Flu with watery eyes: Ocular affectation in Flu and Cold

How to Tell the Difference in Your Symptoms

You have a runny nose, a cough, a fever, and a pounding headache, but what’s making you feel so awful? Figuring out whether you’re dealing with the common cold or the flu is often hard to tell.

Finding the Cause Depends on the Type of Virus

Both a cold and the flu, or influenza, are respiratory infections, but they’re caused by different viruses. A cold can be caused by any one of more than 200 distinct viruses, while there are only a handful of viruses that cause the flu.

As a general rule, the flu is usually more intense and fierce than the common cold. In some situations, it can be important to know if you have the flu, since it is more likely to lead to serious complications, including pneumonia, bacterial infection, or hospitalization. “Watch out for a fever that goes away and then comes back. That could mean that a cold or flu has turned into a bacterial infection,” warns Charles Foster, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases in Ohio.

Key Symptoms of the Flu

Symptoms that indicate flu tend to be more severe than with a cold and include high fever (above 102 F), nausea, cough without phlegm, chills, body aches, sweating, and lack of appetite.

Difference Between the Onset of Cold vs. Flu Symptoms

In addition to examining your symptoms, watching how they develop can give you a clue as to which illness you have. Cold symptoms tend to develop gradually, while flu symptoms can come on suddenly, without warning.

Learn more about Cold and Flu Symptoms

Seeking Medical Care to Determine if You Have a Cold or the Flu

Your doctor can perform tests in the first few days after you develop symptoms to determine whether you have a cold or the flu. However, you usually don’t need to visit the doctor unless your symptoms are severe, you have a pre-existing health problem that puts you at high risk of a complication, or your symptoms indicate a more serious infection.

Whether you have a cold or the flu, expect your symptoms to stick around for about 10 days. There is no cure for a cold, but in some severe cases of the flu, your doctor may recommend an antiviral medication to speed up your recovery time. Antiviral drugs are considered a second line of defense after flu vaccinations.

Since both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria, antibiotic medicines are not of any use in combating them.

Get plenty of rest, avoid smoking and alcohol, drink plenty of water and juice, and take over-the-counter medication to treat specific symptoms and help you feel better as your body fights off the infection.

Learn more about Cold and Flu Treatment

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Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(7):1179-1180

How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu?

Colds and the flu cause many of the same symptoms. But colds are usually mild, while the flu tends to be more severe.

A cold often starts with feeling tired, sneezing, coughing, and having a runny nose. You may not have a fever, or you may run a low fever—just 1 or 2 degrees higher than usual. You may have muscle aches, a scratchy or sore throat, watery eyes, and a headache.

The flu starts suddenly and hits hard. You will probably feel weak and tired and have a fever, dry cough, a runny nose, chills, muscle aches, a bad headache, eye pain, and a sore throat. It usually takes longer to get over the flu than a cold.

What causes colds and the flu?

More than 100 different viruses can cause colds. There aren’t as many viruses that cause the flu. That’s why there is a shot for the flu and not for colds. To keep from getting the flu, all children between six months and five years of age, adults older than 50 years, and people with asthma or lung problems should get a flu shot every October or November.

What can I do to feel better?

There is no cure for a cold or the flu. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Unless you have the flu and see your doctor within two days after your symptoms start, all you can do to feel better is treat your symptoms while your body fights off the virus. You can also use over-the-counter cold medicines to help you feel better. Do not give children cold medicine without checking with your doctor first. People who take prescription medicine also should check with their doctor before taking over-the-counter cold medicine.

Ways to treat your cold and flu symptoms

  • Stay home and rest, especially while you have a fever.

  • Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices, and clear soups.

  • Do not drink alcohol.

  • Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day if you have a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help with the pain.

  • Use a nose spray to help loosen mucus and moisten the skin in your nose.

Should I call my doctor?

Most people do not need to see a doctor when they have a cold or the flu. But if you have any of the symptoms in the box below, call your doctor.

Emergency cold and flu symptoms

In children:

  • Fever above 102°F (38.9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

  • A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

  • Trouble breathing, fast breathing, or wheezing

  • Bluish skin

  • Not drinking enough fluids

  • Earache or drainage from the ear

  • Mental changes (such as trouble waking up, irritability, or seizures)

  • Flu-like symptoms that get better but come back later with a fever and a worse cough

  • Chronic medical problems (such as diabetes or heart disease) that get worse

In adults:

  • Fever above 102°F (38. 9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

  • A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

  • Pain or pressure in the chest

  • Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint

  • Confusion

  • Severe vomiting

  • Very bad pain in your face or forehead

  • Hoarseness, sore throat, or a cough that won’t go away

Influenza and acute respiratory viral infections – Argun Hospital 1

Colds (ARVI, acute respiratory infections) and influenza are infectious diseases that are caused by viruses. They differ from each other in symptoms, as well as in violation of the functions of certain organs.

