As soon as it gets colder outside, the cold season begins: In the office, it seems to sneeze and cough from every direction, and suddenly, it also starts scratching your own throat: a cold is imminent. A flu-like infection is usually not a problem with the typical symptoms of a sore throat, runny nose, and cough, but you still feel exhausted and miserable. The best tips on how to get rid of a cold can be found here.
Fight the cold with medication?
Even if a cold is usually harmless, you feel less efficient and want to get rid of the symptoms as quickly as possible. Many therefore resort to over-the-counter cold preparations. However, these only treat the individual cold symptoms, and if you have a cold during pregnancy, you should also note that many preparations should not be taken. In addition, many of these preparations can have serious undesirable side effects. For example, decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for longer than a week, as it can lead to a habituation effect.
Get Rid Of The Common Cold: These Tips Will Help
The following home remedies have proven effective to fight the common cold:
- In the case of a flu-like infection, rest is important so that your body can regenerate and the immune system can fight the pathogens. If you have a mild cold, you don’t have to stay in bed, but it is better to refrain from exercise and physical exertion. You should also avoid stress, as the stress hormone cortisol weakens the immune system. If a fever is added to the symptoms of a cold, it is advisable to keep on bed rest.
- Inhaling can also be helpful in getting rid of a cold. The hot water vapors moisten the paranasal sinuses and bronchi, liquefy the mucus and make it easier to remove. All you need to perform an overhead steam bath is a large saucepan of hot water and a towel. As an additive, you can add one to two tablespoons of table salt to a liter of water or inhale with chamomile flowers or essential oils.
- Even cold baths with bath additives of essential oils such as eucalyptus or menthol are beneficial. Similar to inhalation, the vapors help loosen the mucus and help you get rid of the common cold quickly.
Drinking enough is particularly important to fight a cold successfully. The fluid dilutes the mucus in the airways and makes it easier to cough up. Basically, 1.5 to 2 liters of water or unsweetened teas are recommended per day, but it can be more during a cold. You sweat out a lot of fluids, especially at high temperatures. Various herbal teas can also help against cold symptoms, for example, sage tea can be beneficial for sore throats.
Complications from colds
During a cold, the immune system is more susceptible to secondary diseases. In addition to a viral infection, there can be an infection with bacteria – a so-called superinfection. If the cold symptoms have not improved significantly after a few days or if the symptoms worsen during the cold, medical advice should be sought.
In these cases, too, it makes sense to consult a doctor:
- if the immune system was previously weakened, for example, in the case of a chronic illness
- when cold symptoms last unusually long or worsen
Children with a cold can often develop otitis media. In childhood, the ear trumpet – the connection between the nose and throat – is shorter than in adults. This makes it easier for pathogens to get into the middle ear and trigger an infection there too. Other complications of cold include sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia in severe cases. However, if you treat the common cold in good time, such complications are unlikely.