Most people won't run to the doctor every time they get a cold. But knowing what to do about one at home isn't always easy. This guide will give you some ideas of what may work for you and help you feel better and back to your old (healthy) self before you know it.
Get Plenty of Rest
It may seem ridiculous to get extra sleep because of a cold, but it really is important. When you sleep, your body is able to fight infections more effectively, even minor ones like colds. So just going to bed an hour or two earlier will help your body recover more quickly.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
This means water and sports drinks people. No alcohol, sodas, or coffee. Water and sports drinks rehydrate your body and help clear congestion and enable your body to fight the infection. Drinks with caffeine and alcohol in them only dehydrate you and make the problem worse. Alcohol may also interact with some over-the-counter cold medications, just one more reason to avoid them while you are sick.
Take Over the Counter Medications to Relieve Symptoms
No medication will cure the common cold. There are several that make this claim, but none have been proven effective. Over-the-counter cold medications will usually help relieve your symptoms so you can function and feel better, even if it is just for a little while. But remember, they are not killing the virus, just helping you cope with the symptoms.
Using Other Remedies to Relieve Symptoms
Using things such as humidifiers and even chicken soup can go a long way towards making you feel better. Standing in a steamy bathroom may help congestion and even calm a cough. Of course none of these remedies are actually curing your cold either, but they can help you feel better, which of course is everyone's main objective when they are sick.
Knowing When to Visit the Doctor
Most of us will not need to go to a doctor when we get a cold. Occasionally though, symptoms will hang on longer or get worse and you may start to get concerned. Perhaps that cold has caused another infection, such as pneumonia or it wasn't a cold at all. Knowing when to call the doctor may be the most important information you can have.
- When to See a Doctor for Congestion
- When to See a Doctor for a Cough
- When to See a Doctor for a Sore Throat