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Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

’Tis the season for coughs, drips, sore throats, and fevers. Here’s how to prepare for—and weather—it.

An Ounce of Prevention

3 Steps to Staying Well
What you can do to get safely through the cold and flu season.

Germ with a fever

8 Cold and Flu Symptoms to Know About

There's a reason for every sniffle, sneeze, and ache. Learn why your body behaves the way it does and how to feel better faster.
Photo: Andrew Bannecker

How to Manage a Cold or the Flu

Down for the count? Here’s help in getting back on your feet.
Photo: James Baigrie

Cold and Flu Prevention

Why we get sick and how to stay healthy during cold and flu season.
Photo: Andrew Bannecker

6 Natural Cold-Prevention Strategies

Statistics say you’ll catch two to four colds this winter. Here’s help to stave them off.
Photo: Kate Sears
Germ with a fever
Tissues
Book about the common cold
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For Allergy Sufferers

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Why Suffer From Allergies? 12 Tricks to Relieve Symptoms
Get help for your runny eyes and drippy nose with this quick guide to treating allergy symptoms.

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6 Solutions for Nagging Allergies
How to actually enjoy spring? Use one of these options to ease watery eyes and a runny nose, so you can breathe a sigh of relief.

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5 Tips About Treating Colds and the Flu

First and foremost, do yourself no harm with the cold and flu treatments you choose. Check these dos and don’ts.

  • Do buy your own nasal spray. If you use someone else’s contaminated bottle, you can introduce bacteria into your nose.
  • Do keep track of the ingredients in every medicine you’re taking to prevent double dosing. For example, many combination medications contain acetaminophen―so you don’t want to take additional Tylenol, since acetaminophen can be toxic to the liver in high doses. And scores of products, including cough suppressants and medicated cough drops, contain dextromethorphan (DXM). Take more than the recommended dose of DXM and you may feel woozy or experience an irregular heartbeat and temporary high blood pressure.
  • Don’t use a decongestant nasal spray more than twice a day for three or four days. Overuse can lead to rebound congestion, in which the capillaries of the nose reexpand, causing congestion to return. The rebound effect can require medical treatment.

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