The season for runny nose and sore throat is here. Common colds are so common that as per Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person is likely to suffer from common cold twice a year. Though common colds are not painful, they can leave you feeling awful.There is no cure for a common cold but there are several home remedies and of the counter medicines that can help treat the symptoms. But it's best to first try home remedies as these do not have any side effects. Here is everything about the common cold and some simple home remedies to treat it.
Before we move on to what common cold feels like, let's talk about what exactly causes it.
Causes of a common cold
There are many types of viruses that can cause the common cold, rhinoviruses being the most common culprit. The virus enters your body through your mouth, eyes or nose. It can easily spread when a person who is sick cough, sneezes or talks.
The virus can also spread by hand to hand contact or by sharing contaminated objects like towels, toys, telephone or utensils. If one touches their eyes, mouth and nose after such exposure, they are most likely to catch the virus.
Symptoms of a common coldThe symptoms of cold appear a few days after you have caught the infection. Here are some symptoms of a cold.
Fatigue, tiredness, chills, body aches, chest discomfort, low-grade fever and difficulty in breathing.
Headache, watery eyes, cough, sore throat, cough and swollen lymph nodes.
Congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure, stuffy nose, loss of smell or taste, sneezing and water nasal secretions.
Home remedies to cure a common cold
The simplest of all, gargling with warm water can instantly relieve a sore throat. You can gargle with a teaspoon of salt or a pinch of turmeric in a glass of warm water.
You can also try gargling with lemon juice and honey mixed with warm water. You can use any gargling solution but make sure that the water is not too hot as that can lead to burns.
Drinking enough fluids can prevent dehydration and also thin mucus. Water is your best bet when it comes to staying well hydrated. Though you can also sip other things like juices and teas.
You can try honey and lemon tea as it can help break congestion and can also ease a sore throat. Hot soups can also promote nasal drainage and make breathing easier.
One must avoid alcohol if they have a cold as consuming alcohol can lead to dehydration.
Breathing steam from hot water can help in decreasing nasal congestion and sinus pressure. You can also consider adding eucalyptus essential oil. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests adding 4-7 drops of eucalyptus oil to boiling water and then inhaling the steam through the nose.
Use a humidifier
A humidifier in the room can help decrease the symptoms of cold including congestion, cough and sore throat. A humidifier helps to maintain the moisture in the room. But make sure to change the water on a daily basis.
Sleeping gives your body rest and helps you to heal. When you sleep, your body makes proteins called cytokines, which are important to fight the inflammation and infection.
You can try to get some extra sleep to help your body fight off the cold virus.
Use hot packs on your sinuses
You can use a hot water pack or even hot water bags to relieve sinus pain. Make sure that the temperature is not too hot.
Blow your nose
Blowing your nose is better than sniffing the mucus back into your head. But make sure to be gentle and not blow too hard. Blowing too hard can send the germ-carrying phlegm back to your ear passages, which can cause earaches.
The best technique is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow the other side gently.
When do you need to seek medical attention?
You can try the home remedies when you have a common cold but if you have the following symptoms, you must visit your doctor.
- If you have a fever greater than 101.3 F
- If the fever persists for more than five day
- You cannot breathe properly
- If you have a headache, severe sore throat or sinus pain
(Times of India)