Are you sick of getting sick? Are you finding yourself suffering from things you never had to deal with in your home country? While we are very happy to have our international guests here in Nashville, sometimes the climate and the illnesses that go along with being here aren’t as welcoming. This blog is dedicated to simply helping you make the fall and winter here a little more tolerable when you get struck by one of these pesky ailments:

Fall Allergies (allergic rhinitis) is probably one of the most common frustrations our visitors will have to deal with. In fact, in 2009, WebMD ranked Nashville as the 37th out of the top 100 worst cities in the US for having to deal with this, with Memphis, Knoxville, and Louisville (all local cities) ranked even higher. How do you know you’ve got it? Itchy throat, ears, and eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and maybe dark circles under your eyes can tip you off. To alleviate yourself of the misery (and it can be very miserable) you can use over-the-counter antihistamines or decongestants. If you are not able to get to the store right away, simply washing your hands and face will clean away the allergens that have hitched a ride!

Sinus Infections (sinusitis) are another nasty frustration. These lead to bad headaches behind your eyes and a discoloration of your nose mucus (snot), turning it yellow, green, or even red!! Your nose can dry out in the process as well. It’s recommended that you keep your living space cool rather than hot, use a humidifier, and drink lots of fluids. As for the infection, the most effective way to get rid of it is to visit a doctor at a clinic (not the ER!) and get an appropriate prescription.

The cold and the flu (influenza) have been around a long time and people sometimes have a little trouble telling the difference between the two. Both are respiratory illnesses but a cold is milder than a flu. A cold can make you feel bad for a few days, but a flu can make you feel very ill for anywhere from a few days to weeks. Cold symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, and eventually a cough. Flu symptoms are usually more severe and come on quickly. These include a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches, congestion, and a cough. Take your temperature to see if you have a fever and compare the severity of your symptoms to make a judgment on what you have. To treat a cold, you can use over-the-counter decongestants and pain relievers. For a fever, you can use these as well as over-the-counter cough medicines. If the flu is bad enough, you should go see a doctor who can prescribe anti-viral medications.

However, prevention is the best way to handle all of these. Eat well, get lots of rest, wash your hands regularly, and dress appropriately for the weather! Taking good care of yourself will help ensure that you can be healthy and enjoy the fall and winter seasons the most. Our source for a lot of this information has been http://www.webmd.com. You can check it out too for information about these issues and many others.

Healthy Holidays!

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