Common Cold

Tips for Battling the Common Cold

Tips for Battling the Common Cold

(ARA) – It’s inevitable. With more than 200 viruses known to cause the common cold, sooner or later this year you’ll end up with the telltale sniffles, cough, and scratchy throat of a cold. In fact, statistics show that most adults experience four to six colds each year, with children being even more susceptible — catching on average nine colds or more.

When it comes to battling this unwelcome visitor, Wal-Mart pharmacist Lori Mendoza recommends hand washing as your first line of defense. “Colds come on gradually and spread easily, usually through hand contact or from sneezing and coughing,” she says.

“Wash hands frequently and be sure to keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth since these are the easiest areas for germs to enter your body.”

Other ways to prevent the spread of the cold are simple:

– Avoid close contact with people who have a cold. Stay away from crowded places. If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys after play to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

– Get plenty of rest. Staying well rested keeps your immune system strong so it can fight off germs. It also helps keep stress at bay, another trigger that can weaken the immune system and make you vulnerable to colds.

– Practice common sense. It sounds simple, and it is. Change washcloths, sponges, and dishtowels on a regular basis. Replace your toothbrush frequently. Clean surfaces you touch with a germ-killing disinfectant.

– Prepare now. Before cold season hits, stock up on the essentials — nasal decongestant, cough suppressant, tissues, and pain reliever — so that you are ready at the first signs of a cold.

Despite your best efforts, colds are extremely difficult to prevent entirely. If the cold catches up with you, expect to experience a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, and mild fatigue.

These symptoms show up between one and three days after you are infected by a cold virus and typically last for about three days. At that point the worst is over, but you may feel congested for a week or more. While there’s no cure for the common cold, over-the-counter medications can provide temporary relief of symptoms.

“As soon as you feel a cold coming on, start treating your symptoms,” said Mendoza. “Adults with a cold might want to start with something as simple as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help body aches.”

For other cold symptoms, like coughing and congestion, Mendoza recommends a nasal decongestant and cough suppressant like DayQuil during the day or NyQuil for nighttime use. And there’s no substitute for bed rest and plenty of fluids to ensure a speedy recovery.

Remember, antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, so they won’t help your cold. For help choosing the right over-the-counter medications for your cold symptoms, check with your local Wal-Mart pharmacist. If you have unusually severe cold symptoms, high fever, ear pain, or a cough that gets worse while other cold symptoms improve, call your doctor.

 

 

FAQ

How long does a common cold last?

Colds generally go away within seven to 10 days.

What is the most common common cold?

More than 200 types lead to your misery, but the most common one is the rhinovirus, which is thought to be responsible for at least 50% of colds. Other viruses that can cause colds include coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza and parainfluenza. Colds cause a lot of people to stay home.

What is a typical symptom of a common cold?

** Common Cold Symptoms

Typical cold symptoms include a sore throat, sneezing, cough, a stuffy nose, a runny nose (clear, watery discharge from the nose), feeling sick, headache, body ache and fever. Fever is more commonly seen in children.

Is coronavirus a cold or flu?

Coronavirus is an entire family of viruses, which like the flu, mainly spreads through respiratory droplets. Four of these viruses are similar to the common cold in terms of symptoms and severity. The novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2, is a potentially deadly virus that can lead to COVID-19.

What’s the worst day of a cold?

Day 1: Fatigue, headache, sore or scratchy throat. Day 2: Sore throat worsens, low fever, mild nasal congestion. Day 3: Congestion worsens, sinus and ear pressure become very uncomfortable.

What are the last stages of a cold?

Symptoms level off and fade: Cold symptoms usually last anywhere from 3 to 10 days. After 2 or 3 days of symptoms, the mucus discharged from your nose may change to a white, yellow, or green color. This is normal and does not mean you need an antibiotic.

Should I go to work if I have a cold?

If you’ve had cold symptoms for 10 days or fewer and you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, you’re probably safe to go to work. Keep your tissues, over-the-counter remedies, and hand sanitizer close by, and try to remember that even though you’re miserable now, you’ll likely feel better in a few days.

How do I avoid getting a cold?

* Get a flu vaccination.

* Wash your hands with soap and warm water.

* Avoid touching your eyes and mouth.

* Get adequate sleep.

* Work out.

* Keep hand sanitizer handy for those times when you don’t have access to soap and water.

* Don’t bite your nails.

* Avoid people who are already sick.

How long do colds last in adults?

Colds usually last 3 to 7 days, but sometimes they hang on as long as 2 weeks. If you’re under the weather for longer than that, one of these things could be to blame.

Is coughing the last stage of a cold?

Some people might also experience what’s known as the post-infectious cough, which is a nagging cough that can last an average of 18 days after your cold subsides. If, however, all your other symptoms have ended, you can consider yourself free and clear.

What should I eat for a cold?

* Chicken soup. Chicken soup has been a go-to for sickness for generations — and for good reason.

* Broths. Like chicken soup, broths are excellent sources of fluid and electrolytes that can be helpful when you’re sick.

* Garlic.

* Coconut water.

* Hot tea.

* Honey.

* Ginger.

* Spicy foods.

What should you not eat with a cold?

* Alcohol. This lowers your immune system and causes dehydration.

* Caffeinated beverages. Items such as coffee, black tea, and soda can make you more dehydrated.

* Hard or jagged foods. Crunchy crackers, chips, and foods with similar textures can aggravate a cough and sore throat.

* Processed foods.

What causes you to get a cold?

The common cold is spread when you inhale virus particles from an infected person’s sneeze, cough, speech, or loose particles from when they wipe their nose. You can also pick up the virus by touching a contaminated surface that an infected individual has touched.

How do I know when my cold is no longer contagious?

The contagious period for the flu begins about 1 day before symptoms start and can last as long as 5-7 days from when you first felt sick. You’re generally contagious with a cold 1-2 days before your symptoms start, and you could be contagious as long as your symptoms are present—in rare cases, up to 2 weeks.

What stage of a cold is a runny nose?

Days 1 and 2: Stuffiness, Sore Throat, and Runny Nose

In this first stage, it’s especially important to rest as much as possible to minimize fatigue and keep your immune system at full power.

What happens to your body when you have a cold?

When the copies of the virus are released into the bloodstream, they leave behind damaged/destroyed cells. As the virus passes into the bloodstream, you will begin to experience the first symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat as the immune system sends antibodies to fight the infection.

What should I drink when I have a cold?

* The best tips for getting over your cold are to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest.

* Water, juice, clear broth, and warm water with lemon and honey can really help loosen congestion.

* A saltwater gargle can help ease a sore throat better than a lot of medications.

How long am I contagious with a cold?

The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around 2 weeks. Symptoms are usually worse during the first 2 to 3 days, and this is when you’re most likely to spread the virus.