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Active Living
Full Listing with story descriptions
A Healthy Balance
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Prehistoric Workout
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Ask the Doctor
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My Doctor Says I Need a Test
Childbirth
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Advice from the Maternity Clinic
Advice from the Maternity Clinic (Part 2)
Alcohol in Pregnancy
Building a Better Baby
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Getting a latch on breastfeeding
Group B Streptococcus
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RH Disease
Rupture of Membranes Before Labour
Sex During Pregnancy
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Smoking and Pregnancy
Support During Labour
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Ultrasound for Fun & Photos
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When Baby Comes Home
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Whooping Cough
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Yeast Infections in Children
Chronic Pain
Full Listing with story descriptions
Introduction
Managing Your Pain
Movement Matters
Moving Forward
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Prevention
Returning to Work
Understanding and Goal Setting
When Pain Doesn't End
Dental Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby Teeth
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Smiling through the Senior Years
Teeth for Life
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Tobacco Risks to Oral Health
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Water Fluoridation
Wisdom Teeth
Your Healthy Smile
DIABETES
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10,000 Steps
A1C Test
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Alchohol and Diabetes
A Diabetes Success Story
ABCs of Diabetes Management
Alternate Site Testing
Artery Health
ASA Therapy
Benefits of Insulin
Benefits of Breakfast
Blood Glucose Medications
Blood Glucose Myths
Blood Glucose Testing
Blood Glucose Testing Tips
Blood Sugar Lows
Blood Glucose Monitors
C-Peptide Testing
Canada Food Guide Revisited
Carbohydrate Counting
Catastrophic Drug Plan
CDA Guidelines for Diabetes
Celiac Disease and Diabetes
Celebrating Health
Childhood Diagnosis of Diabetes
Children and Type 2 Diabetes
Cholesterol-lowering Medications
Colds and Diabetes
Constipation
Continuous Blood Glucose Monitoring
Cutting Edge
Dangers of Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure
Debunking Diabetes Myths
Driving and Diabetes
Diabetes and Menopause
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Diabetes Care Team
Diabetes and Celiac
Diabetes and Depression
Diabetes Diet
Diabetes Distress
Diabetes Eating on a Shoestring Budget
Diabetes Etiquette
Diabetes and Oral Health
Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
Diabetes and Your Mouth
Diabetes and Your Eyes
Diabetes in Cats
Diabetes in Dogs
Diabetes Management ABCs
Diabetes Meter Technicians
Diabetes Myths
Diabetic Ketoacidosis
Diabetic Retinopathy
Diet Tips for South Asians
Dining Out
Drinking and Diabetes
The Discovery of Insulin
Eating Disorders
Easing the Strain of Stress
Eating to Protect Your Kidneys
Eating Well During Shift Work
Eggs in a Diabetic Diet
Emotional Eating
Emotions of Diabetes Diagnosis
Erectile Dysfunction
Exercise Excuses
Why Fad Diets Fail
Fats
Fibre
Fill Your Day with Energy
Financial Support for Diabetes
Food Temptation
Foot Care
Footwear and Foot Health
Fruits and Veggies
Gastroparesis
Gestational Diabetes
Get Active
Get Physical
Gift Ideas
Glucose Meters
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Loads
The Glycemic Index
Going Green in the Kitchen
Grocery Shopping Tips
Guidelines for Diabetes Management
Holiday Party Survival Guide
Health Information on the 'Net
Healthy Happy Holidays
Healthy Beverage Choices
Health Benefits of Soy
Healthy Restaurant Meals
High Blood Pressure and Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
HbA1c Test
Healthy Eating for Active People
High Blood Lipids
Home from the Hospital
Home Alone and Sick
Hypoglycemic Unawareness
Impaired Glucose Tolerance
Immunization & Diabetes
Incretins-a Hormone Treatment
Injecting Insulin
Insulin Discovery-The Story
Insulin
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Insulin - the Key to Energy Management
Insulin Pumps
Insulin Pen Needles
Insulin Pump Infusion Sets
Insulin Pump Therapy
Immunization and Diabetes
Internet Health Sites
Islet Cell Transplantation
Insurance
Ketones
Kidney Disease - Reducing the Risk
Living with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Living Powerfully with Diabetes
Low Blood Glucose
Managing Diabetes
Managing Blood Glucose
Metformin
Nutrition Food Labels
Meal Planning
Your Medication Expert
Medication Research Studies
Metabolic Syndrome
Microalbuminuria
New Diabetes Technologies
Natural Medicines and Diabetes
No Need for Insulin?
Not Snoozing
Over-the-Counter Medications
Oral Health and Diabetes
Osteoporosis and Diabetes
Diabetes and OTC Medications
Pedicure Precautions
Peripheral Arterial Disease
Pet Diabetes
