Are you guilty of misusing antibiotics?
Antibiotics are one of the key medications used to treat bacterial infections. Penicillin and other antibiotics play a major role in not just treating these illnesses but also preventing their complications. However, misusing them knowingly or unknowingly can impact your health. In fact, there are 2 million infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States annually and this caused, 23,000 deaths.
What is antibiotic resistance?
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics results in bacteria becoming resistant to these medications. Such bacteria not only multiply but also pass on the resistant qualities.
Antibiotic resistance means that the antibiotics may not work on the bacterial infection as the bacteria have become immune to it. This has become a big challenge in the modern world. How does this impact you? You may end up with serious illness, require treatments that are more expensive, need more doctor visits, result in longer recovery periods and prolonged hospitalization.
How can you prevent antibiotic resistance?
Firstly, you need to remember that antibiotics treat only bacterial infections and not viral infections. Common ailments that can’t be cured by antibiotics are cold, flu, many types of coughs, certain ear and sinus infections and bronchitis. When you take an antibiotic for a viral infection, it will attack the beneficial bacteria in your body.
Be responsible when you take antibiotics. Do not pressure your doctor into prescribing antibiotics for you, let your doctor decide whether you need them or not. Many a time, you must have been tempted to stop taking tablets once you felt better, however you must complete the entire course. Do not take antibiotics that have been prescribed for others. Avoid using left over antibiotics from a previous course. Ensure that you get your kids vaccinated with all recommended vaccinations.
Implement good hygiene practices into your lifestyle to prevent getting bacterial infections. Bring down the risk of getting bacterial infections from food. Avoid raw milk, wash your hands regularly and cook foods to a safe internal temperature.