In most cases, it is possible to take care of the common cold at home. This condition can affect anyone and does not usually cause major complications. Still, its symptoms are bothersome and maybe the reason for absenteeism at work or school.
Symptoms such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and coughing generate general discomfort that prevents the performance of daily tasks.
Fortunately, with some self-care measures, it usually improves in a short time. Discover below some recommendations.
What does the common cold consist of?
The common cold is a viral infection that affects the airways. Numerous different types of viruses can cause it. It is estimated that there are around 200 types of related viruses, such as rhinovirus, adenovirus, or others.
Throughout history, attempts have been made to identify the factors that help the development of this pathology. For example, it has been seen that it is more frequent in childhood, in stressful situations, or in places where a dry and cold environment predominates.
Symptoms usually appear two to three days after exposure to the virus. They include the following:
- Nasal congestion.
- General discomfort.
- Low fever (only in some cases).
- Cough and sore throat.
The mucus becomes thicker as the pathology progresses. However, the symptoms improve on their own in a matter of days. Even so, it is convenient to practice some tips to cope with it and reduce the risk of complications.
Tips for taking care of the common cold at home
If there are no signs of complications from a common cold episode, simply follow a few simple tips to cope with the symptoms. This, added to a good rest, will cause a feeling of improvement in a short time.
Consume healthy liquids and water
Maintaining good hydration is one of the fundamental measures to relieve congestion. When we drink a lot of liquid, the mucus becomes less thick, and it is easier to eliminate it, either by sneezing or coughing.
It is recommended to drink both water and hot tea. Similarly, soups and broths often create a comforting sensation. Ideally, avoid other substances that promote dehydration, such as alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
Make a saline solution
The application of a saline solution can improve discomfort, such as nasal congestion and irritation of the throat. Simply dilute a quarter teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Then we use the liquid to make a nasal wash or gargle.
In the pharmacy, you can also buy saline spray and nasal drops. They apply in case of clogging and excess mucus production. In babies, the ideal is to apply several drops of the product in a nostril. Then it is carefully sucked with a rubber pear.
Take care of the rest environment
Rest is one of the most important measures when taking care of yourself with a cold. However, we must ensure that it is in an environment free of irritants, such as cigarette smoke, dust, or strong-smelling chemicals. Exposure to these can worsen symptoms.
We can also install a humidifier in the room so that the environment is humid and warm. In this way, it reduces irritation of the respiratory tract and increases the sensation of relief.
What else can we do to take care of a cold?
In addition to putting the above into practice, it is worth remembering the importance of reducing the risk of contagion. Thus, we must cover our nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to prevent the particles of our secretions from infecting others. Regular hand washing and avoiding sharing objects for personal use is another useful measure.
If there are symptoms such as headaches or general discomfort, the consumption of pain medication is recommended, such as ibuprofen or seemstamol. There are also mucolytic and antitussive drugs that help reduce mucus thickness and cough. In any case, to avoid self-medication, it is best to go to the doctor and follow his recommendations.