Our civilization has undergone a million and one changes and technology has well improved leaps and bounds, as evidenced by our recent achievement in colonizing Mars. Despite all these, we have yet to find a cure for the common cold. While we wait for scientists to discover the ultimate treatment for the common cold, there are simple and highly effective cold remedies that can help manage the symptoms.
This article enumerates some of the most effective ways to fight the common cold. In addition, we have also listed down traditional treatments that do not work, making you aware and more prepared the next time you are plagued by this pesky condition.
Cold Remedies that Work
Increase Fluid Intake
One of the most irritating cold symptoms is that of nasal congestion. To effectively treat this, it is recommended to increase water intake to reduce the chances of dehydration. Fruit juices are ideal to fight off congestion as it keeps the throat moist at all times. Drink eight to ten glasses f fluids daily, or until congestion disappears. Other types of fluids that you can drink to battle congestion are ginger ale, herbal teas, and sports drinks among others. Obviously, caffeine and alcohol are not advised as they can cause dehydration instead.
Blow your nose regularly
One of the symptoms that one encounters while suffering from cold is that of stuffy nose. Increase mucus production can clog up the nose, making it rather difficult for you to speak and breathe easy. Instead of sniffing back the mucus, it is best to drain it away by blowing your nose often. Do not blow hard, but instead blow gently by pressing your finger on one side of your nostril.
Gargle with saltwater
Gargling a saltwater preparation will relieve you of itchy and sore throat. Clearing your throat by coughing only irritates it even more. Saltwater preparation should be comprised of ½ teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of water.
Get adequate rest
Bed rest or simply staying at home when you are suffering from a cold is recommended. The body will need all its stored and generated energy to directly battle cold, which is commonly accompanied by the flu. Make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep so you can speed up recovery.
People with cold are scared from taking a shower, as they feel that symptoms will get worse. This may be the case if you are going to use cold water for shower, but hot steamy shower will actually alleviate symptoms. If you do not feel like taking a shower, simply run the hot water and let the steam rise instead as you sit near the shower. The steam will effectively expectorate all the mucus and phlegm which may have clogged up your passageways.
Administration of cough and cold medications
As mentioned above, there is no known cure for the common cold. It will go away once it has completed its cycle. Medications for cough and cold function in treating the symptoms, but not the cold itself. Pain relievers and decongestants are the most common drugs prescribed by doctors for those suffering from cold accompanied by flu symptoms.
Bear in mind that medications will not shorten the cold, but may even exacerbate the symptoms if used for extended periods of time. In addition, medications may only be prescribed among adults, and should not be given to children.
Excessive intake of medications to reduce cold symptoms may cause liver damage. If the cold, cough, or flu symptoms persists for more than two weeks, it is best to seek the expertise of a doctor for further evaluation and proper diagnosis.
The intake of antihistamines is common among those who are suffering from colds as they are known to provide some form of relief. However, the side effects of such intake, that which includes drowsiness or sleepiness simply outweigh the relief that it delivers, especially among those who need to be at work or at school.
Elevate head when sleeping
When resting, doctors recommend to place an extra pillow under your head. Not only will this measure promote comfort, but it will also facilitate the proper drainage of fluids, thereby promoting clear nasal passages.
Now that we have discussed crucial measures that treat cold symptoms, it is also best to discuss about the cold remedies that do not work at all. In this way, you can save time and resources and immediately perform those that actually work instead.
Cold Remedies that Don’t Work
Administration of antibiotics
The common cold is caused by viral invasion and not bacteria. With this in mind, the use of antibiotics to hopefully clear out infection will not work at all. Those who take antibiotics will only experience increased resistance to bacteria, and may even weaken the body.s ability in battling bacterial infection in the future. Lastly, intake of antibiotics without the presence of any bacterial invasion is bad for the liver.
Intake of remedies that contain Zinc
Numerous studies reveal that Zinc can treat all cold symptoms. However results reveal that Zinc intake can only provide relief for some people, but not all. In addition, intranasal sprays that contain Zinc has been found to cause serious damage to our sense of smell. To totally eliminate the risk for anosmia, people suffering from colds are contraindicated to use any supplement or medication that contains high levels of Zinc.
OTC cold medications intake in children
OTC meds that target cold symptom may be potent, but they are not advised to be taken by children. Tylenol and other types of acetaminophen may cause serious, and even life-threatening side effects in children under four years of age. It is best for parents to use more natural home remedies to provide relief for children suffering from colds.
Cold management will be successful with utmost preparation. Since it is one of the most common ailments that plague us humans, it is always best to have medications on hand and to familiarize oneself on how to alleviate symptoms, so you can resume daily activities with less hassle and discomfort.