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How to Care for Common Colds

Updated on September 5, 2015

Nobody likes hacking and sneezing all day long and on top of that blowing their nose every hour if not more. I know I don't like these at all. But isn't it great to have an immune system to help you fight these colds? You wouldn't survive without it. It is just irritating having to go one to two weeks fighting it.

Working in the emergency department, I see a lot of people come in with flu/cold like symptoms. To be honest, there isn't much we can do for you unless you have something more severe like bronchitis or influenza. With that being said, doctors will usually test you for these if you have multiple symptoms. Even then, I advise you to save your money and go to acute care instead of coming to the Emergency Department, unless you feel it is an Emergency. We will never turn anyone down who thinks they are dying, but I am going to give you some tips and tricks to utilize at home to help you get through these next few weeks and save a few dollars.


Everyone hates that nagging sore throat that wont go away. Here are some home remedies to try to help relieve that sore throat.

  • gargle with warm salt water (helps decrease swelling and irritation)
  • Drink lots of fluids. Warm beverages are best.
  • utilize a humidifier at nighttime
  • take an over the counter anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen, Advil, aleve)

If you feel your sore throat is aching down more lower in your throat, make sure you are seen by a healthcare provider.

Nagging Cough

Home remedies that can help your nagging cough:

  • take a hot steamy shower
  • drink lots of fluids
  • Use over the counter cough and cold medications (NyQuil, Mucinex)
  • Vicks Vapor Rub (put this on your chest when you sleep at night)

If your cough lasts for over 2 weeks and is productive conjoined with night sweats, see your healthcare provider immediately.

Stuffy/Runny Nose

Blowing your nose all day is not something anyone wants to do. Try these home remedies to help your sinus' feel better and keep your nose from turning red.

  • Try over the counter decongestants (NyQuil, Mucinex)
  • Breathe steam from a hot shower (be careful not to burn yourself)
  • Drink Lots of fluids
  • Stay warm and rested
  • Put warm packs on your sinus'
  • Try sleeping in a recliner to prevent laying flat

Remember, never to delay care if concerned about a life or death situation. If you or your child is having trouble breathing, get seen immediately.

Does this information help your knowledge about the Common Cold?

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    • Fahad ansari12 profile image

      fahad ansari 

      3 years ago from Greater Noida

      Thanks kgoergen, running nose has always irritate me. I've always suffered from cold during a little change in climate and try to find ways to get rid of that irritating running nose. My mother used to give me some ayurvedic remedy and it always helped. But now i'm studying out of town and my mother couldn't save me from that evil cold. But i will surely try your remedies. Using your professional knowledge in supporting people through writing is a great things. Keep it up... :)


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