We’re all used to thinking of headaches, sore throats and coughs as colds most of the way through the year, but when the weather turns seasonal, we’re all quick to assume we’re coming down the with flu. But do you really know the difference between the two, and if not, how are we to get the medicine we need to effectively treat them?

 

The Common Cold

Ever notice how no two colds are exactly the same? Well that’s the secret to how we’ve never found a cure for it yet, it constantly changes itself a little bit, meaning trying to pin it down is incredibly hard. Thankfully though, we do have a list of common symptoms, one’s which you will likely be very aware of if you’ve ever had a cold in your life (and I’ll guess you have). They’re the usual suspects like having a blocked nose, nasal pain and irritation, sneezing, your nose running, coughing and sore throats. A combination of any of these things will likely indicate having a cold.

Treatment: There are plenty of off the shelf medications for colds, most of which utilize paracetamol to a certain degree. For each problem, there is a solution, and as such there’s medicine for coughs, sneezes, runny noses and, well, anything you can think of.

Seasonal Flu (Influenza)

Our old friend the flu makes an appearance every year, and it’s never anything short of a massive inconvenience. Separating it from the cold though is a fairly simple task, despite having a few outwardly similar symptoms. With the flu, you can expect a sudden fever, with temperatures of over 38°C. Otherwise look for tiredness, aching muscles, limb and joint pain, diarrhea, upset stomach, a loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. Not to mention, that’s on top of the cold symptoms!

Treatment: Rest, lots of rest. Your symptoms will peak after two to three days, and you should begin to feel better after around a week. There’s also plenty of flu medicine which acts to suppress the feelings of illness you might be having, all of which can work wonders in stopping you feeling completely awful.