Cold Remedies for Fast Relief
Cold is a viral disease that appears with the arrival of winter and mainly affects the main upper airways since the viruses enter the body through the mouth and nose.
The main sources of contagion for adults and children are sneezing and coughing, which disperse drops of infected saliva into the air. The cold is therefore an extremely contagious disease and the best way to protect yourself is to maintain healthy habits that promote the efficiency of the immune system.
Despite this, the concomitance of different causes can expose you to contagion, in this case, the first remedy consists in staying at home at rest and in the heat, to allow this seasonal illness to take its course and favor the response of the immune system; the cold heal spontaneously within 5-10 days.
That said, the viral cold can trigger a bacterial infection, leading to a prolongation of symptoms beyond two weeks, with the need to resort to the use of antibiotics after medical consultation.
Here are few simple remedies that work
- Stay hydrated. Water, fruit juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey will help relieve congestion and prevent dehydration
- Rest. Your body needs rest to heal
- Soothe a sore throat
- Combat choking
- Relieve pain
- Sip hot liquids
- Try honey
- Add moisture to the air
Although it represents in the first instance a harmless pathology, due to the annoying disorders associated with it the quality of life worsens: in fact, a stuffy nose not only prevents you from sleeping well because breathing through the nostrils is limited by the presence of mucus but often causes a headache, sneezing then causes tearing and when a cold is associated with a sore throat, the voice is hoarse.
In rarer cases, colds can also be associated with diarrhea. To control cold symptoms and improve the patient’s symptom picture, it may be appropriate to take drug therapy.
How to relieve symptoms?
Medicines cannot cure the infection that causes colds, but they can be used to relieve symptoms. Decongestants are indicated for the treatment of nasal congestion caused by colds. Vasoconstriction of mucosal veins reduces their volume, allowing a decrease in air resistance in the nasal cavity. Among these, pseudoephedrine represents one of the most used drugs in the treatment of nasal congestion.
When the cold is accompanied by fever, it is possible to take drugs that combine decongestant properties with antipyretic and analgesic properties, this is the case with NSAIDs associated with pseudoephedrine. It is recommended not to use these drugs for a prolonged period as chronic use reduces their effectiveness and increases the likelihood of symptoms returning once the treatment is finished.
It is important to emphasize that there are some contraindications to the use of decongestants: especially in subjects in whom hypertension is not well controlled with drugs, patients with prostatic hypertrophy, pregnant women, and children under the age of 12.
It is possible to combine pharmacological therapy with natural remedies such as fumigations with essential oils or bicarbonate which is an excellent disinfectant. Alternatively, you can opt for balsamic chest massages or a hot bath with eucalyptus essential oil to help drain excess mucus and clear the airways.
To promote breathing, nasal washes are also an effective tool while gargles are useful to relieve throat irritation. It is also essential to ventilate and regulate the temperature and humidity of the environment, avoiding a climate that is too hot or dry. Colds are not favored by the cold per se, but by sudden changes in temperature.
When to call the doctor?
Cold symptoms should not be neglected because, if they do not improve after 7-10 days, it is necessary to contact a doctor to ask for advice and evaluate its origin. These symptoms can be caused by other pathologies and in some cases can lead to complications such as otitis (an inflammation that affects the ear and can present with ear pain, hearing loss, fever), sinusitis (inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the sinuses, cavities surrounding the nose) and in people suffering from chronic respiratory diseases.
After a cold, there may be a flare-up of chronic bronchitis or aggravation of respiratory symptoms in people with asthma. It is, therefore, necessary to consult a doctor if:
- severe pain appears in an ear, cheekbones, or forehead (in the latter cases the pain tends to get worse with certain movements, for example by lowering the face).
- the cold recurs very frequently throughout the year and is associated with high fever (39 ° C) and/or a cough that worsens or persists for more than ten days
- a very severe sore throat appears which could lead to suspicion of tonsillitis
- the patient is at risk for the presence of other respiratory problems that have worsened with the cold.
What to eat?
The cold is a different disease than the flu, although the foods that are recommended may have some characteristics in common. Although it has no direct therapeutic function, the diet can exert beneficial effects and positively affect the immune system, favoring the relief of symptoms. Adequate nutrition can indeed help our immune system to prevent and fight infections caused by bacteria and viruses.
Maintaining proper body hydration can help eliminate mucus and fight dehydration. It is therefore important to drink water, fruit juices, infusions but also herbal teas based on ginger, lemon, mint, thyme, or lemon balm, for their antiviral properties.
Grandma’s remedies are always valid
drinking a cup of hot milk with two teaspoons of honey to strengthen the immune system combined with the consumption of light and easily digestible foods, favoring fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C.
Natural remedies for stuffy nose. To unblock the nose: nose washes. A nose wash several times a day may be sufficient and this is perhaps the most effective natural treatment.
- Herbal teas and hot drinks. …
- Cold water compresses. …
- Honey. …
- Massage with mustard. …
- Onion. …
- Spicy spices.
Summer cold remedies
With the arrival of the hottest season, it is not unusual for a cold to occur, but the problem is to identify whether it is allergies or a viral infection. The way to recognize the seasonal cold from the allergic cold is based on the subtle distinction between the symptoms complained of by patients.
The allergic cold has an abrupt onset, absence of fever, marked nasal congestion, and reduced mucus secretion compared to that of viral origin, dryness of the throat, and tearing often accompanied by red eyes.
The symptoms are therefore comparable to the flu-like and can be alleviated with the use of cortisone and antihistamines. Otherwise, viral colds can be alleviated with symptomatic therapy used for seasonal colds combined with proper hydration and a light diet.
How to protect yourself from a cold virus?
It is now known that the first rule for the prevention of colds is linked to hygiene; in particular, colds are avoided by washing hands often and well with hot water and soap, with alcohol-based sanitizing liquids, or with disinfectant wipes. Ventilating the rooms in which you live, allows the exchange of air to prevent the establishment of an environment conducive to the growth of pathogens. Pay particular attention to hand washing and personal hygiene.
Cleaning children’s toys: children tend to put all objects in their mouths, which could be dirty and contaminated.
Bring disinfectant wipes or specific liquid formulations (for example, hand sanitizer gels) with you.
If possible, avoid traveling by bus or train with small children, who are much more prone to viral infections. Avoid as much as possible any contact with colds: even a sneeze or a cough are vehicles for the spread of cold viruses.
For the treatment of colds, it is not necessarily essential to take specific drugs: in general, the disease regresses spontaneously in a few days. However, some medications can be taken to counteract the symptoms usually associated with colds, such as:
Nasal decongestants such as phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline. Medicines to lower fever such as acetaminophen (an antipyretic) or ibuprofen (an NSAID). Antitussives or mucolytics, if the cold was also accompanied by a dry cough or a fat cough.
Vitamin C: the beneficial effect of vitamin C in high doses in the treatment of colds is questionable; however, it appears that it may prove useful in reducing the severity and duration of the disease in question. In any case, it is advisable to seek medical advice before resorting to its integration.
It is important to try to stay away from smokers (smoking causes weakening of the immune defenses of the upper respiratory tract) and from people, with a cold, because when a cold person coughs or sneezes, viruses can travel up to three and a half meters in the air so if possible, better to avoid closed and crowded places.