If you’re a senior, getting the flu can be serious. This is because in older adults, the immune system has weakened which can cause the flu to become something more serious. The flu in a senior can turn into bronchitis or even worse, pneumonia. One of the most serious and common flu complications is pneumonia, and 90% of flu-related deaths in seniors over 65 are caused by it.
What are flu symptoms
There are various symptoms of the flu, which can onset suddenly. Some of these symptoms are:
- A fever, headache and extreme tiredness which can last two or three weeks.
- Aches and pains which can be severe and a dry cough is common too.
- A sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose.
- Becoming nauseous, vomiting or having diarrhea.
If you have these symptoms, call your doctor and get medical attention immediately.
How to treat the flu
If you do happen to get the flu, how is it treated? First, call your doctor and give your physician a rundown of your symptoms and then ask for suggested treatment. If it is the flu, then antiviral drugs can be prescribed to treat your illness. These drugs can shorten the time that you’re sick and make the illness milder in form. It’s important to get the antiviral drugs as early as possible. Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated also.
How to prevent getting the flu
There are things that you can do to prevent getting the flu. Below is a list of tips which are helpful:
- Be sure to get the flu vaccine shot. This shot helps to reduce the risks of getting the flu. Plus, it can reduce the severity of the flu if you do get it and help with avoiding getting complications from the flu. Flu shots are most helpful if gotten between October through November. However, if you didn’t get one then, it’s still a good idea to get one even if it’s late in the flu season.
- Be sure to wash and sanitize your hands thoroughly and often, which is an effective way to keep ahead of the virus. Just plain soap and water will do it but wash under nails, on the back of hands, between your fingers and your wrists too. 80% of all influenzas are gotten from touching something and then touching the face, not from sneezes or coughs.
- In line with this, it’s good not to needlessly touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are flu portals. If you do touch your face as a habit, it’s a good habit to break. If you do have to touch or scratch your face though, wash your hands first.
- Be sure to stay away from people who are sick. This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes it happens. So, if you do need to be around someone who is sick (say a little grandchild) try to limit the contact, unnecessary touching; wash your hands often and don’t touch your face.
For a senior to get the flu, it just isn’t an inconvenience; it can be life-threatening. Don’t take the flu lightly. Get your flu shot.
Question: Have you gotten your flu shot?