Sneezing, runny nose, stuffy? You might have a cold. It might be branded as “common,” but getting a cold two or three times a year is no fun. Find out how to get rid of a cold swiftly and feel better in no time.
Important Information on How to Get Rid of a Cold
What Is a Cold?
The common cold is medically known as acute viral rhinopharyngitis and acute coryzais. It is a viral infectious disease that infects the upper respiratory system.
You can get a cold at any time of the year, but they are more common in the colder months of winter and fall.
Symptoms of a Cold
There are three main symptoms of the common cold:
- Coughing and sneezing
- Blocked and/or runny nose
- Sore Throat
Some people suffer from a fever, but it’s not a common symptom.
Increased risk factors include:
- Coming into contact with an infected person
- Age – children have more colds than adults each year
Why It’s Important to Avoid the Common Cold
According to the CDC, colds are responsible for the most frequent reason people miss work or school. Therefore, a cure is essential.
While some people can get over the cold in a few days, it can seriously worsen chronic respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Postnasal drip is when sinuses make excess mucus that runs down the back of your esophagus, and it can cause UCAS, or upper airway cough syndrome, a chronic cough.
Other complications of cold include bronchitis and pneumonia.
Why Is There No Cure For The Cold Yet?
Man has created a vaccine for many viruses like hepatitis A and B, smallpox, and polio. Even the ever-mutating flu virus has effective solutions. Yet the common cold has no cure.
Scientists have been trying since the 1950s to find a remedy on how to get rid of a cold soon after discovering the pathogens attributed to the virus. Known as rhinoviruses, they account for around 75 percent of colds in adults. The main challenge with rhinoviruses is the significant number of strains, at least 160 different serotypes. This has discouraged serious efforts from researchers to find vaccines.
A new compound that targets a human enzyme that the cold virus needs to survive has been identified. It stops colds in their tracks by inhibiting the virus’s ability to replicate and reduces infectivity. However, researchers are a long way off clinical trials and only at the in vitro stage.
How To Get Rid of a Cold
Antibiotics don’t work against the common cold, and they also don’t help with any of the symptoms. Therefore, without an antivirus, how to get rid of a cold depends on a few factors:
- How you treat the cold (see below tips)
- Your physical health
Here are some tips on how to get rid of a cold.
Hydrate – to help alleviate the blocked feeling you get from a mucus build-up, drinking water and staying hydrated helps to thin the mucus. Hot drinks are particularly effective.
Don’t Consume Dairy – dairy products, like milk, can make phlegm feel thicker.
Take a Hot Shower – inhaling steam can reduce congestion and help you breathe better.
Natural Remedies – honey, garlic, vitamin C (oranges, leafy greens, etc.), chicken soup, ginger, echinacea, and probiotics, have all been known to alleviate symptoms.
Sleep – getting plenty of rest helps your body fight the virus and direct energy to the immune battle.
Saline Wash – a saline wash (neti pots), spray, or drops might help alleviate cold stuffiness.
Over Counter Medicine – these will help alleviate symptoms and reduce pains and aches but remember they will not cure your cold.
Stop Smoking – cigarette smoke makes the common cold worse. The prevailing view was that smokers had decreased anti-viral responses, but new studies show that smokers’ immune systems overreact and excessive inflammation caused increased levels of tissue damage.
Prevention – they say prevention is always the best cure:
- You can boost your immune system with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
- Steer clear of personal contact with infected people, wash hands in anti-bacterial soap or sanitizer, and avoid touching your face.
- As mentioned, stop smoking.
Summary of How to Get Rid of a Cold
So, while researchers still try to figure out how to get rid of a cold for good, follow these tips to make yourself feel better.
Always seek medical care if you have severe symptoms or symptoms that persist.