How To Treat The Cold

Margaret By Margaret, 10th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/38lg09_i/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Cold & Flu

Did you know that there are over 200 types of virus that can cause a cold? And it's even possible to have several colds, one after the other, as each one is caused by a different virus! So what can you do to help improve those annoying symptoms?

Cold and Flu

Introduction

A cold is caused by a viral infection of the nose, sinuses, throat and airways. The virus may cause a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, cough and sore throat.
In adults and older children, the cold can last for a week or so and the natural immune system can fight off the infection without any problems. However colds in younger children may last longer, anything up to two weeks.
There is no cure for the cold, however there are things you can do to ease and reduce the symptoms. Drinking plenty of fluids is the first step, taking over the counter medication, such as paracetamol will help control any mild headache, joint pain or sore throat (always read the label or speak to a pharmacist).

Blow your nose carefully
It may sound strange but it's important to blow a runny nose regularly when you have the cold to prevent mucus staying in the sinuses. However, be careful not to blow hard as the pressure could lead to earache. Tip: using a clean tissue, press a finger over one nostril they gently blow to clear the other.

Rest
Allowing yourself to rest when you first get a cold or the flu will help the immune system fight the virus.

Gargle
Gargling may help a reduce a sore throat by adding moisture. Try a teaspoon of honey dissolved in warm water, three times a day. To reduce a tickle in the throat, try an astringent mouth wash such as one containing tea-tree or aloe Vera. A simple mixture of salt and water may be used to aid healing and soothe a tickle.

Warm Drinks
Hot liquids may help reduce nasal congestion. They will also help prevent dehydration, and reduce the uncomfortably inflamed membrane of the throat.

Steam
A steamy shower can help moisturise the nasal passages as well has aiding relaxation. Try adding some mint or menthol bathing scents.

Apply Hot or Cold Packs For Congested Sinuses
You can purchase reusable hot/cold packs from many supermarkets or pharmacies. Simply choose your preference and place the pack on the cheek/nose/eye-area. If you can't get a pack you may use a wet flannel (place in the freeze for a minute or for warmth use a microwave for a few seconds.

When to see a Doctor
Normally you shouldn't need to see your doctor, however if your symptoms continue for over three weeks or you experience a fever of 39°C (102.2°F) or above.

If you ever cough up blood stained mucus.

You experience extreme chest pain and have any difficulties breathing.

You experience severe swelling of the glands in the neck, armpits or groin area.

Also it's important to see a doctor if you're concerned about a baby, young child or elderly person, or if you have a long term condition such as asthma.

How does a cold spread?
A cold is normally spread through direct contact, this is when the infected person sneezes or coughs. Tiny droplets of fluid containing the cold virus are deposited into the air where they are breathed in by others. Door handles and other surfaces that someone else touches a few minutes later can catch the cold virus.

Help to prevent a cold spreading.
You can take some steps to help reduce the spread of a cold. It goes without saying that washing hands regularly, particularly after touching your nose or mouth and before handling food is simple and effective action in reducing the spread of germs. Using tissues will help to prevent the virus containing droplets from the nose and mouth entering the air where they could infect others. Cleaning surfaces to keep them germ free and using your own cup, plates, cutlery and kitchen utensils in the work place may also help.

Tags

Cleaning, Cold, Common Cold, Cough, Doctor, Fatigue, Fever, Flu, Germs, Hand Washing, Headache, Healing, Health, Joint Pain, Pain Killers, Pain Medication, Rest, Sneezing, Sore Throat, Symptoms

Meet the author

author avatar Margaret
I am a busy mum in my 30's and when I am not running about I enjoy reading and writing about arts, alternative health and spirituality.

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Comments

author avatar Retired
10th Feb 2015 (#)

Valuable info.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
14th Feb 2015 (#)

Very useful article as common cold is a common ailment among the old and young. Salt water gargling for sore throat? Does it help?

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author avatar Margaret
14th Feb 2015 (#)

Hi, thanks for your comment. Salt helps to create an environment that's less hospitable for the bacteria that causes a sore throat. It's an old home remedy. :-)

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