Self Care Information

Allergic rhinitis is a common disorder of the respiratory system. Seasonal rhinitis may also be referred to as Hay Fever or Allergies. Symptoms may be caused by indoor or outdoor allergens and often vary from season to season. Common allergens include pollen, mold and pet dander.

Symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Itchy and/or watery eyes
  • May follow a seasonal pattern

Self-care measures:

  • Use oral antihistamines containing cetirizine, loratadine, or fexofenadine for runny nose, itching, and sneezing. Brand names include Zyrtec®, Claritin®, and Allegra®.
  • Use over the counter corticosteroid nasal sprays (Flonase® or Nasacort®). These are most effective when used daily.
  • Use a product with a decongestant such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine for nasal congestion
  • Zaditor® eye drops for eye symptoms
  • Avoid allergens
    • Stay indoors on dry, windy days
    • Remove clothes worn outside and shower to remove pollen from hair and skin
    • Use the air conditioner when possible
    • Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor air dry
    • Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
    • Perform sinus irrigation
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

When to see a medical provider:

  • If you are having any signs of a severe allergic reaction seek immediate medical attention
    • Signs of an allergic reaction include any of the follow: swelling to the throat, loss of consciousness, dizziness (or lightheaded), shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, a skin rash, or a rapid or weak pulse
  • If self-care is not providing symptoms relief or improvement over one week.

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

Anxiety is an emotion that leads to unpleasant feelings and/or thoughts of dread over certain events. Occasional anxiety is an appropriate reaction to stressful events in your life. These occasional episodes of anxiety can be managed with self-care and do not require a visit to a health care provider or mental health professional.

Symptoms:

  • Feelings of fear and uneasiness
  • Muscle tension
  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Problems concentrating
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Feeling that you are having difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Headache

Self-care measures:

  • Talk with supportive friends/family
  • Do something fun!
  • Create a routine
  • Journal
  • Schedule time to nourish your spirit with reading, prayer, meditation or music
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night
  • Exercise
  • Try a calming app
  • Use a guided meditation app
  • Avoid excessive caffeine
  • Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or drugs

When to seek professional help:

  • You have thoughts of hurting yourself or others
  • You are experiencing ongoing irrational fear and dread (irrational feelings that are generalized and not linked to a specific event/events)
  • You have frequent severe anxiety that lasts at least six months
  • You have physical symptoms including but not limited to chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting spells
  • Symptoms are interfering with your normal daily activities
  • If you feel you are having a mental health emergency:
  • During business hours –
  • After hours or on the weekend – Go to the nearest urgent care or go to a local emergency department
  • Call 988 - the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

  • Pink eye is usually self-limited, and rarely results in serious complications.
  • Symptoms can last 7-10 days but most often resolve within 5 days.
  • Self-limited infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Discharge
  • Itching/burning
  • Feeling that something is in your eye Self-care measures:
  • Stop using contact lens until you no longer have symptoms
  • Do not use eye makeup
  • Do not use eye drops for redness reduction or allergies
  • Use artificial tears or saline drops (Examples: CMC/Glycerin drops or Refresh Plus®)
  • Use cold compresses

Limit spread to others:

  • You may be contagious for 7-14 days. While this should not prevent you from attending classes or other events, you should follow precautions to prevent spread to others.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Do not share towels
  • Avoid intimate contact with others
  • If you work in a health care setting, child care setting, or handle food you should not work until there is no discharge from the eye.

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • You have a known injury to the eye
  • If you have moderate/severe pain to one or both eyes
  • If you have any loss of vision (not just blurry)
  • For symptoms lasting more than 7-10 days

Other resources:

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authoritstandards.

Constipation is a significant decrease in a person’s normal number of bowel movements. Constipation may also include the difficult passage of stools. Occasional constipation is very common. Constipation may be caused by many factors including diet, lifestyle, and/or medication.

