From sniffles and sneezes to stomach bugs, the germs are going around right now. If your first instinct is to beg the doctor for an antibiotic, that's likely the wrong move.
When the sniffles strike we want help from the doctor but the truth is, sometimes, it's best to tackle the symptoms and heal thyself.
Henry Ford Hospital Ear Nose and Throat doctor Lamont Jones says, "a running nose, cough, sinus problems those can be treated symptomatically, with observation."
In fact, when it comes to ear infections, the most common childhood infections, the American Academy of Pediatrics just released new guidelines, telling doctors to stop rushing to treat ear infections with antibiotics unless kids are showing severe symptoms.
"Infections that effect upper respiratory infections - ear nose and throat, those are viral and antibiotics won't help," Jones said.
Dr. Jones also says sometimes antibiotics are needed when severe symptoms persist or to treat bacterial infections like Strep Throat, Urinary Tract Infections or Bacterial Meningitis. But taking unnecessary antibiotics can lead to a resistance and the fear is someday, when your life is on the line, the antibiotics won't work.
"We have 2 kids and 2 doctors in the house and I can say antibiotics are rarely used," Jones said.
Doctor Jones says it's very important to have a trusted relationship with your doctor and don't consider it a wasted appointment if you leave without a prescription for antibiotics.