With the temperature dropping again, furnaces will be running full-time. That means means even more people will be getting sick.
Furnaces dry out the air, which dries out your mucus membranes and makes you more susceptible to colds and upper-respiratory infections.
Dr. Marie-Louise Sagan Yewah at McLaren Greater Lansing Family Medicine has been seeing a lot of them lately along with sinus infections and laryngitis. Typical symptoms include congestion, sore throat, itchy and watery eyes and sometimes a fever in children.
Over-the-counter antihistamines and cough medicines can provide some relief. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help with the fever and pain.
Vaporizers and humidifiers will help reduce congestion. They can also keep the air in your home from getting too dry, which may help prevent infections.
You should see a doctor if you have a high fever or if the pain in your face and teeth gets worse. The same goes if your symptoms last longer than a week. It may be a bacterial infection and you may need an antibiotic.
You can help prevent the spread by sneezing into your arms and washing your hands frequently.