Symptoms:

  • Less than normal number of bowel movements per week
  • Lumpy or hard stools
  • Straining during a bowel movement

Self-care measures:

  • Eat high fiber foods combined with increased fluid intake
    • Aim for 25 grams of fiber per day
      • High fiber foods include raw fruits and vegetables; whole grains like oatmeal, bran, wholewheat, and popcorn; and nuts/seeds
      • Use fiber supplements containing Psyllium
    • Drink 1.5-2.0 liters (50-68 ounces) of non-alcoholic/non-caffeine fluids per day
  • Use an over-the-counter stool softener containing Docusate Sodium (Colace®)
  • Use an over-the-counter laxative containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) (Miralax®)
  • Avoid frequent use of stimulant laxatives such as Ex-Lax®, Correctol®, Dulcolax®, and Feen-a-mint®. Overuse of these products may cause the colon to become dependent on these medications.
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

When to see a medical provider:

  • If you have symptoms of constipation and a fever
  • If you have symptoms of constipation and nausea/vomiting
  • Changes in bowel habits that last more than 3 months and are not explained by a change in diet or medication
  • If you lose more than 10 pounds without trying

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

  • A cough is most often caused by viruses in adults.
  • Coughs may be present with other symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (Common Cold) such as fever, sore throat and nasal congestion.
  • Coughs due to a virus are self-limited with symptoms usually lasting 7-14 days.
  • Some coughs may last 3-4 weeks.
  • Self-limited infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Cough that may produce mucus (mucus may be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green)
  • Other symptoms of the Common Cold (including nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat)
  • Fatigue

Self-care measures:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  • Avoid cigarette smoke
  • Use a humidifier
  • Use over-the-counter cough medication containing Dextromethorphan and/or Guaifenesin
    • NOTE: Over-the-counter cough medication is helpful for about 60% of people depending on the reason for the cough. Prescription cough medication only helps 65-70% of people with a cough.
  • Use self-care guidelines for symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection as needed
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Limit spread to others:

  • Cover your cough using the crook of your elbow
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid intimate contact
  • If you have a fever stay home and away from others until fever-free for more than 24 hours (temperature should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit without medication)

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • Cough lasts more than three weeks
  • Cough prevents you from sleeping
  • Chest pain
  • Cough produces blood (more than streaks in the mucus)
  • For wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Fever (greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) with significant cough for over 72 hours

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

Fever is when a person’s body temperature rises above the normal rage. Normal body temperature for adults is 97.6°F to 99.6°F. Adults with a temperature over 100.4°F would be described as having a fever. A fever is an important way for your body to fight infection. Causes of fever included viruses, bacterial infections, exposure to heat/sun, and other conditions. Having a fever is usually not cause for alarm in adults. Fevers most often go away without treatment from a health care provider.

Symptoms:

  • Hot and cold chills
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • May also experience symptoms of a cold, flu, or gastrointestinal illness (see self-care guides for systems related to these conditions)

Self-care measures:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of non-alcohol fluids
  • Use Ibuprofen (Advil®) 600 mg every 6-8 hours or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed to reduce fever/discomfort
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Preventing spread to others:

  • Stay home and away from others until fever-free for more than 24-hours (temperature should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit without medication)
  • Do not go to class.
  • Wash hands frequently

When to see a medical provider:

  • Fever is over 103.0°F
  • Fever over 102.0°F for more than 3 days
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe headache
  • Unusual skin rash
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizure
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain when urinating
  • Other unexplained symptoms

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

  • Influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus.
  • It is not the virus that mainly causes vomiting and diarrhea.
  • The illness is self-limited with severe symptoms usually lasting 3-4 days and feeling back to normal within 2 weeks.
  • Self-limited infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Sudden/rapid onset of symptoms
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fever or feeling feverish with chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea

Self-care measures:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  • Use saline nose drops to loosen mucus
  • Use Ibuprofen (Advil®) 600 mg every 6-8 hours or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed to reduce fever/discomfort
  • Use Oral Decongestants (Phenylephrine/Pseudoephedrine) for short-term relief of nasal congestion
  • Use Nasal Decongestant (Oxymetazoline) for short-term relief of nasal congestion (do not use for more than 3 days)
  • Gargle with salt water and use throat sprays/lozenges (containing Benzocaine) for throat pain
  • Use heated, humidified air (if you do not have a humidifier try taking a hot shower)
  • Special Note: Antiviral medication (Tamiflu®) is only recommended for patients with serious underlying medical conditions who are at risk for severe complications (such as pregnancy, immunocompromised, chronic medical conditions, or morbidly obese).
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Limit spread to others:

