Treating Flu and Cold Symptoms – includes a free patient information PDF!

Download the free patient handout PDF near the end of this article!

There is no cure for a cold or flu virus, but you can treat your symptoms while your body fights off the virus.

Ways to Ease Flu and Cold Symptomscold-flu

  • Stay home and rest, especially while you have a fever.
  • Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, which can make cold symptoms worse.
  • Drink plenty of fluids like water, clear soups and unsweetened fruit juices. Fluids help loosen mucus, and keep you hydrated when you have a fever. A fever can dry up your body’s fluids, which can lead to dehydration.
  • Don’t drink alcohol.
  • Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day to relieve a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help relieve throat pain.
  • Use salt-water (saline) nose drops, a neti pot, or other nasal irrigation method to help loosen mucus and moisten the skin in your nose.

Ways to Prevent Catching a Cold or Flu

    You can print copies of this PDF handout for your patients, to reinforce what you have told them.
    Get Adobe Reader
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Get regular exercise
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Get enough sleep
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t touch your face - germs can enter your nose, eyes and mouth from your hands
  • Cover your sneezes and coughs with your elbow or a tissue
  • Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after touching frequently used surfaces
Used with permission from the Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)