ANTIBIOTICS FOR A BAD COLD
Question: I’ve had two particularly bad colds over the past year. Both times, my doctor prescribed antibiotics. I thought that a cold is a viral infection and that antibiotics aren’t effective against viruses. Why the antibiotics?
Answer: That depends. Antibiotics indeed won’t do anything for a viral infection such as the common cold. But sometimes a cold virus leads to a bacterial infection in the sinus or bronchial airways, which does require antibiotics.
Sinus infections can produce a thick, yellow or deeply colored discharge from the nose, tenderness or pain just above or below the eyes, and mild fever. Bronchial infections can also cause fever as well as a cough that brings up greenish yellow sputum or even some blood.
If you have none of those symptoms, you shouldn’t take antibiotics. The drugs can cause such side effects as nausea, diarrhea, and rashes. They can also kill off the body’s own protective bacteria, allowing fungal infections to grow, and inappropriate use can add to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant germs.
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Question: A year or so ago I was diagnosed as having a bronchial infection caused by Hemophilus influenza bacteria. Despite having taken three or four antibiotics, I still have a very productive cough. Could the fact that I smoke cigarettes be hampering my recovery ?
Answer: Very likely. Not only do smokers experience more respiratory infections than nonsmokers do, but they also are likely to have more difficulty recovering. Smoking destroys cilia, the tiny filaments that help to move infected mucus up and out of the lungs. And the ability of the lungs to repair tissue damage is impaired by years of smoking.
Health handbook introducing you to read the article: PAIN MEDICATIONS: ASPIRIN, IBUPROFEN, AND CLOTTING
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