Three Easy Ways to Fend Off a Cold and Flu

1.   Focus on healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Get plenty of sleep. This is one of the most important habits to heed since sleep is the time when our bodies heal and recharge. You can’t expect your body to fight off cold and flu viruses with an empty gas tank. It’s crucial for adults to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and for kids to get 10-12 hours.
  • Wash your hands. Although we are surrounded by bacteria and viruses year round, we tend to be more susceptible during cold and flu season due to being indoors more, poor ventilation and being in close quarters with more people. Make sure you wash your hands regularly with a gentle germ-killing soap such as Dial® (it’s an antibacterial powerhouse). This is especially important after shaking hands or touching objects like phones and keyboards. And here’s an easy trick for making sure your kids spend enough time at the sink: Teach them to wash their hands for as long as it takes them to sing “Happy Birthday” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Bye-bye, germs!
  • Drink plenty of fluids and remain hydrated. Stick to beverages like filtered water and herbal teas to keep the immune system running smoothly.

2.   Keep your immune system robust through healthy nutrition.

Focus on foods like leafy green vegetables and low sugar fruits like dark berries. Avoid processed foods or any foods that come out of a box as well as high sugar foods like pastries, cookies and candy. If you need to satisfy that sweet tooth, opt for raw organic honey or 70 percent (or greater) organic dark chocolate.

3.   Stock your medicine cabinet.

As the old saying goes, “an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.” Keep some vitamin C around so that if you do get sick, you can take 1 gram per day in order to boost your immunity. Stock your house, office and purse with Scotties® tissues to help aid sniffles, sore noses and those sneezes that sneak up on you! The last thing you want is to find yourself or your child with a runny nose and nothing but an old crumpled tissue at the bottom of your purse. And since one of the top reasons for missing work is due to parents taking care of sick kids, make sure you pick up some Triaminic® products at your local drugstore. If symptoms do arise in your little ones, it can help alleviate symptoms and make them feel better while they heal so you don’t have to miss too many days of work.

With these few easy steps, you’ll be sure to breeze through this cold and flu season.

How to Relieve Pressure in Blocked Ears

A blocked ear from pressure can result from a sinus infection, the common cold or an allergic reaction. Fluid and mucus can accumulate in the ear and cause an uncomfortable pressure. Fortunately, there are techniques to quickly relieve pressure, and by relieving pressure, you’ll reduce other symptoms associated with a clogged ear such as ear pain and ringing in the ear. Stop pressure with over-the-counter remedies, or use natural methods.

  1. Use an over-the-counter decongestant as directed to relieve pressure. Ear congestion from mucus build-up is a common cause of ear pressure. Take a decongestant to loosen mucus and stop pressure.
  2. Use an antihistamine to stop allergic reactions and reduce symptoms. A reaction can prompt the production of mucus, and mucus can settle in the ears and cause pressure.
  3. Keep a pack of gum with you. Put a stick of gum in your mouth and chew to help pop the ears and get rid of ear pressure. Chewing helps stretch the muscles in the jaw.
  4. Swallow water to balance the air in your ears. Sipping on a drink or sucking on candy — sucking increases saliva production — involves swallowing, and swallowing helps open the Eustachian tubes and reduces pressure.
  5. Blow your nose to pop your ears. Hold your nose, and then attempt to blow air through your nose to create pressure and pop your ears.
  6. Use a humidifier to treat mucus in the ear. Thick mucus trapped in the ears can cause pressure, pain and decreased hearing. Turn on a humidifier to increase air moisture and gradually thin mucus in your ears.