What's Going Around

By: Lauren Evans Email
By: Lauren Evans Email

We start off in Dewitt, where Dr. Mark Schaar, at Dewitt Family Practice, says the common cold is going around this week.

Cold symptoms include itching or sore throat, sneezing, nasal congestion and mucus drainage, and watery eyes.

To treat the cold, it's important to rest and drink plenty of clear fluids. Also, gargling with salt water can ease a sore throat.

Over-the-counter decongestants containing pseudo ephedrine can help dry and clear nasal passages temporarily. Decongestant nasal sprays can help but be careful, because using those for more than five days can cause a "rebound effect." That means more mucus and worse congestion.

In Okemos, Dr. James Brouillette at Ingham Primary Care Center is treating ear infections, which oftentimes follow a cold.

The main symptom is mild to extremely painful ear pain. You may also have a fever. Babies and young kids are often fussy, have trouble sleeping, pull at their ears and cry.

You can take pain relievers, or put a warm washcloth or heating pad on the ear. It's also important to rest. You should talk to your doctor too; he or she may prescribe antibiotics or ear drops to help the pain.

You can help prevent ear infections in your child, by not smoking. Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke are more prone to ear infections.

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