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Cold - How To Manage It?

Reviewed by
Dr. Archana Singh 86% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, DNB, CCEBDM(DIABETOLOGY)
General Physician, Lucknow  •  17 years experience
Cold - How To Manage It?

Common cold can be defined as a viral infection affecting one’s upper respiratory tract (throat and nose) characterized by mild fever, sneezing, body aches and headaches, congestion, cough, sore throat, runny nose and a general feeling of being unwell. It takes around 10 days to recover completely from the sickness. Although there is no treatment as such for the common cold, however, few remedies might ease the symptoms. 

  1. Stay Hydrated - Lemon and honey mixed with lukewarm water, in addition to clear chicken broth, works therapeutically on congestion or dehydration. However, refrain from caffeinated sodas, coffee and alcohol; beverages that can aggravate dehydration.

  2. Rest - Your body requires time to heal. Therefore, sufficient rest should be the utmost priority.

  3. Soothe your Sore Throat - A saltwater gargle early in the morning can bring great relief for your throat. Hard candy, tablets and sore throat sprays can be used as alternatives if you cannot gargle properly.

  4. Sip on Something Warm - Nothing feels better than a bowl of hot clear chicken soup when you are down with fever. It works wonderfully on the sore throat. Other warm beverages such as tea or a cup of warm clove juice help to improve nose and throat congestion by easing the mucous flow.

  5. Take Medications - Pain relievers, antihistamines (drugs to treat allergies) and decongestants might contribute to some relief. Nevertheless, these over-the-counter medicines cannot prevent or cure a cold entirely.

What not to consider as remedies?

  1. Antibiotics - Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections and are hence, not as effective against viral infections, the main contributor towards common cold.

  2. Cold medications for children below 6 - Over-the-counter drugs may have life-threatening consequences for children below the age of 6.

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