In a majority of people coming down a common cold, looking at the signs and symptoms of the medical condition can help diagnose the problem earlier. If your physician fears that you are faced with a viral infection or other similar condition, they may prescribe an X-ray for the chest to rule out any other causes of the symptoms.
Unfortunately, the common cold has no cure. However, its treatment primarily involves two goals: to make you feel better and to assist you in combating the virus. Antibiotics are of little to no use against cold viruses and only be used in case of a bacterial infection. Treatment is aimed at alleviating signs and symptoms.
Advantages and disadvantages of typically used common cold remedies include:
Pain relievers – For headache, sore throat and fever, a lot of people turn to medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), etc. or other pain relievers. Use acetaminophen for the shortest span of time and carefully follow label directions in order to avoid side effects.
Teenagers and children recovering from flu-like symptoms or chickenpox should never be given aspirin as it can lead to Reye’s syndrome, a potentially-fatal but rare condition.
Decongestant nasal drops/sprays – Decongestant sprays or drops can be used by adults for around 5 days. Extensive use can lead to rebound symptoms. Children aged less than 6 shouldn’t be allowed to use decongestants.
Cough Syrups – The FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommend against giving cold and OTC medicines to children who are younger than 4 because there is not enough evidence to support the benefits of these remedies for children.
Saltwater Gargle – This remedy works great for soothing a sore throat. Mix 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. of salt with 8 ounces of water and gargle for about 60 seconds. This can help offer relief from a scratchy or sore throat. Children under 6 shouldn’t be made to gargle since they may not it properly. Hard candy, lozenges ice chips, or sore throat sprays also make great options. Avoid giving hard candy or lozenges to children who are younger than 3 – 4 years since it can cause a choking hazard for them.
Rest – Getting plenty of rest is the secret to making a fast recovery from the case of common cold. You might find you need 12 hours of sleep every night, so ditch setting that alarm clock. You will be most cozy in a humid and warm environment. It is also important to stay hydrated by consuming lots of fluids and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
Eat carrots – Carrots are packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which help your body repair a damaged immune system. Vitamin A helps fight free radicals, thereby preventing cell damage. Try carrots raw, shredded, roasted, lightly steamed, or tossed in meatloaf, salads, muffins, soups and more.
When experiencing a common cold, you might have to employ more than one treatment for the common cold to actually see any results. Get plenty of rest, eat the right foods and top it all off with the right medication to find quick relief.