  • Stay home and away from others until fever-free for more than 24-hours (temperature should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit without medication)
  • Do not go to class or dining facilities
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Contain coughs and sneezes using the crook of your elbow
  • Getting the flu vaccine is the best prevention

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • If you are at high risk for complications (such as pregnancy, immunocompromised, chronic medical conditions or morbidly obese).
  • Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts for more than 3 days
  • For symptoms that last over 10 days and get worse instead of better
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Pain/pressure in your chest
  • Severe sinus pain
  • Very swollen glands in the neck or jaw

Other resources:

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

  • Nausea and vomiting is most commonly caused by a viral infection and may be associated with diarrhea.
  • This illness is self-limited with the majority of people finding improvement within 24-hours and are back to normal by 72-hours after onset of the illness.
  • This illness can be treated at home and does not require a visit to a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Generalized or upper abdominal pain/cramping
  • Watery diarrhea (no blood)
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Possible fever

Self-care measures:

  • Stop eating solid foods
  • Rest
  • Suck on ice chips or sip small amounts of water on a frequent basis
  • If you vomit, wait about 20 minutes then resume fluid intake
  • Slowly increase the amount of fluid intake
  • Water, Pedialyte® or sports drinks are acceptable
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed for fever, chills, headache or body aches
  • Use Imodium or Peptobismol and follow the package instructions. OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Recovery:

  • You may try solid food when:
  • Nausea and vomiting have resolved
  • You are tolerating fluids
  • You feel hungry

When you do eat:

  • Start with small amounts of simple foods (crackers, toast, Jello®, etc.)
  • Over the next 24-36 hours slowly build up to your normal diet
  • Add dairy, high-fat foods, raw vegetables, citrus and red meat last
  • Limit spread to others:
  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently
  • Stay home (or in your residence hall) for at least the first 24-hours

When to seek medical attention:

  • If the vomiting persists more than 24-hours or 3 days of diarrhea alone
  • If you develop bloody diarrhea
  • If you have obvious pain or tenderness isolated to the right lower abdomen

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.

Concussion is a type of brain injury that can result from an injury that shakes the head. Loss of consciousness may or may not occur. With rest, the majority of people fully recover within 7–14 days but occasionally some take a few weeks to recover. People who have had prior concussion(s), a history or migraine headaches, ADHD/ADD or another learning disability, insomnia, motion sickness, or a current mental health diagnosis may have more pronounced symptoms and/or take longer to recover.

After a concussion, the brain is more sensitive to repeat trauma especially during recovery. Be sure to avoid activities that could cause another head injury.

Symptoms of Concussion:

  • Headache
  • Feeling sick on your stomach with or without vomiting
  • Feeling dizzy or off balance
  • Vision seems off
  • Feeling unusually tired or sleepy
  • New sensitivity to light and/or noise
  • Feeling mentally foggy or slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Changes in sleep (trouble falling asleep, sleeping more than usual or less than usual) • Feeling more emotional, irritable, sad, nervous or anxious

Self-Care Measures:

  1. Brain rest: Minimize all brain activities for the first 24-36 hours after the concussion. During this time you should not go to class, do any school work, or other activities requiring significant brain power (like puzzles, etc.) (Specific step-by-step instructions on advancing academic activity are included below).

  2. Physical rest: Minimize physical activity for the first 24-48 hours after the concussion. Following this, continue to limit physical activity (no sports or physical workouts) until your brain feels back to normal AND you are able to fully participate in and complete all academic work. (Step-by-step return to exercise instructions are included below.)

  3. Treat your headache: Take Ibuprofen (Advil®) 600 mg every 6 hours or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed for headache

  4. Avoid alcohol: NO ALCOHOL until the concussion has totally resolved and you are back to full activity.

  5. Blue-light blocking glasses may help especially if you notice that light or screens aggravate your symptoms. These are available at the UHC Pharmacy or found online/local retail stores.

  6. For dizziness: Move slowly and minimize head and eye movement. Avoid actions that cause dizziness. Do not drive until your dizziness has resolved.

