

Bronchitis  usually begin with an irritating, dry cough and a feeling of tightness in the chest. You may have mild fever. After a day or so you start coughing up yellowing or greenish sputum. It usually clear up on its own in about five to seven days.

Antibiotic aren’t usually needed, they don’t work against viral infection.There are some situations that you may need to see a doctor if:
  • When you are pretty sick, with high fever- it may be malaria or more serious chest infection
  •  Still coughing a week later
  •  Feeling increasingly short of breath
  • Cough up blood
  • You have pain in your chest on coughing or taking a deep breath

If you need antibiotic, appropriate treatment would be amoxycillin 500mg three times a day. If you are allergic to penicillin, erythromycin 500mg four times a day for five to seven days.

In case you are asthmatic, you’ll probably know about it before you go to travelling, and you should take a plentiful supply of your usual medicine with you. Symptoms include a cough, wheeze, chest tightness and shortness of breath, which may be worse at night or brought on by exercise.

It is possible that asthma may start for the first time while you are travelling, especially if you are travelling in some of in polluted/dusty places environment. It’s very common in children and young adults. Some drugs can make it worse and should be avoided, the most common one being aspirin.

If you’re worried, seek medical advice so that appropriate medication can be prescribed if necessary. In case you are very short of breath or wheezy, you should seek help urgently.

About Docbobhe 26 Articles
Am Robert Mathenge, a healthcare provider in Nakuru county. i love this profession as it gives me chance to serve my call, interacting with people from various social backgrounds makes me feel good.

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