Practical Strategies for Effective Relief of the Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection, often caused by different strains of viruses, such as rhinoviruses. It primarily affects the upper respiratory tract, leading to sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes mild fatigue or body aches.
Despite its name, the common cold can feel anything but common when its symptoms take hold. This viral infection can disrupt daily life from nasal congestion and sneezing to a scratchy throat and fatigue. While a cure for the common cold remains elusive, adopting effective strategies can help manage symptoms and promote a speedier recovery.
Practical Tips for Dealing with the Common Cold
1. Rest and Hydration: Dr. Farida Morudwala, a family physician from Surat says that resting allows the body to direct its energy towards fighting off the virus. Combined with proper hydration, it helps in thinning mucus and relieving throat irritation.
2. Over-the-Counter Medications: Morudwala advises the use of Antihistamines, decongestants, or pain relievers for symptomatic relief. However, she insists that it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional, especially if a person has underlying health conditions or is taking other medications.
3. Warm Fluids and Steam: Dr. Sarah Nguyen, ENT Specialist from Texas, USA says, “Drinking warm beverages like herbal teas or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water can ease nasal congestion and soothe a sore throat.”
4. Nutrition and Immune Support: According to Mubaraka Palanpurwala, a senior nutritionist, a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins supports the immune system. Foods high in vitamin C, zinc, and antioxidants can help the body fight the virus.
5. Proper Hygiene and Prevention: Regular handwashing, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the spread of the virus says Palanpurwala.
6. Soothe a sore throat: According to the Mayo Clinic- ‘A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat. Children younger than 6 years are unlikely to be able to gargle properly.
You can also try ice chips, sore throat sprays, lozenges, or hard candy. Use caution when giving lozenges or hard candy to children because they can choke on them. Don’t give lozenges or hard candy to children younger than 6 years.’
7. Add moisture to the air: A cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions suggests Dr Morudwala.
What doesn’t work for the common cold?
Dr Rohit Suri an ENT specialist from Mumbai says that there are many myths surrounding the remedies of the common cold. According to him, Antibiotics are not a good option for cold as they target bacteria and are not effective against cold viruses. “You won’t get any better with antibiotics and will increase antibiotic-resistant bacteria in your body, which will pose a problem later on,”
He further adds that over-the-counter cold and cough medications in young children may cause serious side effects and should not be given without consulting the doctor.
COMMENTS: No Comments