Even though you may live as healthy a lifestyle as possible, it’s hard to avoid the common cold that comes around every year. Having a cold is never a good thing. Not only it affects your daily life and productivity, it also makes you feel weak and tired all the time. You use up all of the tissue paper in the house and start using the paper towels and newspapers. It is also very contagious, forcing you to distance yourself from other people to avoid spreading the virus. While there is no definite cure for a cold, there are ways to ease the symptoms and to help you deal with the illness much easier and faster. However, in order to know how to get rid of a cold, you must first understand its causes and symptoms.
*NOTE, nothing in this article or practicalnourishment.com is meant to treat or diagnose any illness.
See your physician if you have any health concerns.
Causes of Common Cold
Several types of viruses are the main causes of common cold. These viruses include rhinovirus, adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, coronavirus, and respiratory syncytial virus. Contrary to popular belief, cold is not solely triggered by cold weather. Rather, it is the effect of viruses that found their way into your system.
Common cold is considered one of the most recurring ailments in the world because it is easy to transmit. You can obtain any of the causing viruses through direct contact with an infected person or object, as well as through inhalation of airborne virus. When a person with cold touches his nose and then holds an object, the virus is automatically transmitted to that object. The moment you hold that particular object, you can immediately get the virus. The same principle applies when an infected person sneezes or coughs while you are in the same vicinity and, in turn, inhaled the airborne virus.
Knowing the symptoms of the common cold is very helpful. This way, you can be sure of the kind of illness you have and then determine the right course of treatment. The common symptoms of a cold are sore throat, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, fever, headache, cough, watery eyes, body pains, and fatigue, among others.
These symptoms, which can be seen both in adults and kids, manifest about three days after acquiring the virus. Once you feel any of these symptoms, it is best to treat them as soon as possible. Otherwise, the illness will get worse and you will feel sicker by the day.
There are several flu remedies and ways to reduce the symptoms of a cold. You can take over-the-counter medicines or you can do it in a more natural way. Choosing which treatment should depend on your current condition, and again, do not start any treatment without consulting with your physicians.
Given the variety of cold and flu medicines in the market, you may find it confusing which one to choose. But here is a list of common drugs that will help.
Decongestants – a person with flu suffers from stuffy nose and decongestants can help in this. Decongestants, which come in oral medicines and sprays and drops, can lessen the discharge of fluid from the nose by decreasing the blood flow in nasal tissues.
Antihistamines – this over-the-counter drug deals with the effects of a chemical called histamine, which can cause runny nose and itchy throat and eyes, as well as sneezing. It has two groups. The first-generation antihistamines can be much more sedating than the second-generation antihistamines.
Expectorants – this is a cough medicine that helps free the lungs of mucus by lubricating the respiratory tract.
Cough Suppressants – it is common that a person suffering from cold is also dealing with cough. This is why cough suppressants can be of great help. Suppressants such as dextromethorphan work in the brain in order to prevent coughing.
These are only some examples of OTC drugs that can deal with cold. Meanwhile, when it comes to cold sores, which are one of possible effects of colds and fever, you also have a wide range of choices. Among the ways on how to get rid of cold sores are using topical anesthetics and skin protectants and taking ibuprofen. However, you must remember that these medicines only alleviate the symptoms and pain but do not completely heal the sores.
How can you get rid of a cold the natural way? This might be the question running through your mind if you are the kind of person who isn’t that fan of OTC drugs.
Here are some ways to get rid of a cold using home remedies, which are more affordable and easier to do.
Full Rest – anyone suffering from cold shouldn’t work their body to the limits. One must rest as much as he can so as to strengthen the immune system and gather more energy to fight off the virus.
Blow your nose regularly – you need to do this in order to release the mucus from your lungs. It is a healthier way instead of sniffing the mucus back. Just remember to blow your nose properly so as to prevent an earache due to the pressure of blowing hard. When doing it, remember to press one nostril before blowing through the other gently. Your family may want to get a pair of the best ear plugs to drown out the noise, but it’s all part of having a cold.
Drink plenty of water and gargle – if there is a quickest way to get rid of a cold, it is probably to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking enough water helps clean your body and remove the virus. It is advisable to do water therapy. You can also increase your intake of hot liquids so as to ease nasal congestion, as well as deal with inflamed membranes. When it comes to sore throat, you should gargle warm water with salt four times a day to alleviate the pain.
These are some of the ways of how to get rid of a cold. If symptoms persist and you are already suffering from a prolonged cold, you must go see a doctor to be on the safer side. Because there is no known direct cure for cold itself, it is best to prevent it. You can do this by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and strengthening your immune system through proper diet and regular exercise.