Everything you need to stay well in winter under one roof
Head into your local TerryWhite Chemmart for expert advice and a wide range of products that can help improve your immunity to help you stay Alive & Well throughout the cold, wintry months. A trained professional can even administer a flu vaccination right here in the pharmacy!
We’ll help you stay properly defended this winter!
Here’s how you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding cold and the flu this winter:
- Get the flu vaccination at your local TerryWhite Chemmart
- Ensure your immune system is working well to help fight off illnesses – you can give it a boost with several products available at TerryWhite Chemmart
- Speak with a TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacist who can provide you with expert advice on Winter Defence
- Utilise alcohol-based hand sanitisers when soap and water aren’t available
- Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth to reduce spread of germs
Getting immunised against the current strains of the flu is important. The flu vaccine can help to protect you from the flu, limiting your risk of contracting the flu, and if you do catch the flu, reducing the severity.
Talk to us today about how we can help to keep you defended this winter.
What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
Influenza (or the flu as it is commonly known) is caused by a particular group of RNA viruses (Orthomyxoviridae) and is spread by infected people coughing or sneezing as well as from surfaces contaminated by respiratory secretions. So it’s easy to catch and spread, and difficult to avoid.
Influenza is different to the common cold, which is much less severe – when you have the flu you will know it. Most people think that when they have a runny nose or a sore throat that they have the “flu” but usually, this is not the case. They usually have a common cold, which is a short-term, mild illness which, although inconvenient, is rarely debilitating. The “cold” is caused by a range of viruses, which are different from the influenza virus.
How can I prevent getting a cold or flu?
Getting the flu vaccination and good hygiene practice is your best defence against getting the flu. Below are some important techniques that may help you reduce the risk of getting a cold or flu:
- Get the flu vaccination.
- Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands! This is the best way to stop the spread of the virus and prevent catching the virus.
- The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for more than 8 hours. Regularly wipe down and sanitise:
- Phone handsets
- Bench tops
- Door knobs
- Toilet seats
- Any hard surfaces to avoid coming into contact with the virus.
- Dispose of any used tissues immediately and avoid using handkerchiefs.
- Keep a pocket-sized hand sanitiser in your bag when you are at work or school and use on a regular basis, particularly after touching hard surfaces in public areas.
- If you are caring for someone who has the flu, keep one metre distance where possible and use a surgical mask where possible to prevent catching the virus.
- If you have the flu and you are a parent who is caring for a child, wear a surgical mask where possible to prevent passing on the virus to the child.
- Ensure toothbrushes are kept separate. You may also want to use separate toothpaste to prevent passing on germs.
- Use an antiseptic spray in the room to kill germs in the air.
- Boost your immune system with quality supplements such as immune boosters, garlic tablets, echinacea and vitamin C.
- Educate children on good hygiene practice to reduce the spread of germs.
What’s the difference between allergies, a cold, and sinusitis?
Symptoms can be similar across these three conditions. So how can you tell which one is causing you problems? Here are a few clues that may help you determine which of them is the culprit:
In addition to nasal congestion, you may experience a runny (clear discharge), itchy nose and itchy, watery eyes. You’ll probably be sneezing quite a bit, too.
Allergies can be triggered by dust, pollen, mould and more. Treatment for allergy symptoms will depend on what’s actually triggering them, so it’s best to speak with your pharmacist to understand the appropriate treatment methods for you.
Like with allergies, when you’re suffering from a cold your stuffy nose may also be runny. But instead of clear discharge it’ll be discoloured. Other symptoms include a cough, sore throat, headache, sneezing and fatigue. Additionally, you might have a temperature as a cold can cause fevers.
Cold symptoms are caused by a virus and will usually last around a week or a little over. If you’re experiencing ongoing symptoms, talk with your pharmacist as this may be a sign of sinusitis.
On top of congestion, sinusitis can bring with it green or yellow nasal discharge. You may have a weird sensation of fullness in your face, and experience pressure headaches that worsen if you lie down or tilt your head forward. Fever and aching teeth can also be symptoms.
There are a number of causes of sinusitis, with the basis being either a virus or bacterial infection. Allergies, colds and other health issues can lead to sinusitis.
While it may clear up by itself, it could also require medication. If symptoms are persisting longer than around ten days, you should speak with a healthcare professional.
Looking to find out more?
If you’d like further information about the differences between allergies, colds and sinusitis or their available treatments, visit your nearest TerryWhite Chemmart today.
For any ongoing health issues, please consult with your GP.
What can I do to avoid catching a winter bug during pregnancy?
Combine germy winter weather with the fact that our immune system changes to help support both us and baby, and we’re unfortunately more prone to catching a cold or the flu than usual.
There are a few measures we can take that’ll help prevent falling ill, though (prevention is better than cure, right?):
- Wash hands. A lot. Like, a weird amount of times each day.
- Do everything to steer clear of anyone who’s sick. Sometimes this is simply impossible (i.e. commute to/from work, etc.), but if you let friends and family know you’d rather they keep their distance if they’re sick, they should understand.
- Stick to a healthy diet, and drink lots of water.
- Keep well rested. If you feel tired at all throughout the day, take a nap.
- Take vitamins specifically created for pregnancy.
The Australian Government’s Department of Health also recommends all pregnant women receive a flu vaccine, which is free of charge through a GP. Alternatively, you can book a time at a TerryWhite Chemmart near you and get one for $19.95 (walk-ins accepted at selected locations).
When To Consult A Professional
Sometimes, no matter how much precaution we take, germs will find their way into our system. If you’re experiencing a combination of cold-like symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, dry cough) and are curious which medications you can take while pregnant, speak with the pharmacist at your local TerryWhite Chemmart.
If these symptoms persist or worsen, or you have flu-like symptoms (headache, fever/chills, muscle soreness, weakness, chesty cough) be sure to speak with your GP immediately.