5 ways to prevent colds or the flu
Soap, water and rest make a difference
No one wants a runny nose or nagging cough. But cold and flu germs are all around us. We asked Angie Mattern, NP, Nurse Practitioner with Goshen Physicians, for simple advice on how to avoid getting sick.
Wash your hands. "Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands," said Angie. That's the number one way viruses enter your body and make you sick. A cold virus can live on a surface – like a counter, cart handle or railing – for up to a day after an infected person has touched it, according to research studies.
Sleep well. Make sure you get seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each day. "Studies show people who get five hours or less are three times more likely to develop a cold than someone who gets a full night's rest," said Angie.
Get a flu vaccine. Get vaccinated even if you get diagnosed with the flu, recommends Angie. It's the best way to keep from getting sick from one of several influenza strands that go around each year.
Take a vitamin supplement. Vitamin C can help prevent getting a cold, according to studies. Once you're sick, the supplement won't make symptoms go away any quicker.
Use zinc with extreme caution. Over-the-counter remedies like Zicam may cause permanent anosmia, which is an inability to detect different smells, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Need a healthcare provider to take care of your family’s health needs? Search our Goshen Physicians network for a provider, specialist or location that's right for you.
We're here to help
We want to keep you feeling your best in any season. Download our Cold, Flu or Allergy chart for a quick guide to symptoms, treatments and medications for common colds and flu.