What Is Common cold?
The common cold is simply referred to as cold as well. The common cold is a contagious disease caused by viruses. It occurs in the upper part of the respiratory tract which affects mainly the nose. The body parts that may get affected by common cold are voice box, sinus, and throat. Symptoms and signs of the common cold may start to appear within two days after the exposure to the virus.The common cold is accompanied by a headache, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sometimes fever as well. Generally, it might take a week to 10 days in the recovery. Some of the symptoms can stay even for three weeks. When the symptoms of common cold worsen, it can turn into Pneumonia.
The force of around 200 viruses is involved for causing the common cold. A virus known as rhinovirus is the most prevalent cause of common cold. Common cold vaccines are not yet available. The antidote of the common cold is also not yet made but relieve to the patients can be provided by treating the symptoms.
In humans, the common cold is one of the most reoccurring infectious diseases. Averagely, an adult may suffer from cold from a couple of times to four times in a year. Cold occurs mainly in winters.
What Are The Symptoms Of Common cold?
After the exposure to the virus, the symptoms may occur in few days. Certain symptoms and signs of the common cold are as followed:
- Stuffy or a runny nose.
- Soreness in the throat is felt.
- Regular coughing.
- Congestion is experienced in the chest.
- A mild headache and slight body pain may occur.
- Continuous sneezing is experienced in some of the cases.
- A little temperature rise of the body can occur.
- Feeling of general sickness may be felt.
- The nose may discharge green or yellow, thicker mucus.
- Breaths become shorter.
- Pain in the sinus.
- Pain in the ear can be experienced.
- Eyes and eyelids may become heavy.
- Extreme fussiness may occur.
- Unusual drowsiness is experienced.
- Loss of appetite can also be of the symptoms of common cold.
- Certain complicated symptoms that may occur along the common cold:
There are fewer chances of such complications but sometimes cold gets worse and reaches to one’s ears, sinuses, or chest.
- Ear infection: The main signs of ear infection are yellow or green nasal discharge and aching ears. It commonly occurs in small children.
- Sinusitis: When a common cold stays for a longer period then the chances of sinusitis increases. Symptoms of sinusitis may include infected and inflamed sinuses.
- Asthma: Wheezing or difficulty in breathing may be provoked by a common cold.
- Chest infection: Infections like bronchitis and pneumonia can be caused by prolonged common cold.
- Strep throat: Common cold is accompanied by strep throat infection. In this condition, throat becomes sore along with coughing.
What Are The Causes Of Common cold?
- The common cold is the infection causes in the upper-respiratory tract. It is caused by the attack of the viruses. It is a myth that not wearing enough cloth in winters or cold weather causes the cold. Some of the ways one can catch infections are as follows:
- Exposure to the virus by touching any contaminated object like cell phone remote controls, laptops, etc. or any virus containing surface like door knobs, taps, etc.
- Close contact with an infected person.
- Using the personal belongings of a person suffering from the common cold like the towel, clothes, etc.
- A mild infection may be caused in adults by three types of viruses responsible foe cold. However, in old people, children, and individuals with a weak immune system it can cause serious lower respiratory tract problem. Also, patients with heart and lung diseases, asthmatic patients, and premature babies are at a higher risk of getting the complications like pneumonia and bronchitis.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Common cold?
The tips that one should follow while suffering from common cold are as follows:
- Keep one’s hands clean: Keep the hands clean by sanitizing them or washing them, as it helps to avoid the transferring of cold causing viruses. Especially, clean one’s hands after visiting public places like movie hall, shopping complex, gym, airport, and railway station. As these places contain a lot of germs.
- Usage of disposables is recommended and encouraged if anyone from the family is suffering from common cold. By doing this one can prevent infection from spreading. After the usage disposables should be put into trash cans. One must particularly use disposable crockery like cups, plates, spoons and glasses, paper tissues.
- Maintain the hygiene of one’s dwelling place: One should keep the house area germ free by cleaning it thoroughly with disinfectants. One must take care of cleaning the most touched things in the house like remote control, laptop, cell phone, etc. It helps to avoid viral infection, which includes common cold.
- In the case of children suffering from common cold, clean his/her toys and utility items properly.
- Keep the towels and clothes separate for the person suffering from common cold.
- Maintaining a healthy and good lifestyle is important. One must exercise, take healthy meals, and sleep properly to boost up the immune system. Body’s immunity helps to fight the common cold and other infection.
- Keep the stress in control: Stress is one of the major factors that weaken one’s immunity; hence one should try to relax. Good immunity means increases in the efficiency to fight with germs that cause the common cold.
- Make swimming a habit: People are prone to common cold should try swimming and make it a habit. Doing so can improvise the flow of blood in the nasal tract.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Common cold?
One must avoid a few things when attached by the common cold. Some such things are as follows:
- Do not touch one’s face, particularly the eye, mouth, and nose area, when exposed to the people suffering from common cold.
- Do not smoke: Smoking a cigar or a cigarette may disturb the air passage and increase the chances of the common cold, and certain other infections. Passive smokers are also at a risk of catching a common cold. Hence, smoking should be completely avoided.
- Avoid going to the work place: Since common cold is a contagious disease, one should avoid visiting public places. Also, some rest is advised during common cold accompanied by fever.
