Cold or flu is one of the most common illness that affects this generation due to so many factors.
Due to varying individual lifestyles, how to treat cold especially at home has become necessary.
In this post, Ghparrot aims at helping our cherished readers learn how they can treat cold in their homes. We advice that this is for basic cold symptoms and should not be considered as a complete medical care.
Symptoms are often preceded with nasal congestion which makes it very difficult to breath and sometimes headaches.
Colds are very common in our everyday lives. A visit to the clinic or hospital is often not needed. Generally, colds get better within 3-4 days.
Often caused by viruses of different kinds due to the kind of exposure or contact one has. Depending on the type of virus you come into contact with, your symptoms may differ from another person.
Common symptoms of a cold include:
- Fever (100°F [37.7°C] or higher) and chills
- Headache, sore muscles, and fatigue
- Nasal symptoms, such as stuffiness, runny nose, yellow or green snot, and sneezing
- Sore throat
Mild symptoms of COVID-19 may be similar to those of the common cold. Always check with your health provider if you are at risk for COVID-19.
In severe cases, they can be treated at any health facility close to you. We will look at how to treat cold symptoms at home or in the office.
There are lots of home remedies or popular treatments out there on how to treat cold at home.
Although not proven to be helpful, most home remedies are safe for most people.
- Some remedies may cause side effects or allergic reactions.
- Certain remedies may change the way other medicines work.
- Talk to your provider before trying any herbs and supplements.
Try Blowing Your Nose Often
Whenever you have cold, it is important to regularly blow your nose rather than sniffing the mucus back into your head. The mucus is meant to be expelled. In blowing your nose, try to be more gentle taking into account health precautions of not spreading it to the next person.
Blowing too hard can make pressure carry the germ phlegm back into your ear passages and this can also lead to earaches. The best way to blow your nose is, press a finger onto one nostril while you gently blow to help clear the other.
Use Warm Salt Water
The use of warm salt water one basic but most effective way of dealing with cold at home or in your office if you have a kettle. Using warm sat water to rinse the nose helps in breaking nasal congestion as well as removing virus and bacteria particles or debris from your nose.
Here is a popular recipe most people use (Consult your medic before trying this at home).
Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a bulb syringe or nasal irrigation kit to squirt water into the nose. Hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat two to three times, then treat the other nostril (credits – Webmed)
Rest and Stay Warm
It is advisable to try and stay warm accompanied with good rest whenever you are having cold symptoms. This helps the body to boost it’s immune system in fighting the cold or flu.
One of the basic tricks you will learn from your parents or grandparent as an African or Ghanaian child is gargling every morning after brushing your teeth. This simple trick if done on a daily basis with warm water and salt, can moisten a sore throat and temporary relief is achieved.
Try to Gargle with half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces warm water, four times daily.
To reduce the tickle in your throat, try an astringent gargle — such as tea that contains tannin — to tighten the membranes. Or use a thick, viscous gargle made with honey or honey and apple cider vinegar. Seep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in two cups of hot water; mix with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before gargling.
Drink Hot Liquids
Drinking hot liquids helps to relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that lines your nose and throat. Some of these hot liquids can also be good soup.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, try this age-old remedy by taking a hot. Just make a cup of hot herbal tea, add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot of whisky. Too much of the alcohol will further inflame the membranes and make you feel worse which will make you not get the desire goal.
Take a Steamy Shower
Taking a steamy shower moisturizes your nasal airways and may also help you relax. If you are dizzy from flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath. This will ease the airways and also open the body pores for muscle relaxation and good sleep.
Use a Salve Under Your Nose
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can help to open breathing passages and restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose.
Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw. However, only put it on the outside, under your nose, not inside your nose.
Apply Hot or Cold Packs Around Your Congested Sinuses
Either temperature works. You can buy reusable hot or cold packs at a drugstore or make your own. You can apply heat by taking a damp washcloth and heating it for 55 seconds in a microwave (test the temperature first to make sure it’s not too hot.) A small bag of frozen peas works well as a cold pack.
Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head
A good head elevation can help ease or worsen cold symptoms. Elevating your head will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.
Don’t Fly Unless Necessary
There’s no point adding stress to your already stressed-out upper respiratory system, and that’s what the change in air pressure will do.
Flying with cold or flu congestion can temporarily damage your eardrums as a result of pressure changes during takeoff and landing. If you must fly, use a decongestant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just before takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and swallowing frequently can also help relieve pressure. A more reason why some people are contracting COVID-19 airborne without knowing it. Only fly when necessary.
Eat Foods that Fights Infections
When you have a cold, eating good foods to boost your immune system to fight it, is very important as any of the home remedies mentioned above. Here are some good foods to eat when you’re battling a cold or flu:
- Bananas and rice to soothe an upset stomach and curb diarrhea
- Vitamin C-containing foods like bell peppers
- Blueberries curb diarrhea and are high in natural aspirin, which may lower fevers and help with aches and pains
- Carrots, which contain beta-carotene
- Chili peppers may open sinuses, and help break up mucus in the lungs
- Cranberries may help prevent bacteria from sticking to cells lining the bladder and urinary tract
- Mustard or horseradish may helps break up mucus in air passages
- Onions contain phytochemicals purported to help the body clear bronchitis and other infections
- Black and green tea contain catechin, a phytochemical purported to have natural antibiotic and anti-diarrhea effects
Remember, serious conditions, such as sinus infections, bronchitis, meningitis, strep throat, and asthma, can look like the common cold. If you have severe symptoms, or don’t seem to be getting better, call your doctor.
Preventing the Spread of Colds
Catching cold on a daily basis is common due to environmental factors. To avoid catching cold or flu, we have listed a few ways you can follow.
Wash your hands often as this is the best way to stop the spread of the germs.
To wash your hands correctly:
- Rub soap onto wet hands for 20 seconds. Make sure to get under your fingernails. Dry your hands with a clean paper towel and turn faucet off with paper towel.
- You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Use a dime size amount and rub all over your hands until they are dry.
To further prevent colds:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow and not into the air.
When to Call the Doctor
Try treating your cold at home first. Call your provider right away, or go to the emergency room, if you have:
- Difficulty breathing
- Sudden chest pain or abdominal pain
- Sudden dizziness
- Acting strangely
- Severe vomiting that does not go away
Also call your provider if:
- You start acting strangely
- Your symptoms get worse or do not improve after 7 to 10 days.