Acute respiratory infections mainly affect the upper respiratory tract, ie the nose and pharynx. Symptoms of these diseases include runny nose, watery eyes, weakness, headache, sore throat. Respiratory diseases occur more often in the cold season, but can also be observed in the spring and summer months. SARS last in most cases from 5 to 10 days. Early treatment of such diseases leads to a reduction in symptoms and promotes a rapid recovery.

A completely different picture is observed with influenza infections, which develop mainly in the winter months. Influenza affects not only the respiratory tract, but the entire body. The disease occurs suddenly and is characterized by more severe symptoms. This is, first of all, a high temperature, often accompanied by a feeling of cold up to severe chills. In addition, there is a headache, pain in the joints, muscles and back, a feeling of weakness, aches all over the body, severe weakness. Acute symptoms occur most often within a week. Residual effects – weakness, loss of strength can persist for several more weeks.

Influenza weakens the body and reduces resistance to other diseases. It is especially dangerous for young children, the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory systems, diabetes mellitus and immune disorders.

There are several types of infection: adenovirus, rhinovirus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial, parainfluenza. The diagnosis is established by symptoms and epidemiological situation. Treatment necessarily includes antiviral therapy, analgesics, antibacterial agents. With an increase in temperature of more than 38º, it is recommended to use antipyretic drugs.

The source of the spread of viruses in SARS and influenza is sick people . The main route of transmission is airborne . Viruses accumulate and multiply on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. Together with droplets of saliva, sputum and mucus, when coughing, sneezing and talking, the patient releases the influenza virus, which spreads over a distance of 1.5 to 3 meters. The influenza virus enters the body of a healthy person through the mucous membrane of the nose, pharynx, larynx, bronchi. A contact route of infection is possible when a person touches objects contaminated with a virus or a patient with his hands, and then touches his eyes, nose, mouth. When infected with the influenza virus, the disease manifests itself after 12 – 72 hours from the moment of infection. The disease begins suddenly. When infected with viruses that cause SARS, the incubation period (the time from contact with the patient to the first signs of the disease) is shorter, and the symptoms appear gradually.

At the heart of predisposition to colds and flu lies primarily the weakening of the body’s own defenses.

There are several universal tips on how to stimulate the body’s defenses , which allows to some extent prevent colds and flu in adults and children:

– eat healthy and vitamin-rich food, more fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy products;

– drink more fluids: water, fruit juices, tea up to 2 liters per day;

– Reduce your alcohol intake and refrain from smoking, including passive smoking;

– Rinse nose daily with saline solution or use saline spray to moisten nasal mucosa;

– systematic hardening increases the body’s resistance to infectious diseases. It should be noted that hardening procedures should be started and regular sports activities (including health-improving gymnastics) should be started in the summer period against the background of good health, and not during the period of rising morbidity;

– avoid hypothermia and overheating;

– Ventilate and humidify the air in your living quarters and at work.

Thus, in order to avoid the occurrence of colds, it is necessary to maintain immunity, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and pay attention to preventive measures aimed at preventing the risk of a cold. When the first symptoms of a cold appear, you should immediately consult a doctor and do not prescribe medications yourself!

why children and adults experience pain with influenza and fever, how to relieve it

During a cold, weakness, aches, runny nose, cough, and fever often occur. These symptoms have long become habitual, and pain in the eyes occurs less frequently. Why such a symptom occurs, we understand in the article.

Why eyes hurt with the flu

Influenza is an acute viral disease 1 . The causative agent of influenza infects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract (primarily the trachea) and causes inflammation. As a result of the work of the immune system and the destruction of viruses, a large amount of toxins can enter the blood, so the patient develops symptoms of intoxication:

● increase in body temperature;

● weakness;

● were in the muscles and joints;

● headache 2 .

One of the hallmarks of flu intoxication is soreness when moving the eyeballs, which may be accompanied by photophobia and lacrimation. The patient has redness of the eyes because toxins enter the organs of vision and oculomotor muscles through a well-developed vascular network 1 .

