Common Colds, Cough and Flu Treatment Doctor Q&A
Do you have a persistent cold with a cough? Come to Columbia Clinic Urgent Care for fast and comprehensive treatment. For more information, please call us or request an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in 82nd Avenue Portland OR, Division St Portland OR, Mall 205 Portland OR, Clackamas Happy Valley OR, and Tigard OR.
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You probably won’t need to see a doctor if you catch a cold or flu. Viral infections like these are often treated with over-the-counter medications, rest, and plenty of fluids. It is when complications arise that you need to visit a doctor.
If your cold persists for more than two weeks, you may need to see a doctor. If you have a very sore throat, high fever, or chest pain, these are signs of an infection that needs to be addressed. If you have the flu that lasts more than a week, there may be complications requiring you to see a doctor.
If you have a child who has gotten a cold or flu and has a high fever, it is time to see a doctor.
Many people may have access to a primary care physician or pediatrist that can deal with many of the health issues that arise. Internists are another choice of doctor who can help.
There are times when problems arise that you may want to be addressed when your primary doctor is too busy to see you or isn’t available. An urgent care clinic is another option for those times when you need to see a doctor for a health concern that isn’t life-threatening, like a cold or flu. Urgent care clinics are staffed with doctors, such as internists and medical staff who can treat these concerns and many more. They are often open later than a family practice and are often open on weekends for your convenience.
There isn’t anything you can do to get rid of a common cold. The body needs to fight off the virus causing the cold, which usually takes between one and two weeks. This is also true of more coughs. But a cough may have another cause and you may need to see a doctor to find out what the issue is.
Since a cold cannot be cured, your option is to try and reduce the symptoms that you have associated with your cold. You also need to do things to help your body heal, like get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and add moisture to the air. This will give the body more energy to perform its natural healing.
The things that you can do to alleviate symptoms are:
– Saltwater gargle to help reduce sore throat pain
– Sip warm liquids to lessen throat pain and reduce congestion
– Take pain killers, these are quite available over-the-counter
– Use something to clear nasal passages to reduce congestion, like a nasal spray or neti pot
You shouldn’t need to see a doctor about a cold or flu, but there may be times when complications arise. Adults who are dealing with the following should see a doctor:
– If you have a fever above 101.3F that lasts for more than 3 days
– A fever that returns
– Symptoms that get worse or do not improve
– If you have wheezing
– If you have shortness of breath
– If you have sinus pain, headache, or severe sore throat
For children with colds or flu, the above conditions apply plus:
– A fever of 100.4F in children up to three months of age
– A fever lasting more than 2 days in a child of any age
– Unusual drowsiness
– Lack of appetite
If you are dealing with a cold, flu, or cough that is persistent or painful, then seeing a doctor is recommended. Urgent care clinics provide medical staff that can handle these health concerns. Many urgent care clinics will also provide lab testing for quick and accurate diagnoses of things like strep throat, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Columbia Clinic Urgent Care has clinics near you to help when you need treatment for flu, colds, or coughs that aren’t going away. We can treat people of all ages and provide walk-in services if you need those. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.