Planning for Pregnancy
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Preparing for Activity
Putting off Insulin
Reducing Stress of Surgery
Safe and Successful Travel
Schizophrenia and Diabetes
Sensible Snacking
Setting Health Goals
Setting Goals for Physical Activity
Sharps Disposal
Shorter Insulin Needles
Sleep - a Missing Link
Smart Snacking
Smart Summer Nutrition
Snack Bars
Snacking with Diabetes
Sodium
Social Media & Diabetes
Solving the Insurance Puzzle
Stress and Diabetes
Success in School
Supplements
Supporting Spouse with Diabetes
Sweeteners
Sugar, Carbs and Blood Glucose Control
Think Positive with Diabetes
Tiny Bites Equal Big Calories
Travelling with Diabetes
Tips for a Better You
Tobacco Use and Diabetes
Top 10 Reasons to Exercise
Treating Low Blood Glucose
Treating Hypoglycemia - Role of Glucagon
Tune up Your Diet
Type 1.5 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes
Understanding Diabetes Medications
Understanding Ketones
Used Sharps
Urinary Incontinence
Vacationing with Diabetes
Vegetarian Eating for Diabetes
Vitamin D
Walking
Wise Choices About Natural Medicines
Wonderful Water
Natural Medicines & Diabetes
World Diabetes Day
Your Medicine Cupboard
Zimbabwe Hand Jive
Family Medicine
Full Listing with story descriptions
ADHD in Children
Allergic Rhinitis
Allergies
Antibiotic Use
Arthritis
Aspirin Every Day?
Asthma
Back Pain
Back Pain Myths
Back Pain - Lower
Birth Control
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Blood Transfusions
Breaast and Prostate Cancer Screening
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Check-Up
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Contact Lenses
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Cost of Doctor's Visit
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Do I Need a Bone Density Test?
Doctor Visit
Driving Vision
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Does My Sore Knee Require an MRI?
Do I Need an Annual Physical?
Eczema
Electronic Medical Records
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Eye Exam
Family Doctor
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Floaters and Flashes
Food Poisoning
5 Ways to Stay Healthy
Gallbladder
Get Active!
Glare
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Human Papilloma Virus
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High Blood Pressure Risks
How to Talk to Your Doctor
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Medical Digital Technology
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Restore Your Core
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Stroke
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Win by Losing
Urinary Tract Infections
Vision Flickers
First Aid
Full Listing with story descriptions
Bites and Stings
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Emergency Care Guidelines
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First Aid Travel Kit
Hypothermia and Frostbite
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Full Listing with story descriptions
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Get Active!
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Have Health, Will Travel
Health Tips for Seniors
Hearing
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Living Longer With Diabetes
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Maintaining Quality of Life as You Age
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New Corneal Treatments
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Skin Over 50
Solving Sleep Issues
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Stroke Prevention
Travel Tips for Snowbirds
Wills and Personal Directives
Modern Living
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Abuse
Acupuncture
Adult ADHD
Aging and Memory
Alcohol and Your Health
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Barbecue Basics
Bathtub Safety
Binge Drinking
Bisphenol A
Canada's New Blood System
Caring for a Loved One Dying at Home
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Computer Stress
Coping With Change
Cosmetic Surgery
Cosmetic Pesticides
Depression
Diabetes Epidemic
Discipline
Diseases from Pets
Downsizing
Dying at Home
Erectile Dysfunction New Treatments
Exotic Travel
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
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Healing Through Music
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Humidex
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Lymphedema
Mature Student
Melamine in Food
Middle Age Health
Mind-Body Connection
Mom Time
Money Matters
Outdoor Workers and Sun Safety
Patient Safety in the Hospital
Pets and Health Benefits
Pet Therapy
Physiotherapy Visit
Planning for End of LIfe
Reproductive Freedom
Safe Drinking Water
Schizophrenia
Smokeless Tobacco
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Soy
Stigma of Mental Illness
Street Drugs
Stressed or Depressed?
Stress in the Workplace
Stress Leave
Swim to Survive
Sunburn
Sunglasses
Time Management
Travel Health Protection
Travel Comfort Tips
Travel Immunization
Understanding Change
Unplugging
Whiplash
Wind Chill Index
Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace Health
