Every year, between 5% and 20% of the U.S. population gets the flu. For most, the flu is an inconvenience. You’ll get a fever, and feel less than your best until the symptoms relieve on their own or with OTC medications.
But there’s a chance the flu will get worse, developing additional complications that can result in hospitalization and even death.
Certain risk factors, such as age and a weak immune system, also play a role in developing a more serious condition.
Are you too sick? Or will the flu pass? Identify these alarming symptoms and know when to see the doctor for the flu.
Persistent Chest Pain
Chest pain with the flu has many causes. You could have a lower respiratory tract infection, bronchitis, pneumonia, myocarditis, pericarditis, and other conditions.
These conditions can get worse if they’re untreated, especially if you have an existing condition such as asthma.
Other symptoms related to these conditions include difficulty breathing.
Severe conditions, such as myocarditis and pericarditis, affect the heart. These are infections and inflammation in the heart and surrounding areas, causing intense chest pain.
If you don’t have a history with seizures and are experiencing them while you’re enduring the flu, understand that this is extremely rare and there are not many studies on this topic.
The link between seizures and influenza is unclear; some hypothesized the seizures are your body’s response to the inflammation and others have suggested a blood-brain barrier dysfunction as a result of the virus.
While enduring a seizure is scary, know that the prognosis is generally positive. However, it’s still essential to visit the doctor and receive treatment, in case there are any hidden neurological issues.
Dizziness and Confusion
Dizziness and confusion are common dehydration symptoms. One becomes dehydrated when you’re vomiting excessively or have diarrhea. You may not be able to hold down liquids, including water.
You could also be experiencing general weakness, this is a sign your immune system is fatigued.
In this case, seeing a doctor is necessary. They can prescribe anti-viral medications to kill off the flu. They will also suggest beverages that will hydrate your body without causing vomiting.
Severe Muscle Pain
Muscle pain is a common flu symptom. However, if your pain is so severe that it’s difficult to move or sleep, it’s time to see the doctor. Persistent pain that lasts longer than three days is also a red flag.
In addition, other alarming signs include redness and inflammation at the site of pain.
All of this could be a sign of infection, especially if you’ve been bit by a tick recently. These are also common signs of blood circulation issues.
Your doctor will prescribe medication that will kill the infection and will reduce your pain. They may take other measures if they suspect the pain is the result of a flu-related infection.
When to See the Doctor for the Flu: Do You Need Treatment?
Most healthy adults don’t need to see the doctor when they get the flu. However, some symptoms you should never ignore. With flu season coming up, it’s best you know when to see the doctor for the flu.
Are you based in Southaven, Mississippi? We can help treat your flu and your flu symptoms.