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Tags: cold | symptoms | treatments | hydration | tea | ginger | soup

Expert Advice on Best Ways to Treat Your Cold Symptoms

woman in bed with a cold looking miserable, with cold treatments on bedside table

By    |   Thursday, 22 December 2022 08:30 AM EST

While there is no cure for the common cold, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms and possibly shorten the duration of the misery. With so many shortages of cold and flu medications on supermarket and pharmacy shelves this season, you may want to try tried-and-true remedies, some of them easily found at home or in health food stores, to feel better.

According to TODAY, the first piece of advice is to stay home when you are sick. “If you have a cold, you should stay home until you’re feeling better,” says Dr. Eric Voigt, clinical associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at NYU Langone Health. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, headaches, and body aches. If you have a fever, loss of smell, or shortness of breath, you may want to seek medical care and get tested in case your illness is caused by the flu, allergies, or COVID-19.

Colds normally run their course and resolve on their own within 7 to 10 days, Dr. Dyan Hes, at Gramercy Pediatrics tells Newsmax. Sometimes children will run a fever when they have a cold, but Hes says that fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, should only be used if the child is uncomfortable.

Here are other ways to relieve cold-related symptoms:

Stay hydrated. Whether you drink water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water, getting over a cold is easier when you stay hydrated, experts tell TODAY. “Mucus can start to get very thick in our body and we need hydration to keep it flowing,” says Voigt.

Use over-the-counter medications wisely. OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help ease aches and pains but should be used in moderation because of their side effects. Decongestants can help alleviate stuffiness. Voigt cautions that spray forms of decongestants, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin), should be used for a maximum of three days to offset rebound swelling. Oral decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine, may be useful, but these can raise heart rate and cause anxiety, says Voigt. Decongestants with an antihistamine should be used only for a few days. If you have trouble sleeping, try expectorants like guaifenesin to thin mucus in the sinus and chest. Cough suppressants like dextromethorphan can help if you are coughing through the night, says Voigt.

Eat garlic or take supplements. Garlic boosts the immune system, and some studies have shown that eating the herb or taking supplements, such as aged garlic extract, can help prevent you from getting sick in the first place, according to Healthline. It can also reduce the duration of illness and lessen the severity of symptoms. One study showed that 146 healthy volunteers were given either garlic supplements or a placebo for three months, says Healthline. The garlic group had a 63% lower risk of getting a cold, and if they did catch a cold their illness was 70% shorter. Most of the studies showing the benefits of garlic in fighting off colds and flu used aged garlic extract, which is made from raw garlic that has been preserved in 15-20% ethanol for a year and a half.

Drink hot beverages and soup. Drink ginger tea to help clear mucus and ease congestion. Adding a little honey to the tea can help soothe a sore throat. Chicken soup helps many people feel better when they have a cold, says WebMD. “Studies have shown that a hearty bowl of chicken soup may help clear nasal congestion and ease cold symptoms,” says Sandy Allonen, a clinical dietitian at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Homemade is best, says Allonen. Even the steam from hot drinks and soups is beneficial.

Prioritize sleep. There’s a reason why you are so tired when you have a cold. Your body is craving rest to help it fight your illness. Experts recommend that you rest in order to recover, and don’t take on extra commitments or perform strenuous workouts when you are ill.

© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

While there is no cure for the common cold, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms and possibly shorten the duration of the misery. With so many shortages of cold and flu medications on supermarket and pharmacy shelves this season, you may want to try tried-and-true...
cold, symptoms, treatments, hydration, tea, ginger, soup, chicken, garlic, supplements, sleep, decongestants, antihistamines, cough
Thursday, 22 December 2022 08:30 AM
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