Woman sitting on a bed and fallen backwards, surrounded by tissue boxes, used tissues and hot tea.

HEAL

Is it a cold or something worse?

  • Remember, the common cold can make you feel miserable, but there are successful at-home remedies to make you feel better within a couple of days.
  • While most people will likely deal with two-to-four colds this season, certain populations should take extra precautions, and consider a visit to their health care provider, at the first sign of a cold

The common cold, also referred to as a mild upper respiratory infection (URI), can lead to complications such as a bacterial infection or lower respiratory infection, when symptoms are persistent. If you have a fever over 101 degrees, a productive cough, sinus pain, ear pain and have had prolonged symptoms (more than seven days), you may need to seek treatment.

Home remedies for a cold

A cold is caused by a virus and is the most frequent, acute illness throughout the world. It is usually uncomplicated and resolves without medical treatment within 5-7 days. While the best and most effective way to prevent a cold is frequent hand hygiene, consider these other home remedies as well:

  • Rest: Get plenty of rest to help your body heal quickly. Resting also helps your body direct its energy to strengthen your immune system.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: Keep the fluids flowing, including water, tea or even chicken noodle soup. When you have a cold, you may not feel like eating or drinking. But, it’s important to ward-off dehydration. Plus, fluids help flush out the toxins and germs invading your body.
  • Combat congestion: Use over-the-counter saline nasal drops or sprays to defuse stuffiness. Also, consider using a Neti pot. This will reduce the inflamed blood vessels in your sinuses, giving you a sense of relief.
  • Wash your hands regularly: Good hand hygiene will reduce your chances of catching a cold by 45 percent. To effectively wash your hands, lather with soap and run under water for 40-60 seconds.

While most people will likely deal with two-to-four colds this season, certain populations should take extra precautions, and consider a visit to their health care provider, at the first sign of a cold:

  • Infants: Infants are especially susceptible to the common cold, since they are often around other children. Also, they have yet to develop immunity to many common infections.
  • Elderly (65+): As you age, your risk for catching a cold increases, and it may stick around longer.

People with asthma: Just because you have asthma doesn’t mean you’re more likely to catch a cold. It does, however, mean you could suffer from more severe symptoms.

 

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Scratchy throat. Stuffed up nose. Fever and body aches. Are these symptoms due to you coming down with a common cold or does it mean you’ve got the flu? Read on for more information on common signs and symptoms of illness that can help tell whether you’ve got a cold or the flu, and the best ways to treat each.

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