  7. Anxiety, sadness, lack of motivation and/or depression may occur following a concussion and should resolve. If these symptoms are particularly significant, seek an evaluation at the counseling center.

  8. If the concussion will likely interfere with academic activity, contact your professor(s) and explain what is going on. If your professor(s) require specific medical input on your academic limitations, you will need to be evaluated at the UHC, in the Urgent Care Clinic. Call (540) 568-6178 to arrange this visit.

When to seek immediate medical evaluation (go to the closest Emergency Department):

  1. Headache is getting significantly worse

  2. Episodes of vomiting keep occurring

  3. Any loss of consciousness

  4. You notice or are told that you are showing unusual behavior or you become increasingly irritable 5. Any seizures

  5. New slurred speech or extremity weakness

  6. Drowsiness is increasing or the individual is difficult to awaken or can’t be awakened

  7. New or increasing confusion

CONCUSSION RETURN TO LEARN AND RETURN TO EXERCISE: STEP-WISE APPROACH

Limit physical activity: You should have no more than 2 days of complete rest (this is only recommended for patients with significant symptoms). Otherwise your activities should be limited to activities of daily living (attending to your personal needs and getting to class) and at least two 20-minute walks each day. You can increase light physical activity if symptoms decrease or resolve. No significant physical exertion (running, weight lifting, sports, etc.) until you have returned to full academic function. This includes required physical activity through academics (Kinesiology, SCUBA) or ROTC.

Step 1Cognitive Rest (Typically Same Day of Injury) Cognitive rest for the first 24–36 hours after the event; avoid activities that require cognitive energy, such as class/lab attendance, homework, “screen time” (i.e., phone, computer and video game use), reading, driving, bright lights and loud noises. Consider remaining in your room/apartment to avoid stressors such as loud noise and bright lights. 24–36 hours after the injury progress to Step 2.

Step 2 – Begin Limited Cognitive Activity

  1. Begin cognitive activity such as homework or reading for 30 min followed by 15 minute rest periods. If symptoms do not develop, increase cognitive activity to 45 min followed by 15 minutes of rest.

  2. Return to classes, but consider avoiding specific classes or activities that lead to the onset of symptoms, such as particularly challenging classes, labs and excessive computer use.

  3. Students should communicate to professors and instructors when they are experiencing symptoms and ask to leave class in order to decrease these symptoms.

  4. You should request not take quizzes or tests or request extended time for these during this period of time.

  5. You should begin to make up any missed academic work. If symptoms develop while/after participating in activities, rest until symptoms subside. When you can complete a partial day of classes without the onset of concussion symptoms, progress to Step 3.

Step 3 Increased Cognitive Activity (With Minimum Modifications) Return to all classes but take breaks when necessary. Begin to take quizzes (consider asking for an oral test/quiz instead of a written one or ask for a test/quiz on paper instead of computer). When you can attend all classes without the onset of concussion symptoms, progress to Step 4.

Step 4Full Cognitive Activity (No Modifications) Return to classes as usual, fully participating and taking all quizzes or tests in the original format. Continue to work with professors and instructors to complete any missed work. Any return of symptoms should prompt a follow up visit with a medical professional.

Return To Exercising:

Begin exercising only when all symptoms of concussion have resolved and then follow this stepwise approach. If symptoms occur with activity at any step, stop and start over beginning the next day. The following progression is at a rate no faster than one step every 24 hours.

  1. Low level activity: fast walking, light jogging, light stationary bike, light weight lifting (low weight, high rep)

  2. Moderate activity with body/head movement: Moderate jogging, brief sprinting, moderate intensity stationary bike and weight lifting (reduced time or weight from typical)

  3. Heavy non-contact physical activity: includes sprinting, high intensity stationary bike, regular weight lifting program and non-contact sport specific drills.

  4. Club Sports participants: Follow-up with Sports Medicine in UREC before progressing to practice and game play.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

“Sleep hygiene” is the term used to describe good sleep Habits. Considerable research has gone into developing a set of good guidelines and tips which are designed to enhance good sleeping, and there is much evidence to suggest that these strategies can provide long-term solutions to sleep difficulties.

