How To Treat A Cold | How To Cure Common Cold | Best Medicine For A Cold And Fever And Sore Throat

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How to Recover from a Cold

Three Parts:

Colds are viral infections that affect your nose and throat. The most common symptoms of a cold are congestion, watery eyes, sore throat, cough, headache, and sneezing.These symptoms can be rather bothersome, but there are treatments that can help your symptoms and recovery. Most people recover from a cold within a week or two, but if your symptoms are prolonged you should see a doctor.


Staying Hydrated

  1. Drink plenty of water.It is important to stay hydrated while you have a cold.
    • Staying hydrated will help to relieve congestion because it thins out your mucus, making it easier for it to break up.
    • You will need to keep up your fluid intake while you are sick. Your body loses fluids during mucus production and from fevers.
    • Try to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
  2. Try herbal teas, ginger ale or sports drinks.These are other alternatives to water.
    • Hot drinks like herbal teas can help relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. The steam can help to reduce congestion temporarily as well.
    • Sports drinks help you replace lost sodium and electrolytes.
    • Ginger ale can help settle an upset stomach if you are experiencing that type of symptoms.
    • Try ginger brew, it removes the inflammation and cools down your nasal cavity and also soothes your throat.
    • Avoid drinks with caffeine and alcohol. These will cause further dehydration.
  3. Drink some hot chicken broth.This is a generations old home remedy, but scientists have recently discovered it has some proven benefits for relieving cold symptoms.
    • Chicken broth can help to temporarily speed up the movement of mucus through the nose, relieving congestion.
    • Chicken broth can also act as an anti-inflammatory, reducing the inflammation in the nasal passages which leads to congestion.
    • You might try adding some cayenne pepper to the chicken broth. Spicy foods can also help to loosen up nasal congestion.

Part 1 Quiz

Which of the following drinks is best for easing your cold symptoms?

Treating Cold Symptoms

  1. Know the common cold symptoms.It's important to know the symptoms of a cold if you want to treat them! Fortunately, you can find over-the-counter treatments for most cold symptoms. When you have a cold, you may have all or some of the following symptoms, depending on the severity of your cold:
    • Fever
    • Muscle pain
    • Chills
    • Fatigue
    • Congestion
    • Sinus pressure
    • Cough, sometimes with phlegm
    • Throat irritation
    • Nasal congestion
    • Runny nose
    • Sneezing
    • Redness
    • Watery, itchy eyes
    • Redness around your eyes
    • Chest pressure
    • Headache
    • Swollen lymph nodes
  2. Try pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs.These are available over the counter and can help to relieve some of the symptoms of a cold such as sore throat, headache, and fever.
    • Try NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, or naproxen. They relieve pain and act as an anti-inflammatory. As an alternative, you could take acetaminophen for pain. Follow the dosing instructions carefully.
    • Don't exceed the maximum dose in a 24 hour period.
    • Don't give acetaminophen to children under the age of 3 months old.
    • Avoid giving aspirin to kids recovering from flu-like symptoms. This causes a minimal risk for Reye's syndrome, a rare but life threatening condition.
    • Avoid over medicating. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage.
  3. Take cough medicine if you're excessively coughing.Colds can cause you to cough a lot, but an over-the-counter cough syrup can help. You can also use cough drops to help find relief.
    • Always follow the dosaging instructions on the label.
    • Don't combine cough medications.
    • Check with your doctor before taking any medication, especially if you're already taking something.
    • For a non-invasive option, try a menthol product, such as Vick's vapor rub.
  4. Try over the counter antihistamines and decongestants.These medications work differently to relieve cold symptoms.
    • Decongestants work to relieve swelling in the nasal passages to allow mucus to drain.
    • Decongestants come in pill form or in nasal sprays.
    • Adults shouldn't use decongestant nasal sprays for more than a few days at a time. Prolonged use can damage mucus membranes, which can cause a rebound effect due to swollen mucus membranes.
    • Children shouldn't use nasal sprays.
    • Antihistamines may relieve sneezing and runny noses from colds.
    • Antihistamines may cause drowsiness. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how they will affect you.
  5. Try gargling salt water to relieve the symptoms of a sore throat.This can provide temporary relief from throat pain and scratchiness.
    • Mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt into an 8 ounce glass of water.
    • Use warm water.
    • Gargle the water in the back of your throat. Repeat as necessary.
  6. Try zinc or vitamin C supplements within the first 24 hours of symptoms.Zinc supplements are a popular home remedy for recovering from and preventing colds.
    • Zinc treatments are only shown to be effective if started within the first 24 hours of symptoms.
    • Studies are conflicting as to the extent of the benefits of zinc for reducing or shortening cold symptoms.
    • Zinc nasal sprays should be avoided. The FDA has linked at least 3 of these products to permanent or prolonged loss of smell.
    • If started at the onset of a cold, vitamin C might help to shorten the duration of a cold.
    • However, vitamin C won't help most people recover from a cold if started later.