Nutrition
Full Listing with story descriptions
5 Tips to Manage Weight
10 Ways to Cut Down on Fat
Battle the Bulge
Boost Your Bone Strength
Body Image
Breakfast is Important
Bowel Health
Building Your Bones
Celiac Disease
Challenging the Milk Myth
Diet Reality Check
Drink Up!
Eating Smarter & Cheaper
Energy Drinks
Food Allergies
Food for Active Kids
Fast Food
Food Labels
Giving Up Gluten
Healthy Diet, Healthy Smile
Healthy Eating for Boomers and Zoomers
Healthy Eating for Seniors
Healthy Eating on Business Travel
Healthy Ethnic Meals
Fad Diets
Fruits & Veggies - 5-10 a Day
Fats
Fat Phobias
Fats & Cholesterol
Feeding Your Kids
Fibre
Food Chemistry 101
Food and Mood
Getting Kids to MOVE
Healthy Eating for Teens
Healthy Habits
Herbal Medicine and Nutrition
New Ingredients for Your Shopping Cart
Iron
Kid's Food
Liquid Candy
Meal Planning with Planned Overs
Mercury Levels in Fish
Night Snacking
Night Shift Eating
Nutrition on the Net
Nutrition Myths Busted
Nutrition Questions Top 5
Nutrition for Menopause
Essential Omega-3
Preventing Cancer Through Nutrition
Picky Eaters
Power of Fruits & Veggies
Portion Control
Power Lunch
PMS and Nutrition
Preparing for Surgery
Probiotics
Reducing High Blood Pressure
Replacement Meals
Sensible Snacking
Sodium
Sodium and Blood Pressure
Sports-Minded Nutrition
Sugar Substitutes
Survive and Thrive
Teen Nutrition
Tips for a SuperDiet
Understanding Food Biotechnology
Vacation Eating
Vitamins D
Vitamins and Minerals
Vegetarian Diet
Weight Loss
Weight Wise Tips
Pharmacy Care
Full Listing with story descriptions
After a Heart Attack
Adverse Drug Reactions
Adult Vaccinations
Allergy Attack
Antibiotic Overuse
New Anticoagulant Medications
Inhaled Asthma medications
Arthritis Medications
Biologics
Biological Response Modifiers
Blood Pressure Monitoring
Blood Thinners
Calcium and Iron Supplements
Changing Role of the Pharmacist
Children's Cold Remedies
Child's Fever
Choosing Sunscreens
Cold Relief
Cold Sores
Constipation and Haemorrhoids
Diuretics and Potassium Supplements
Drug Recalls and Withdrawals
Drug Interactions
Emergency Contraception
Erectile Dysfunction
Expanding Role of Pharmacies
Eye Protection - Sunglasses
Feminine Hygiene
Generic or Name Brand?
Heartburn
Heart Health
Insomnia
Kids and Cold Medications
Medication Questions?
Metabolic Syndrome
Natural Medicines
New Blood Thinners
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Obesity Medication
Over-the-Counter Drugs
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
Over-the-Counter Drugs and Pregnancy
OTC Pain Relief
Packing Medications for Travel
Pharmaceutical Studies
Preventing Summer Hazards
Research Studies
Quit Smoking
Skin and Cosmeceuticals
Sports & Nutrition Supplements
Sunscreen
Taking Medication
Take as Directed
Using Antibiotics Wisely
Viagra
Vitamin D
Yeast Infections
Your Best Shot
Your Medicine Cupboard
Prevention
Full Listing with story descriptions
Accident Prevention
Alcohol
Antibiotic Resistance
Backpack Pain
Bacteria Fight Back
Bedbugs
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Caffeine
Cell Phones and Driving
Childhood Obesity
Cancer Prevention Tips
Chronic Disease Prevention
Cold and Flu Season
Disaster Planning
Diseases from Pets
Distracted Driving
E-cigarettes
Farm Safety for City Kids
Foodborne Illness
Flu Pandemic
The Flu and You
Heading Home for a Visit
Health Tips for Snowbirds
Hearing Loss and Music Players
H1N1 Virus - Plan Ahead
Household Mould
Infection Control
Injury Prevention
Live Actively!
Insect Repellant
Keys to Preventing Cancer
Kids' Mental Health
Live Actively!
Low Birth Weight
Meningitis
Norovirus
Are Pesticides Safe?
Preventing Burns and Scalds
Preventing Cancer through Nutrition
Quit Smoking 101
Respiratory Infections
Seniors and STIs
Should You Immunize?
Sun Safety
Surviving Disaster
Sushi Preparation
Teens, Drugs and Driving
Travel Health Considerations
Travel Medicine 101
Travel Tips
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Water Smarts
Vision Damage
Water Wisdom
West Nile Disease
Whooping Cough
Workplace Alcohol Abuse
Women's Health
Full Listing with story descriptions
15 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
Anemia
Approaching Menopause
Birth Control
Breast Cancer Screening
Breast Cancer - Genetic Risks
Breast Cancer Self-Exam
Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines Changes
Breast Health
Breastfeeding Myths
Cervical Cancer Screening
Contraception
Contraception for Mature Women
Cosmetic Procedures
Cystitis
Endometriosis
Estrogen's Effect on the Brain
Fear of Fracture
Fibroids
Heart Attack
Hirsutism - Unwanted Hair
Hormone Replacement Therapy
The IUD
Menopause - What Men Should Know
Menstrual Bleeding - Abnormal
Menstrual Bleeding - Heavy
Menopause
Menstruation Myths
Menstrual Pain
Third Generation Birth Control Pills
Osteoporosis
Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cysts
Oral Contraction (The Pill)
Pap Test
Premenstrual Syndrome
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Urinary Incontinence
Vaginitis
Varicose Veins
Viagra for Women
Yeast Infections
Your Pelvic Floor
Family Health Online / Pharmacy at Safeway
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Family Health Magazine - FAMILY MEDICINE

