Colds happen when a person gets an infection to their upper respiratory tract. This usually takes place within their nose or throat. All colds are caused by a virus. When a person gets a cold they usually experience symptoms 1 – 3 days after getting this infection. Symptoms for colds include:
- Nasal congestion or stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Mild fever
- Red, watery eyes
Relief for Cold Symptoms
The common cold cannot be cured. Researchers have not found a way to get rid of it. However, they do have medication to treat the unpleasant symptoms associated with a cold. Also, keep in mind that antibiotics do not work against viral infections. So, there are no antiviral medications that can clear a cold up. The following tips can help you to relieve some of the symptoms associated with a cold.
Warm, moist air can relieve some symptoms such as coughing or a stuffy nose. Drinking plenty of fluids can replenish your body and help to make your mucus loose and easy to expel. Staying home and resting will reduce the chances of you giving your cold to other people.
You can also gargle with salt water to relieve a sore throat. Sneezing and a runny nose can be improved with the use an antihistamine. Decongestants can provide some relief from congestion. Just be careful using an antihistamine since long term use can cause congestion to continue.
Pain killers and aspirin can relieve aches and reduce fever. This is true for adults but children should not take these substances at all. Their body’s immune system is not strong enough for this type of medication. People should avoid cough depressants since coughing is the natural way that a person’s body gets rid of unwanted substances.
Use soft tissues and barrier cream to protect the nose area. Barrier cream can be used for the skin that is around a person’s nose. Vitamin C can be used but it will not reduce the effects of a cold. Zinc is another substance that can be taken for a cold.
Some studies have shown that it does help to reduce the amount of time that a cold takes place. However, these studies are inconclusive. This simply means that they do not work all of the time. Echinacea can be effective as well.
Always be mindful of the ingredients contained within cold remedies. You do not want to overdose on any particular substance while you are combating your cold.
A person should seek medical advice under the following conditions:
- They are only discharging from one nostril
- Nasal discharge is smelly
- A person has a very high temperature and/or is not feeling well
- Earache, facial or sinus pain
- Glands are extremely swollen
- Cold has lasted for more than a week and symptoms are not improving
- All children under the age of 7-years-old should see a doctor when they get a cold.
All of these issues could indicate something more serious is happening. If you or someone you know are experiencing these problems, you should visit the emergency room or seek medical attention from your family doctor as soon as possible.