"It can be a problem", says Greg Young, pharmacy manager at Hendrick Medical Center. "Some people may have a common cold and may be a candidate for over the counter treatment, but they have the perception that they need an antibiotic. But they don't--you don't need an antibiotic for a cold. In fact, there could be some problems with that", explains Young.
Emergency rooms fill up this time of year with sick people desperate for relief from cold and flu symptoms, but in the long run, that hospital visit isn't doing anyone any favors.
"If everyone that had a cold went to a provider, then it would be extremely hard to see a provider. It already is sometimes in the winter, because we have so many cases of things like this", says Young.
In the midst of those nasty symptoms, it's not always a doctor you should seek, but rather, "A pharmacy is good place to come to see if you can self-treat. If your symptoms are not real severe, and you just have a cold, and not the flu, where the symptoms are really intense", explains Young.
While coughs, aches, and pains may be miserable to deal with, you're stride towards recovery may be found at home sweet home, and not the hospital.