What Do These Symptoms Look Like?
Immediately cold symptoms strike, you ought to get rid of them as soon as possible. It is very difficult to focus on those things you’re meant to do when your nasal cavity feels runny and stuffy, and your throat scratches.
You might have heard your family member, friends, or even your doctor say that there is no treatment for cold. Unluckily, they’re right. Over 200 viruses can trigger cold, but it is mostly caused by a particular group of viruses, ‘the rhinoviruses’.
To date, there is no antiviral medication that fights these viruses causing cold. Also, you cannot cure a common cold with just antibiotics as they are only used to cure infections caused by bacteria organisms.
Relying on home remedies to treat common cough and colds is something that many households still believe and practice. Besides curing common cough and cold effectively, some home remedies are also void of any side effects. In this article, you will find out some of these remedies that will help treat your common cough and cold.
What Differentiate Cold from Flu?
The known cold and the flu may appear to be very similar at first. They are of a truth both respiratory disorders and can trigger similar symptoms. However, dissimilar viruses cause these two disorders, and the signs you get will gradually help you to differentiate between them.
Both cold and the flu have some common symptoms. Folks with either disorder often experience:
- a runny
- body aches
- stuffy nose
- general fatigue.
As a general rule, flu symptoms are often more severe than the common cold symptoms.
Another noticeable difference between the two is how severe they are. Colds do not often cause additional health problems. The flu, o the other hand, can lead to ear infections and sinus, sepsis, and pneumonia.
To find out if your symptoms are from the flu or a cold, you need to consult your doctor. He will then run series of tests that can help find out what is actually behind your symptoms.
Should your doctor diagnose a cold, you may likely only need to cure your symptoms until the virus wins a chance to run its course. These healing processes may include using some over-the-counter medications for cold, keeping hydrated, and having enough rest.
Should flu be diagnosed, you may only need to take an OTC medicine (flu) early in the virus’s lifecycle. Hydration and rest are also very helpful for folks with the flu. Much like the well-known cold, the flu just requires time to find its way through your body system.
What Symptoms of Cold Have You Noticed?
Cold symptoms often take a few days to surface. These symptoms rarely appear abruptly. Differentiating between flu and cold symptoms can help you know how to treat the condition and whether or not you should see your doctor.
Nasal symptoms include:
- sinus pressure
- runny nose
- stuffy nose
- loss of taste or smell
- watery nasal secretions
- drainage in the caudal region of your throat
Head symptoms include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- sore throat
- watery eyes
Systemic symptoms (whole-body symptoms) include:
- body aches
- low-grade fever
- chest discomfort
- difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
Shall we now go into amazing remedies to treat cold symptoms?
Antibiotics are often prescribed for bacterial illness. But since colds are caused by viruses and will not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics will not help patients get better any soon, neither will they stop patients from passing the infections on to other folks.
2) Air Humidifiers
During the cold seasons, when the heating dries the air out, using an air humidifier will help to keep the nasal passages and throat moist.
3) Fever and Pain Treatment
Antipyretics (fever-reducing drugs) may be helpful. Although an extremely high fever is often not desirable, a slight fever is not all that bad, as it helps one’s body fight infections more rapidly. Whenever body temperature rises, bacteria and viruses find it difficult to reproduce. With the exclusion of infants, doctors no longer try to lower the raised fever.
However, if victims feel bothered, and antipyretic is often fine. Aspirin should not be taken by children or young adults, but only older adults.
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are effective for curing both pain and fever. Check with a qualified pharmacist or doctor for the accurate dosage and right schedule for these drugs. Overdosing may cause liver/kidney damage or failure.
Decongestants are drugs that shrink the inflamed nasal membranes, allowing for easier respiration. There are nasal or oral decongestants. Unless a doctor instructs, nasal decongestants should never be taking beyond 5 days, this is because longer usage may block up the nose even more.
Hypertensive patients should only use decongestants if they are under the supervision of a health specialist. Many researchers are yet to affirm whether decongestants are worth recommending, this is because they only work for a short while. Also, nasal decongestants should never be used by folks on monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants (MAOI).
Some sedating antihistamines may slightly alleviate some symptoms of cold, like watery eyes, coughs, runny nose, and sneezes. Experts are not yet sure, whether the merits of using antihistamines overshadow its side effects. Most studies are with mixed results.
Several specialists claim that antihistamines make nasal membranes dry, which reduces mucus flow, thus discouraging the nasal passages’ capability to get rid of these germs.
According to a 2013 Cochrane review, ascorbic acid’s (vitamin C) effects on cold, there was a significant reduction in the period of symptoms in folks who took at least 200mg a day of ascorbic acid supplements. Once symptoms begin, they’ll found no advantage to taking ascorbic acid.
Some previous studies have gotten mixed results about the benefits of zinc for curing colds. The most positive results claim that the zinc should be administered within 24 hours (one day) of the onset of cold symptoms.
Some Canadian researchers just found out that zinc tends to perform greatly with adults than with infants; also that harmful effects (e.g. when higher doses are administered) are common. A serious harmful side effect is lack of smell or permanent anosmia. Before taking zinc, it is vital to find the preparation and dosage you ought to take.
8) Steam Inhalation
Inhaling steam may help ward off symptoms of cold congestion. For a traditional/natural steam inhalation:
- Half fill a pot with water and boil it.
- Place the pot on a sturdy plain table; ensure to put a towel or other heat-resistant mat under it.
- The sick folk can sit with his/her head over the pot and be covered with another thick towel.
- Then try to breathe deeply with your eyes closed.
- Ensure that none of these steams gets into your eyes.
Do not try using this method with small children; there is always a high risk of scalding. Infants may benefit from staying very close to a hot shower and inhaling the steam.
Other Home Remedies
To be as comfortable as possible whenever you have a cold, try to:
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Juice, water, clear broth, or warm lemon water are great choices. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can further dehydrate you.
Eat Chicken Soup
Eating chicken soup together with other warm fluids may be soothing and loosen your congestion.
If possible, stay away from work if you are feverish or having a bad cough, or are feeling drowsy after taking some medications. This will grant you an opportunity to rest as well as limit the chances of infecting others.
Adjust Your Room’s Humidity and Temperature
Keep your room as warm as possible, but not to the extreme. If the air in the room is dry, a vaporizer or cool-mist humidifier can moisten the air and ease coughing and congestion. Keep the humidifier clean against microbial growth.
Soothe Your Throat
A saltwater gargle (having about 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of salt) diluted in a 4 to an 8-ounce cup of warm water, will temporarily relieve your scratchy or sore throat.
Use Saline Nasal Drops
To help relieve your nasal congestion, you may try using saline nasal drops. You can get these nasal drops over-the-counter, and they help to relieve cold symptoms, even in infants.
In children, gently suck the nostrils with a bulb syringe (inserted about 6 to 12mm) after the application of saline drops.