Respiratory Tract Infections
Identifying and treating them

Respiratory tract infections (RTI’s) including common colds and ear, sinus or lung infections are usually caused by a virus. Over 200 different viruses can cause a cold, and some people are more prone to colds than others. A child attending pre-school may catch as many as eight colds in a year.

Sometimes viral cold symptoms may lead to more serious symptoms and bacterial infections. If you are unsure or if your symptoms worsen, please see your family doctor. The information in this article will help you to distinguish between viral infections, which don’t need antibiotics, and bacterial infections, which often need antibiotics.

Why aren’t antibiotics used for viral infections?

Health care professionals often suggest annual flu shots and a pneumonia shot every five to 10 years to prevent infections in people prone to infections as well as for those in close contact with people who have chronic illnesses.

Tips to prevent getting a cold

  • Don’t share glasses
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze
  • Don’t use tissues more than once and throw away after use
  • Eat a proper diet
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Make sure you get plenty of rest
  • Avoid tobacco smoke or other environmental irritants

Colds

Symptoms of a cold include:

A cold usually runs its course without any complications in one to two weeks. If you have cold symptoms lasting longer than two weeks, or if they are getting worse before one to two weeks are up, talk to your doctor.

Sinus Infections

How do I know if I have a sinus infection?

A cold that starts to get better and then gets worse may be a sign of a sinus infection. Pain that is only on one side of your face, or pain that starts when you lean forward, can also be a sign of acute sinusitis.

Other symptoms include a fever, thick green or yellow nasal mucus, and an ache in your upper teeth.

How can I treat my sinus infection?

Do I need antibiotics?

Some sinus infections get better on their own while others need to be treated with an antibiotic. Your doctor will do a thorough assessment and examination to decide if a virus is causing the illness. Remember that viral illnesses are not treated with antibiotics. If your doctor decides that you have a sinus infection caused by bacteria (acute bacterial sinusitis), antibiotics might be given.

Ear Infection

How do I know if my child has an ear infection?

Ear infections usually affect small children and are often accompanied by a runny nose, cough, irritability and a slight fever.

What should I do?

Take your child’s temperature with a thermometer and record it. If it is above 38.5°C try to reduce the fever and see your family doctor. If the fever is less than 38.5°C try to reduce it on your own with home remedies.

Tips to reduce fever

Does my child need antibiotics?

Your doctor will do a thorough assessment and examination to decide if a virus is causing the illness. Viral illnesses are not treated with antibiotics and most children get better within two to three days. An antibiotic may be given if your child is not better within two to three days and your doctor decides that a bacterial ear infection is present. If your child is less than two years old, your doctor may choose to treat with antibiotics sooner.

