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Flu Infection

First symptoms of a cold

Annette van Gessel & Marta Campbell
26.10.2015  09:46 Uhr

At the first symptoms of a cold, those affected ask for advice at the pharmacy and seek quick help for their complaints. PTA-Forum has compiled the most important vocabulary, questions and advice on the subject.

Many people are sensitive to drafts, air conditioning in planes, hotel rooms or conference rooms as well as to temperature changes from overheated rooms to cold stormy weather outside, the result being that they may soon experience the first cold symptoms. Also those who had expected warm weather on their travels and therefore only wore light clothing, may risk catching a cold. As a consequence, a sore throat sets in, the eyes are burning, the nose is running and itching. To avoid a congested nose, which may lead to sinusitis or bronchitis, most of the persons affected immediately seek advice from a pharmacist. Especially when travelling abroad they are rather hesitant to consult a doctor because of the rather annoying symptoms.

Before the pharmacist or pharmacy technician can recommend any medication, they need to ask a few questions and clarify if self-medication can be responsibly commended. If a child has a cold, it is advisable that the parents consult a paediatrician.

Important questions for the consultation

  • Since when have you had these symptoms?
  • Which of the symptoms are especially severe?
  • Have you measured your temperature?
  • How would you describe your general condition?
  • Do you take any medication regularly?
  • Have you already taken some medication for your symptoms?
  • Have you already seen a doctor about your health complaints?

Additional information

  • Drink sufficient fluid, preferably two to three litres a day, for example herbal tea.
  • Bath additives for colds can relieve breathing difficulties.
  • Often inhalation or rubs with ethereal oils will help.
  • Rest a lot until you feel better. It is best to take a long rest or to treat yourself to one or two days bed rest.
  • So as not to infect others, please observe a few basic hygiene rules: Wash your hands frequently, do not shake hands, and use disposable handkerchiefs, which you dispose of straight after use.
  • If possible, do not drink any alcohol and abstain from smoking.
  • If the symptoms do not improve within the next few days or even get worse, for example by the onset of high fever, please consult a doctor.
Deutsch / German Englisch / English
ätherische Öle essential oils, ethereal oils
Arztbesuch visit to the doctor
Bad bath
Beschwerden complaints, symptoms
Einmaltaschentücher disposable handkerchiefs (coll.: paper hankies)
Erkältung cold
Fieber fever, temperature
Halsschmerzen sore throat
Husten cough
Hygiene hygiene
Kinderarzt paediatrician
Klimaanlage air conditioning
Kräutertee herbal tea
Ruhe rest
Schlafzimmer bedroom
Symptome symptoms
Wärmewickel heat compress, heat wraps
Zugluft draft
Vocabulary on flu infection