- Do not travel by air: When suffering from common cold, one should not take flights. Increase in pressure while flying can make the ear drum rupture if one is congested. Also, dry air of the plane may irritate the inflamed nasal track and enhances the chance of bleeding nose.
- Do not drive when feeling drowsy: Lack of sleep caused due to blocked nose and inability to breathe properly can make one feel drowsy all the time. Also, certain medicines prescribed in common cold have sedatives in them, which may cause drowsiness. Driving in such state may be proved hazardous, hence avoid driving in such illness.
- Avoid sexual activities: Although indulging in sexual activities is said to be an immunity booster, but it may cause the transmission of common cold causes viruses. Especially, kissing a healthy partner by the infected partner may result in the transferring of the germs. Hence, one should restrict from sexual activities.
What Are The Best Foods For Common cold?
Food to be consumed for preventing and treating common cold are as follows:
- Hydrating fluids: Dried out nasal passage and throat can encourage the growth and survival of flu and cold germs. Hence, it is important to consume lots of fluid all the time to maintain the moisture of mucous membrane. The moist mucous membrane can trap the germs easily and does not let them enter the respiratory system. Then these viruses can be blown out or can be ingested in the digestive system. These viruses get killed by the acids in the stomach; hence do not let one fall sick. Keep oneself well-hydrated not just prevent the common cold but also, pacify the symptoms. When one suffering from strep throat, he/she can mix a little honey in warm water to get some relief. Some of the fluids one can consume are fresh fruit juices (especially rich in vitamin C, water, and decaffeinated tea.) One’s goal should be the consumption of 8-10 glasses of fluid or water.
- Chicken soup: Chicken soup is packed with a number of benefits, out of which curing and easing of the common cold is one benefit. Chicken soup consumption may increase the body temperature, which is favourable for the viruses; hence chicken soup eliminates the viruses from the body. Also, hot chicken soup melts down the mucus and eases the symptoms of common cold. Try homemade chicken soup as it is better than packed ones. Chicken soup has elements that may boost up one’s immunity, which rather helps them to fight with cold causing viruses.
- Garlic: Garlic has an element known as allicin, which has antimicrobial properties. Hence, it helps to safeguard the body from fungi, viruses, and bacteria. One can chew a raw clove after every few hours, or it can be added to other food items like chicken soup.
- Vitamin C rich foods: The most common element found in citrus fruits is vitamin C. It acts as an antioxidant, which may decrease the symptoms of common cold up to 23%. According to a study 1-8 grams of vitamin C is sufficient to work on the symptoms of common cold. This particular quantity of vitamin C can be obtained from certain vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli and red bell-peppers, Brussel sprouts, and citrus fruits.
- Ginger: Ginger not only relieves the itchiness of the throat; it also helps to kill the cause of the infection A chemical known as sesquiterpenes is present in ginger. This compound particularly attacks the rhinoviruses, which is one of the major causes of a common cold.
- Honey: Honey is known for its miraculous benefits for various health issues. The common cold is also one of the problems that can be treated by the consumption of honey. Honey is packed with a lot of antioxidants and also has antimicrobial properties, which make it a perfect element to fight common cold causing viruses. It forms a coating on one’s throat helping to soothe the symptom of a sore throat as well as it has healing properties that contribute to healing the sore throat.
What Are The Worst Foods For Common cold?
Some of the foods to cut down to curb common cold and its symptoms are as follows:
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages: Immunity of one’s body gets weakened by alcohol, also body experiences dehydration. Such conditions make one even more vulnerable to common cold. So, one should not consume alcohol, especially in a hefty amount to prevent the common cold. Some of the beverages to avoid are beer, wine, tequila, vodka, and whiskey.
- Dairy Products: The Dairy product should be cut down during the common cold, as consuming dairy items may worsen the mucus formation. Excessive mucus causes the common cold to irritate even more. Some of the dairy products that one should avoid completely are milkshakes, cold coffee, milk ice creams, butter, cheese, yoghurt, cream, pudding, and other milk desserts.
- Packed Juices: When one is suffering from the common cold he/she must stay away from packed fruit juices as they consist of high amount of added sugar. Sugar decreases the efficiency of WBC to fight against infections. The Vitamin C benefits from the packed juice are cancelled by excessive sugar present in them.
What Are The Medicines For Common cold?
What Are The Tips To Manage Common cold?
- Take some steam: Blocked nose can be opened up by taking steam. There are a lot of steamers available in market these days, which makes easy to breathe in the steam. If a steamer is not available, then one can take steam from boiling water’s pot. Always remember to breathe through the nose while taking steam. Also, be careful as the steam can burn the nose badly. One can add a few prescribed medicines to the boiling water for better results.
- Blow the mucus out: During a typical cold, excessive mucus is formed. Hence, it is important to blow it out instead of sniffing it back to the nasal passage. But be careful as blowing the nose too hard can make the germs enter to the ear passage that may lead to ear infections and ear ache. The right way of blowing nose is to press one finger on one of the nostrils and gently blow the other one.
- Use Salt-Water or Saline Spray to rinse: These may help to ease the congestion by breaking it up.