Tips for treating a sore throat

  • Make sure you get plenty of fluids and rest.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol™, Tempra™) is usually all that is needed to help with pain and fever.

Sore Throat

What causes sore throats (also known as pharyngitis)?

Viruses are responsible for most sore throats but bacteria also cause some. The most common of the bacteria that cause a sore throat is called Group A Strep. A sore throat caused by this bug is often called 'Strep throat.'

When should I see my doctor about my sore throat?

If you have a sore throat with a runny nose or cough, then you probably just have a cold. If you have a sore throat for two or more days, without a runny nose or cough, then you may have Strep throat and you should see your doctor. Your doctor must do a throat swab to diagnose Strep throat. The results of the throat swab will be available within 48 to 72 hours. Most sore throats get better on their own, but if the throat swab shows Strep throat, your doctor will give you a prescription for antibiotics.

Bronchitis

How do I know if I have acute bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is an infection of the tubes that carry air from the mouth and nose to the lungs (bronchial tree). When these tubes get infected, they swell and mucus forms (mucus is the material that comes up when you cough). The swelling of the tubes makes it more difficult for you to breathe and may make you wheeze.

When should I see my doctor about my acute bronchitis?

If your cough lasts more than one month or you continue to have a fever, you should see your doctor. You should also see your doctor if you cough up blood, if you have trouble breathing only when you lie down, or if your feet swell.

Viruses cause acute bronchitis, so antibiotics are not helpful. Even when the mucus you cough up is coloured or thick, antibiotics probably won’t help you get better faster. If you smoke, you should cut down on your number of cigarettes or stop smoking altogether.

Tips for chronic bronchitis sufferers

  • Don’t smoke! If you are a smoker, talk to your doctor about quitting.
  • Avoid second-hand smoke and other irritants (like dust).
  • Follow a nutritious, well balanced diet.
  • Get regular exercise daily.
  • See your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions at the beginning of any cold or flu.
  • Ask your doctor about being vaccinated against flu and pneumococcal pneumonia.
    • Avoid exposure to colds and flu.

How do I know if I have chronic bronchitis?

With chronic bronchitis, mucus cannot be cleared from the airways in your lungs. Instead of helping to clean the lungs, the mucus blocks the airway. Bacteria can then settle in the airways and cause infection. The signs of chronic bronchitis are a continual cough and mucus production that lasts for at least three months each year, for two years in a row. Children do not get chronic bronchitis.

How will my doctor treat my chronic bronchitis?

The treatment of chronic bronchitis is aimed at reducing irritation in the airways. Inhalers (like Ventolin™) may be prescribed to help relax and open up air passages in the lungs. Some of these drugs can be inhaled and others taken as pills. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if it is suspected that you have a bacterial infection. Most people with chronic bronchitis do not need to take antibiotics continually.

Viral Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious infection or inflammation of the lungs. It is not a single disease and can have over 30 different causes, but half of all pneumonias are believed to be caused by viruses.

Early symptoms

Within 12 to 36 hours

Bacterial Pneumonia

Sometimes, bacteria cause pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common of these bacteria, but it is the one form of pneumonia for which a vaccine is available. The vaccine (Pneumovax) is recommended for anyone aged 65 and older, or people with diabetes or heart failure, or those whose immune (defence) system is not working well (immunocompromised). The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can come on gradually or suddenly and include:

If you have symptoms of pneumonia, call your doctor immediately.

How will my doctor treat my pneumonia?

Warning! If you are given antibiotics for your respiratory infection:

  • follow your doctor or pharmacist’s instructions on taking them.
  • make sure you finish them.
  • do not share - only the person for whom they are prescribed should use the antibiotics.
  • watch for side effects such as stomach upsets and rashes.

In the young and healthy, early treatment with antibiotics can cure bacterial pneumonia and speed recovery. There is not yet a general treatment for viral pneumonia. Most people can be treated at home. Besides antibiotics, treatment includes proper diet and oxygen (when needed). In some people, medication
to provide relief from coughing may be given.

Tips to prevent pneumonia

Where can I get more information about respiratory tract infections?

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FAMILY HEALTH is written with the assistance of
Alberta College of Family Physicians
FAMILY HEALTH is written
with the assistance of
The College of Family Physicans of Canada
Alberta College of Family Physicians
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