For the majority of respiratory illnesses, self-treatment is all that is required.
- Have personal care items available such as hand sanitizer, tissues, over-the-counter medicines, a thermometer and fluids.
- Let a friend or family member know that you are sick and ask them to check on you.
- Increase your fluid intake. Drinking more fluids will help you stay hydrated and control your fever. Recommended fluids are water, sports drinks such as Gatorade, and clear broth soups.
- Get enough rest.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your upper sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home and avoid contact with others until 24 hours after your fever has gone away (without the use of fever-reducing medications.) Your temperagure should be below 100 degress F for at least 24 hours.
There are many over-the-counter medicines to help you treat your symptoms. You can buy them from Student Health Services or any grocery store.
Before taking any medication:
- Always read the labels carefully;
- Check the list of ingredients for substances you may be allergic to;
- Be aware of any side effects; and
- Use the medicine ONLY as directed.
Student Health Services' pharmacy has cold and flu kits available for purchase for $7.
- Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Tylenol) to reduce fever and pain.
- Use decongestants with pseudoephedrine as the active ingredient.
- Inhale steam to ease your congestion by holding your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe through your nose or taking a steamy shower.
- Use saline nasal sprays or room humidifiers.
- Antihistamines such as DimeTapp, Singlet, Benadryl, NyQuil are the most effective for treating cough and sneezing.
- Less effective, but still useful, are Claritin and Allegra.
- Keep a throat lozenge, cough drop or hard candy in your moth. It will stimulate your saliva and help sooth your throat.
- Gargle warm salt water (1/4 teaspon of salt with 8 ounces of water) and spit it out.