Many people think that the eyes hurt at elevated temperatures. In fact, both pain and fever are due to intoxication, which is why they are often associated. In addition to pain, during a fever, a feeling of heat and dryness appears in the eyes. These symptoms develop due to dilation of blood vessels.

Discomfort in the organs of vision can appear not only because of the flu. Intoxication with fever and discomfort in the eyes accompanies many infections (adenovirus, coronavirus, and others). It just happens more often with the flu 1 .

Pain in the eyes is more common at the very beginning of the disease and, with proper treatment, disappears after 2-3 days 2 .

Why eyes hurt with colds

A cold is considered to be a condition accompanied by a runny nose, sore throat, fever and general weakness. However, officially, there is no such diagnosis. Under the common cold, most often mean an acute respiratory viral infection – SARS 3 . That is, the basis of the disease, as in the case of influenza, is infection of the body with respiratory viruses with signs of inflammation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract.

If you experience discomfort in the eyes, you should consult a doctor.


Most often, no specific tests are required: the doctor will make a diagnosis based on a general examination and anamnesis of the disease. If the infection is severe, PCR diagnostics may be prescribed. It will help to determine the type of pathogen and start the right treatment in time.

To identify complications, the doctor may recommend a general and biochemical blood test, as well as write a referral for additional instrumental studies 3 .

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

● Only one eye hurts;

● decreased visual acuity;

● spots, flies, a feeling of veil or fog appeared in the field of view;

● pain in the eyes is accompanied by a feeling of nausea and dizziness;

● increased heart rate, increased excitability.

These symptoms may be signs of a serious illness.

First aid before going to the doctor

An antipyretic such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken to relieve pain and reduce fever.

Before using any drug, read the instructions or consult your doctor.


To get rid of the pain in the eyes, you need to treat the underlying disease. For influenza and SARS, treatment is prescribed by a doctor. It usually includes 3 :

  1. Antiviral therapy. Drugs will help the body get rid of the pathogen, and recovery will come faster.

Direct acting antivirals include Nobasit ® Forte 5 . Its active ingredient (enisamia iodide) is unique in having an additional anti-inflammatory effect comparable in strength to Ibuprofen 4 . Enisamia iodide is able not only to reduce by 3 times the severity of symptoms of body intoxication in influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, such as fever, muscle pain, headache already starting from the second day of taking 5 *, but also to reduce local manifestations of a cold – pain in throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, sneezing 5

  1. Symptomatic therapy. It is aimed at reducing the severity of the clinical symptoms of the disease and is prescribed to alleviate the patient’s condition, for example, antipyretic and analgesic drugs, vasoconstrictor drops in the nose.
  2. Drink plenty of water. It will help to remove metabolic products and reduce the severity of intoxication.

Briefly about the main

➢ Pain in the eyes occurs as a result of intoxication. Therefore, most often it occurs with influenza, which is often accompanied by an intoxication syndrome, and less often with SARS caused by other respiratory viruses.

➢ The pain in the eyes is not directly related to fever. But fever can exacerbate poor health and add a feeling of heat and dryness in the eyes to unpleasant symptoms.

➢ When pain occurs in the eyes, it is important to consult a doctor in time to find out the cause of the symptom.

➢ To combat the cause of the disease of a viral nature, it is recommended to use direct antiviral drugs, for example, Nobasit ®
Forte 6

➢ To alleviate the general condition of the patient, you can take an antipyretic and / or anti-inflammatory drug (paracetamol or ibuprofen), and use vasoconstrictor drugs for a runny nose

➢ Pain in the eyes due to fever is not treated separately. It goes along with the underlying disease.


1 Clinical recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation “Influenza in adults”, 2022.

2 Nekhaev S.G., Badakva T.L. Analysis of clinical symptoms, laboratory and instrumental data in different periods of influenza patients // Bulletin of new medical technologies. Electronic edition. 2019.No. 3. Publication 3-9. DOI: 10.24411/2075-4094-2019-16408.

3 Clinical recommendations of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation “Acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) in adults”, 2021.

4 Zyryanov S.K., Butranova O.I., Gaidai D.S., Kryshen K.L. Pharmacotherapy of acute respiratory infections caused by influenza viruses. Therapeutic archive. 2021; 93(1): 114–124. DOI: 10.26442/00403660.2021.01.200551

5 Lioznov D.A. Karnaukhova E.Yu.