There are many medications which are used to treat insomnia, but these tend to be only effective in short-term. Ongoing use of sleeping pills may lead to dependence and interfere with developing good sleep habits independent of medication, thereby prolonging sleep difficulties. Talk to your health professional about what is right for you, but we recommend good sleep hygiene as an important part of treating insomnia, either way other strategies such as medication or cognitive therapy  or alone.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

  1. Get regular. One of the best ways to train your body to sleep well is to go to bed and get up at more or less the same time every day, even on weekends and days off! This regular rhythm will make you feel better and will give your body something to work from.

  2. Sleep when sleepy. Only try to sleep when you actually feel tired or sleepy, rather than spending too much time awake in bed.

  3. Get up & try again. If you haven’t been able to get to sleep after about 20 minutes or more, get up and do something calming or boring until you feel sleepy, then return to bed and try again. Sit quietly on the couch with the lights off (bright light will tell your brain that it is time to wake up), or read something boring like the phone book. Avoid doing anything that is too stimulating or interesting, as it will wake you up even more.

  4. Avoid caffeine & nicotine. It is best to avoid consuming any caffeine (in coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and come medications) or nicotine (cigarettes) for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. These substances act as stimulants and interfere with the ability to fall asleep.

  5. Avoid alcohol. It is also best to avoid alcohol for at least 4-6 hours before going to bed. Many people believe that alcohol is relaxing and helps them to get to sleep at first, but it actually interrupts the quality of sleep.

  6. Bed is for sleeping. Try not to use your bed for anything else other than sleeping and sex, so that your body comes to associate bed with sleep. If you use bed as a place to watch TB, eat, read, work on your laptop, pay bills, and other things, your body will not learn this connection.

  7. No naps. It is best to avoid taking naps during the day, to make sure that you are tired at bedtime. If you can’t make it through the day without a nap, make sure it is for less than an hour and before 3pm.

  8. Sleep rituals. You can develop your own rituals of things to remind your body that it is time to sleep – some people find it useful o do relaxing stretches or breathing exercises for 15 minutes before bed each night, or sit calmly with a cup of caffeine-free tea.

  9. Bathtime. Having a hot bath 1-2 hours before bedtime can be useful, as it will raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy as your body temperature drops again. Research shows that sleepiness is associated with a drop in body temperature.

  10. No clock-watching. Many people who struggle with sleep tend to watch the clock too much. Frequently checking the clock during the night can wake you up (especially if you turn on the light to read the time) and reinforces negative thoughts such as “Oh no, look how late it is, I’ll never get to sleep” or “it’s so early, I have only slept for 5 hour, this is terrible.

  11. Use a sleep diary. This worksheet can be a useful way of making sure you have the right facts about your sleep, rather than making assumptions. Because a diary involves watching the clock (see point 10) it is a good idea to only use it for two week to get an idea of what is going and then perhaps two months down the track to see how you are progressing.

  12. Exercise. Regular exercise is a good idea to help with good sleep, but try not to do strenuous exercise in the 4 hours before bedtime. Morning walks are a great way to start the day feeling refreshed!

  13. Eat right. A healthy, balanced diet will help you to sleep well, but timing is important. Some people will find that a very empty stomach at bedtime is distracting, so it can be useful to have a light snack, but a heavy meal soon before bed can also interrupt sleep. Some people recommend a warm glass of milk, which contains tryptophan, which acts as a natural sleep inducer. 

  14. The right space. It is very important that your bed and bedroom are quiet and comfortable for sleeping. A cooler room with enough blankets to stay warm is best, and make sure you have curtains or an eye mask to block out early morning light and earplugs if there is noise outside your room.

