Is the Flu Shot Right For You?
For several years now it has been encouraged that seniors receive a flu shot to help protect them from Influenza. Others may wonder how safe the flu shot really is and if it worth the risk to get the shot. You should always talk over your concerns with your doctor and they will let you know if the flu shot is right for you but it doesn’t hurt to do your own research online to discover the risks and benefits of the flu shot. First of all you should know what Influenza is. Influenza is a viral infection that starts in the air passage ways; lungs, nose, and throat.
Symptoms of the Flu
The severity of symptoms depends on each individual but sure signs of the flu include
• Sore throat
• Stuffy nose
• Headaches and muscle aches
These symptoms can last for up to two weeks. If you begin to feel any of these symptoms you may want to call your doctor so they can monitor your progression. If the flu is left untreated it can turn into pneumonia and that is why it is important to get your flu shot if your doctor recommends it.
The only time you should not get the flu shot is if you have had a negative reaction from the flu shot before, If you have ever developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome right after taking the flu shot, or if you are allergic to eggs. Your doctor may still recommend that you receive the flu shot but they will monitor your condition more closely.
Besides the flu shot you can also receive a flu nasal spray vaccine. This is not for everyone but you may be a perfect candidate for it. There are situations that you should not receive the spray including
• If you are over 50
• If you have certain health conditions
• If you have certain immune deficiencies
• If you have asthma or other breathing conditions
• If you have diseases such as lung, heart, or kidney disease
• If you have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome
• If you have ever had a reaction to the flu vaccine in the past
You can still end up with the flu even after taking the vaccination. The older you are the less likely the flu shot is to prevent your from getting the flu. Keep in mind that there are several factors that play a role in increasing your chances of developing the flu. These include:
• If you frequently visit or reside in a nursing home or facility
• If you are over the age of 65
• If you suffer from health problems and conditions that require long term treatment
• If you are under the care of someone who is frequently exposed to other patients who have the flu
The flu vaccination is your best defense from the flu but there are other ways that you can protect yourself. These include taking care of your self by eating the right foods in a well balanced diet, making sure you have enough sleep every night, and washing your hands often. When you go out of the home make sure that you wash thoroughly when you return in case you have come into contact with germs and bacteria while you were out.