Part 2 Quiz

True or False: If you’ve been experiencing cold symptoms for a couple of days, taking a vitamin C supplement can help you beat your cold faster.

Getting Enough Rest

  1. Get a good night's sleep.Getting enough rest can help you feel better and recover faster when you have a cold.
    • Try to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep.
    • This is especially important during the first 72 hours of a cold.
    • Sleeping can be challenging when you have cold symptoms due to congestion.
    • Try running a humidifier in the room while you sleep. This can help keep your nasal passages moist and prevent further congestion.
    • You can also try drinking chamomile tea to help you sleep.
    • Over the counter sleep aids and antihistamines can also make you drowsy and help you sleep.
  2. Avoid exercise while you are sick.You shouldn't exert yourself as you will become tired more quickly when you have a cold.
    • Withhold exercise for at least 48-72 hours.
    • When you start exercise again, avoid intense workouts. Your body is just getting over a virus and needs to recuperate.
    • While you are sick, it can be helpful to get fresh air though. Try sitting outside if the weather is warm and you don't have allergies.
  3. Avoid going out, to work, or to school while you are sick.Stay home and rest if possible.
    • If you have a fever or a cough, it is best to avoid exposure to others.
    • If you are drowsy from medications, you should also stay home.
    • If you must go to school or work consider wearing a mask to prevent infecting others, especially if you work with or are near people who have chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.

Part 3 Quiz

What can you do if your cold symptoms are making it hard to sleep at night?

Community Q&A

  • Question
    I have a weak immune system because I'm missing white blood cells, which help to fight off bacteria .What would be the best way to relieve a cold as fast as possible?

    Registered Nurse
    Marsha Durkin is a Registered Nurse in Wisconsin. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Olney Central College in 1987.
    Registered Nurse
    Expert Answer
    It's best to talk about this with your doctor, especially since you have a medical condition. Your doctor can provide you with the best treatment options for you, as well as preventative measures you can take to stay well.
  • Question
    What if I still have to go to school?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Take cough drops, bring tissues and tell your teacher your not feeling well so he or she can take it easy on you.
  • Question
    How can I stop coughing in the middle of the night?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sip on tea or warm water with honey to coat your throat so you stop coughing and can sleep through the night.
  • Question
    How do I make myself feel better when I feel unwell?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, try no to do any strenuous activities and take any medicine prescribed or recommended.
  • Question
    How do I stop my throat from hurting whenever I swallow?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Warm tea (or even warm water) will help it go away; adding honey to either will help soothe.
  • Question
    How do I stop my tonsils from getting itchy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Drink lots of water. Warm water is preferred. Honey and lemon are very soothing, so you can add those too.
  • Question
    Will drinking warm milk with honey help me recover from a cold?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Avoid dairy products as it can make you more produce more phlegm in the back of your throat.
  • Question
    What can I do for a cold that has lasted for three weeks?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    See a doctor. It might not be a "normal" cold. It could be bronchitis or pneumonia.
  • Question
    How do I shake the cold if I can't do anything but sleep?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Assuming this is a symptom of a cold and not a permanent condition, the solution is to listen to your body and get the rest that it's telling you it needs. Maybe sleep is the only thing you need to get rid of the cold.
  • Question
    Is there a way to get rid of a cold within 24 hours?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. It will take about 48 hours, if you are lucky and eat and rest properly. There's no quick fix.
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  • Make sure you're thoroughly washing your hands to help prevent the cold virus from spreading.

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