How to get rid of a cold: Natural treatments, prevention, and medication

A viral infection in the upper airways, sinuses, throat, and nose causes the common cold. It is normally not a cause for concern, despite the fact that it is uncomfortable.

A cold is a self-limiting infection in the vast majority of cases, despite feeling poorly with sneezing, sore throat, cough, and runny nose. This means it gets better on its own without requiring specific treatment.

The majority of people recover in one week, while it may take longer in some circumstances.

In this article, we’ll look at how to manage cold symptoms and find some relief.

Water

When people have a cold, they tend to sweat and have runny noses, which can cause severe dehydration. This fluid loss must be restored on a regular basis. Water is the best beverage.

If you have a cold, you should drink a lot of water. Keep in mind that coffee and caffeinated sodas might dehydrate you, so cause them.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup, according to experts, can help reduce the symptoms of a cold. It is thought to slow the movement of neutrophils, which are immune system cells that cause inflammation, as well as mucus.

Chicken soup is also a good source of water, which can aid with dehydration.

Rest

getting enough of rest

Not only will getting enough of rest help to alleviate some of the symptoms and make people feel better, but it may also shorten the duration of their cold. Rest aids the immune system’s ability to combat the viral infection.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial illnesses. Viruses cause colds, which do not react to antibiotics. Antibiotics will not help patients recover faster, nor will they prevent them from spreading the infection on to others.

Fear of consequences, according to a BMJ article, is not a good enough reason to prescribe antibiotics for the common cold. However, it adds that, “as far as the elderly are concerned, antibiotics do greatly lower the risk of pneumonia following a chest infection.”

Echinacea

Echinacea, often known as purple coneflower, is a wild flower endemic to North America. It is used as a herbal treatment by indigenous peoples for a range of ailments and problems. Studies have shown contradictory results, and they continue to do so.

According to a 2007 study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, the herbal cure cut the length of a cold by an average of 1.4 days and reduced the risk of developing a cold by 58%.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine, on the other hand, revealed in Annals of Internal Medicine that Echinacea had no effect on the common cold, and that it only shortens the duration of symptoms “by half a day at most.”

Inhalation of steam

The steam may help to relieve congestion problems. For a typical steam inhalation, follow these steps:

  • Fill a pan halfway with water and bring to a boil.
  • Place the pan on a stable table and cover it with a cloth or heat-resistant mat.
  • Patients can sit with their heads over the pan and a cloth over their shoulders.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  • Make sure there’s no steam in your eyes.

Steam inhalation should not be used with tiny children because to the risk of scorching. Standing close to a hot shower and inhaling the steam may be beneficial to little children.

Hygiene

In order to avoid the transmission of infection, good cleanliness is important. When you’re sick, avoid going to work or school.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with a tissue and toss it away as soon as possible. Make care to properly wash your hands with soap and warm water.

If there are no tissues available and a person coughs or sneezes, doctors recommend coughing or sneezing into the inner region of the elbow, which does not contaminate surfaces.

Salt water

Salt water

Gargling with a solution of one-quarter teaspoon salt dissolved in 8 ounces warm water may provide brief relief from sore throat symptoms. A saline solution can relieve pain by drawing excess fluid from inflammatory tissues in the back of the throat. Thick mucus may also relax and become simpler to remove.

Nasal saline drops – available at pharmacies, these may aid in the relief of nasal congestion in young babies. Gargling with nasal saline drops instead of salt solutions could be beneficial (getting babies and very young children to gargle is virtually impossible).

Vitamin C

Vitamin C’s effects on the common cold were investigated in a Cochrane analysis published in 2013. The study found that people who took at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day experienced a reduction in the duration of their symptoms. They discovered that taking

Steam inhalation should not be used with tiny children because to the risk of scorching. Standing close to a hot shower and inhaling the steam may be beneficial to little children.

Zinc

Previous research on the effects of zinc for treating colds has yielded conflicting results. According to the majority of favourable studies, zinc should be administered within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Zinc appears to perform better in adults than in youngsters, according to Canadian researchers, who also noted that side effects, particularly when higher amounts are used, are common. Permanent anosmia, or the inability to smell, is a major side effect. It’s important to know what kind of zinc you’re taking and how much you’re taking before you start using it.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C’s effects on the common cold were investigated in a Cochrane analysis published in 2013. The study found that people who took at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day experienced a reduction in the duration of their symptoms. They discovered that taking Vitamin C after the symptoms started had little benefit.

C after the symptoms started had little benefit.

Treatment for fever and pain

Pain relievers and antipyretics (fever-reducing medications) may be beneficial. Although a high temperature is undesirable, a low fever is beneficial since it aids the body’s ability to fight diseases more quickly. Viruses and bacteria have a harder time reproducing when the body temperature rises. Doctors no longer advocate attempting to reduce a minor fever, with the exception of extremely young patients.

Antipyretics, on the other hand, are usually fine if patients are irritated and uncomfortable. Only elderly adults, not children or young adults, should use aspirin.

Fever and pain are well treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. For the exact dosage and timing for these medications, see a doctor or a licenced pharmacist. Overmedication can cause in liver damage or failure, as well as renal damage or failure.

Air humidifers

An air humidifier will assist keep the throat and nasal passages moist throughout the cold months when central heating dries out the air.

Zinc

Previous research on the effects of zinc for treating colds has yielded conflicting results. According to the majority of favourable studies, zinc should be administered within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.

Zinc appears to perform better in adults than in youngsters, according to Canadian researchers, who also noted that side effects, particularly when higher amounts are used, are common. Permanent anosmia, or the inability to smell, is a major side effect. It’s important to know what kind of zinc you’re taking and how much you’re taking before you start using it.

Antihistamines

Some cold symptoms, such as watery eyes, runny nose, coughs, and sneezes, may be relieved slightly by sedating (first generation) antihistamines. However, experts are divided on whether the benefits of using antihistamines exceed the risks. The results of studies have been mixed.

Antihistamines, according to many experts, dry out nasal membranes, slowing mucus flow and impairing the ability of the nasal passages to rid themselves of germs.

Antihistamines may have a short-term effect on symptoms, according to a recent study published in PLOS, but only in adults during the first two days of treatment. There is insufficient evidence in youngsters to assess the treatment’s efficacy. Again, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages.

Decongestants

Decongestants are drugs that help you breathe easier by shrinking the bulging membranes in your nose. Decongestants can be taken orally or through the nose. Nasal decongestants should not be used for more than 5 days unless prescribed by a doctor; extended use may cause the nose to become more blocked.

Decongestants should not be used by patients with hypertension unless they are under the care of a doctor. Many scientists are unsure if decongestants work or are worth suggesting because they only act for a limited period of time. Patients on MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) antidepressants should avoid nasal decongestants.

Medications for cough

Medications for cough

Children may be at risk from over-the-counter cough treatments. They should not be given to youngsters under the age of two, according to the FDA.

Sources:

  • http://annals.org/aim/article/746567/echinacea-treating-common-cold-randomized-trial
  • http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020168
  • http://www.bmj.com/content/335/7627/982?variant=full
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/247789
  • http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1473309907701603
  • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1754.2009.01609.x/full