What is a cold?
A cold is a contagious upper respiratory tract infection that affects the nose, throat, sinuses, and trachea. There are over 200 viruses that cause the common cold, but most common colds are caused by rhinoviruses.
What causes colds?
Rhinoviruses cause up to 50% of the common cold. There are over 100 types of rhinoviruses. But other types of viruses can also cause related symptoms.
What are your cold symptoms?
Within 1 to 3 days of being infected with a cold virus, symptoms may include:
- have a runny nose.
- cough. sore throat.
- stuffy nose.
- Fever (most common in children).
Are colds contagious?
Colds are contagious from person to person. To infect, the virus must reach one of your mucous membranes (the moist lining of your nostrils, eyes, or mouth). This happens when you touch a surface or breathe moist air that contains the cold virus.
For example, when a sick person sneezes or coughs, liquid droplets containing the cold virus are thrown into the air. When you inhale these droplets, the cold virus gets stuck in your nose. It can also leave virus particles on surfaces touched when sick. If someone else touches these surfaces and then touches their nostrils, eyes, or mouth, the virus can enter.
How do distinguish between cold and flu?
It can be difficult to tell if you have a cold or the flu because many of the symptoms are the same. Both are prevalent in cold weather and affect the upper respiratory tract "nose, throat and trachea". However, there are many different viruses that cause colds and flu. Influenza is caused by the influenza virus, but many other types of viruses cause the common cold.
The main difference between a cold and the flu is that the flu is more likely to cause fever and chills. Adults usually don't get a fever from a cold, but children can get a fever.
The flu also causes body aches and symptoms that are more severe than a cold. Both colds and flu can cause complications, but flu complications can be life-threatening.
How are colds diagnosed?
Testing is usually enough to determine if you have a cold. During the physical examination, your doctor will check for signs such as:
- Swelling of nostrils.
- stuffy nose.
- Red, inflamed throat.
- Swollen lymph nodes (lumps) in the neck.
If you suspect you have the flu or some other illness, you may need to be tested. Your doctor may do a nasal swab (rubbing a cotton swab across your nose) to test for the flu virus. A chest x-ray rules out bronchitis or pneumonia.
What cold medicine relieves symptoms?
Over-the-counter medicines to treat cold symptoms are widely available. However, some of these drugs are not safe for children. Check with your doctor before giving your child over-the-counter medications. Be careful not to combine drugs that treat multiple symptoms. If you do, you may be overdosing on some ingredients, which can lead to other health problems, including organ damage.
Medicines that relieve cold symptoms include:
Pain relievers: NSAIDs such as paracetamol (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Advil®) relieve headaches and fever.
Decongestants: Medications such as pseudoephedrine (Contac Cold 12 Hour® and Sudafed®) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE®) are thought to relieve constipation.
Antihistamines: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and other antihistamines help stop sneezing and a runny nose.
Cough medicine: Medications such as dextromethorphan (Robitussin® and Vicks DayQuil Cough®) and codeine can help relieve cough.
Expectorants: Guaifenesin (Mucinex®) and other expectorants thin and loosen mucus.
What is the best cold medicine?
You may have heard that supplements and herbal remedies such as zinc, vitamin C and echinacea can help treat and prevent the common cold.
Researchers have not found that these remedies can prevent the common cold. However, zinc can shorten the illness and alleviate symptoms. However, it can permanently remove the odor, especially when used in nasal sprays.
The best and surest way to recover quickly is to get plenty of rest. Consider taking time off from work or school for at least the first few days of being sick. Not only will you have more time to rest, but you'll also avoid spreading germs to others.
Also, drink plenty of water to keep your nose and throat moist. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can cause dehydration.
How to prevent colds?
To prevent colds, you can take some measures, such as:
Wash your hands, especially before eating or preparing food. You'll also want to wash your hands after using the restroom, blowing your nose, or coming into contact with someone who has a cold.
Avoid touching your face. The cold virus spreads from your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth. Clean frequently used surfaces. Viruses can live in high-touch areas, such as doorknobs.
If you can't wash your hands with soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
It strengthens the immune system and prepares the body to fight germs. Get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Stay home when you're sick and don't spread the cold to others.
Add tulsi, ginger and black pepper while preparing your tea and this spiced tea is great for your health. These three ingredients play an important role in fighting a common cold and cough.
Honey, lime juice and warm water
This is a perfect dose to improve digestion and for the circulation system. Adding honey to luke-lime water is the best solution in controlling common cold and cough.
Being a strong immunomodulator, amla fights against many diseases. Eating one amla regularly provides many health benefits as it ensures the proper functioning of the liver and improves blood circulation.
Extract the ginger juice and add crushed tulsi leaves to it and add honey. Consume it to get relief from a cough.
Flax seeds are another effective remedy for colds and coughs. Flax Seeds are cooked and strained until thickened. Add a few drops of lime juice and honey and take it to soothe colds and coughs.
ginger and salt
Cut the ginger into small pieces and sprinkle with salt. Chew these ginger pieces for colds, coughs, and sore throats.
Fry a few cloves of garlic in ghee and serve hot. This can be a bitter brew, but it has a great soothing effect on colds and coughs.
Boil water with black pepper, cumin, and jaggery. Drinking this solution while it is warm will help relieve chest congestion.
What many people don't know is that drinking pineapple juice is an effective home remedy when you have a cold. You can have pineapple juice with honey. All you have to do is mix 1 tablespoon of honey with half a cup of warm pineapple juice.
There is some evidence that taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms. It may help boost immunity and alleviate upper respiratory tract infections. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can be very beneficial.
Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can prevent illness. Zinc helps boost immunity, reduces symptoms, and can even prevent you from getting sick. Eat zinc-rich foods such as oysters, meat, poultry, dark chocolate, and sunflower seeds.