Colds are very common. The common cold is transmitted by infected airborne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions. A visit to your health care provider’s office is often not needed, and colds usually get better in 3 to 4 days. A cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by any one of hundreds of different viruses. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t figured out how to wipe out these viruses. The body has to rely on its own natural defenses.
During a cold, virus particles penetrate the mucous layer of the nose and throat and attach themselves to cells there. The viruses punch holes in the cell membranes, allowing viral genetic material to enter the cells. The common cold is a self-limited disease that can generally be managed at home. The common cold has no cure, and there is no available vaccine.
Common symptoms of a cold include:
Most people with a common cold can be diagnosed by their signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have a bacterial infection or other condition, he or she may order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of your symptoms.
- Fever and chills
- Sore muscles
- Nasal symptoms, such as stuffiness, runny nose, yellow or green snot
- Sore throat
How Colds are Spread?
The cold virus can take many routes to its ultimate destination — your cells. Most people are contagious a day before and two to four days after their symptoms start. Here are the typical ways a cold virus is spread:
Touching someone who has the virus (such as shaking hands) or something that contains the virus (such as touching a doorknob or grocery cart). The virus can live for three hours on skin and objects. Once the virus is passed to your skin, it’s a simple matter for it to be transported to your own mucus membranes — for example, when you rub your eye, eat finger foods, or touch your nose. That’s why it’s important to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially before eating.
Inhaling the virus through airborne transmission. It may sound implausible, but if someone sitting next to you sneezes while you are inhaling, voila! It’s likely you’ll get a cold.
1. Drink plenty of fluids:
Get plenty of fluids. It helps break up your congestion, makes your throat moist, and keeps you from getting dehydrated.
Most people should drink at least eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day. Need ideas for something to drink? Try water, sports drinks, herbal teas, fruit drinks, or ginger ale. Your mother’s chicken soup might help, too!
2. Blow Your Nose:
It’s better than sniffling mucus back into your head. But make sure you do it the right way. If you blow hard, you’ll send germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, which can lead to an earache. Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.
3. Spice Tea:
Spice tea is a highly beneficial Ayurvedic remedy to get rid of common cold. Dry roast and grind a quarter cup of coriander seeds, one a half tablespoons each of cumin and fennel seeds, and a quarter teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Now, boil a cup of water. Add one and a half tablespoon of this spice powder and one and a half teaspoon of rock candy (misri). Let it simmer for three to four minutes. Add two tablespoons of milk. Bring the solution to a boil and then strain it. Sip it slowly while it is hot. Drink this spice tea daily until the symptoms subside.
4. Red Onion:
Those suffering from a cold can get relief from homemade red onion syrup. To make the syrup, you will need red onions and honey or brown sugar. Slice two to three red onions horizontally. Put one slice of onion in a bowl and add raw honey. Repeat the process until the bowl is full. Cover the bowl and leave it for 12 to 15 hours. When you open the bowl, there will be thick liquid like syrup. Drink a spoonful of the syrup several times a day to get relief from sore throats and other symptoms of a cold.
5. Rest and hydration:
Resting helps your body fight the invading virus. One of the most common symptoms is fatigue, so you’ll need the extra down time anyway. Ingesting water, tea, and soups is a great way to stay hydrated. When you have a cold your body uses a lot of fluid to fight the infection and produce nasal fluids. This means that you’ll need to hydrate more than you would on a normal day.
Many painkillers and decongestants are available from pharmacies without a prescription. They’re generally safe for older children and adults to take, but might not be suitable for babies, young children, pregnant women, people with certain underlying health conditions, and those taking certain other medications. Speak to a pharmacist if you’re unsure.