- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
6 Easy Tips to Get Rid of a Cold Fast
The Common Cold
The common cold is an upper respiratory tract viral infection and is the most common infectious disease in the United States. Children catch a cold for an average of 8 times a year and adults get it 2-4 times annually. That amounts to 1 billion cold sufferers in America alone. That’s quite a staggering number. The good thing is that it’s not serious and you will just miss a day or two at work or school. The bad news is that there is no real cure for a cold. You just have to wait it out, treat the symptoms and take a lot of rest. Follow the steps below to speed up the healing process and help you get rid of a cold fast.
What Causes a Cold?
Over 200 types of viruses cause colds. This is why there is no vaccination available for this viral infection. Don’t believe in myths that say you can get colds if you do not wear a jacket when you go out on a cold weather or if you head outside while your hair is still wet. What you have to keep in mind is that you can get infected if you breathe in virus particles when a cold sufferer coughs or sneezes. Exposure to smoke and dry air also increases your chances of catching a cold and when you do, the symptoms could be much longer than usual.
How to Get Rid of a Cold Fast
1. Use OTC medications.
Many people rely on antibiotics whenever they feel sick. But in the case of a cold, antibiotics won’t help at all because they only work for bacterial infections. So what medicine should you buy? The answer depends on the symptoms that accompany the common cold. If you have nasal congestion, you can buy saline nose drops to help you breathe easier. If you have fever, headache or body pain, you can use analgesics such as aspirin and acetaminophen. Remember that you should not let children less than 12 years of age to take aspirin as it can lead to a fatal disease known as Reye’s syndrome.
2. Have plenty of rest.
Some would argue that time is the only cure for a cold, and for good reason. A cold usually lasts for a week. So while you’re going through those 7 days of discomfort, allow your body to have plenty of rest. Avoid strenuous activities and just relax and hit the bed. This will give your body the energy it needs to fight the infection.
3. Eat chicken soup.
Chicken soup has been used to get rid of a cold for hundreds of years. It has been discovered that chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps control neutrophils, which are white blood cells that are responsible for the body’s inflammatory response. Plus, it tastes great!
4. Eat foods rich in antioxidants.
When you were still a kid, someone has probably told you that Vitamin C helps treat a cold. While the verdict is still out on whether it can help you prevent catching the disease, it can, indeed, help you relieve the symptoms. Don’t count other antioxidants out such as Vitamin E and beta-carotene. They boost your immune system, making you more resistant to infections.
5. Install a humidifier.
Dry air can make you more susceptible to infections. Install a humidifier in your home to increase moisture. This will help relieve a runny nose and coughing and also help prevent catching a cold.
6. Drink plenty of fluids.
While you are dealing with a cold, you might also battle through fever and nasal congestion. These cause you to lose water in your body. To compensate for the lost fluid, make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid caffeinated beverages as they will only aggravate dehydration. Keeping yourself hydrated allows your cells to function at their best, helping you to get rid of a cold fast.
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