  • A sore throat is most often (85-90% of the time) caused by a virus.
  • Sore throats due to a virus are self-limited with symptoms typically lasing 5-6 days.
  • Symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection (nasal congestion, runny nose, and cough) often develop within 2-3 days after onset of the sore throat.
  • Self-limited infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, cough within 2-3 days

Self-care measures:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  • Use Ibuprofen (Advil®) 600 mg every 6-8 hours or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed to reduce fever/discomfort
  • Gargle with salt water and use throat sprays/lozenges (containing Benzocaine) for throat pain
  • Use self-care guidelines for symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection as needed
  • OTC medication available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Limit spread to others:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid intimate contact
  • Cover your cough and sneezes using the crook of your elbow
  • If you have a fever- stay home and away from others until fever free for more than 24-hours (temperature should be less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit without medication)

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 3 days
  • Unable to swallow your oral secretions (spit)
  • Significant/worsening swelling of only one tonsil
  • Sore throat does not improve over 2-3 days and you do not have a runny nose, congestion, or cough

Special note:

  • Strep tests are less reliable until 24-hours after onset of sore throat. In order to provide you with the most reliable care, a strep test is not recommended until you have had a sore throat for more than 24-hours.

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities

  • Respiratory tract infections are most often caused by viruses.
  • They are generally self-limited, but often last for 10-12 days.
  • Coughs related to these infections can last 3-4 weeks.
  • Self-limited infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.
  • Antibiotics are not effective for viral infections

Symptoms:

  • Develop slowly over 2-4 days
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Watery eyes

Self-care:

  • Rest
  • Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids
  • Use saline nose drops to loosen mucus
  • Use Ibuprofen (Advil®) 600 mg every 6-8 hours or Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) 650 mg every 6 hours as needed to reduce fever or discomfort
  • Use Oral Decongestants (Phenylephrine) for short-term relief of nasal congestion
  • Use Nasal Decongestant (Oxymetazoline) for short-term relief of nasal congestion (do not use for more than 3 days)
  • Gargle with salt water and use throat sprays/lozenges for throat pain
  • Use heated, humidified air (if you do not have a humidifier try taking a hot shower)
  • OTC medications available at the Aggie Health and Wellness Center pharmacy

Limit spread to others:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Cover coughs and sneezes using the crook of your elbow

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • Fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 3 days
  • For symptoms that last over 10 days and are getting worse instead of better
  • Shortness of breath/wheezing
  • Pain/pressure in your chest
  • Severe sinus pain or severe sore throat
  • Very swollen glands in the neck or jaw
  • Significant sore throat lasting more than 1 week

Online symptoms checker:

Other resources:

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities

  • Yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast in the vagina.
  • Yeast infections can be treated with over-the-counter medications.
  • Many yeast infections can be treated without seeing a medical provider.

Symptoms:

  • Vaginal Itching, burning, swelling
  • Vaginal discharge (thick white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese and does not have a bad smell)
  • May have pain during sex
  • May be worse the week before your period

Self-care measures:

  • Use an over-the-counter medication for vaginal yeast infections. These antifungal medications should contain butoconazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, or tioconazole and should be used for 3-7 days. Follow directions on medication insert.
    • Note: Over-the-counter medications are available at the Aggie Health and Wellness pharmacy and local pharmacies, grocery stores and superstores (examples - Walmart or Target).
  • Change tampons, pads and panty liners often and do not wear scented tampons, pads and panty liners
  • Do wear underwear with a cotton crotch
  • Apply a cool compress to labia for comfort
  • Do not douche or use vaginal sprays
  • Do not wear tight underwear and do not wear underwear to sleep
  • Avoid hot tubs
  • Use ivory or dove white bar soap, do not use liquid soap, bubble bath or bath oil
  • If you hike, bike, swim or otherwise active, change out of wet clothes as soon as possible.

Limit spread to others:

  • It is possible to spread yeast infections to your partner(s) during vaginal, oral or anal sex.
  • If your partner is a male, the risk is low. Some men get an itchy rash on their penis.
  • If this happens have your partner see a medical provider.
  • If your partner is a female, you may spread the yeast infection to her.
  • She should be treated if she has symptoms using the above guidelines.
  • Clean sex toys between each use following manufacturer guidelines

When to seek care from a medical provider:

  • If this is the first time you have had symptoms of a yeast infection
  • If you are concerned about sexually transmitted infections
  • You have strong or foul odor
  • You have painful sores
  • You have symptoms of a bladder infection (including pain when you urinate, are urinating frequently and/or have blood in your urine)
  • No improvement in symptoms one week after treatment with over-the-counter medication

 

 

Self-care guidelines are based on the most recent recommendations of national medical authorities.