Preventing and Treating a Cold
A cold is an infection that attacks the upper respiratory system and is among the leading causes of patient’s regular visits to the doctor. Common cold attacks children under two years of age on an average of about six times a year and about two times a year for an adult. Symptoms include a cough, malaise, sore throat among others. A cold is preventable and also treatable. The methods include:
Ways of Prevention
Thorough Washing of Hands
Washing of hands should be carried out using warm water and soap after which you should thoroughly rinse your hands and dry them. This should be done for at least 20 seconds paying attention to the areas between the fingers and under the fingernails. In the absence of soap, hand sanitizers are an alternative. Hand washing helps because germs are mostly transported through the hands thus thorough hand washing helps get rid of illness-causing bacteria.
Regular Zinc Intake
Zinc is one of the trace elements required by the body for it to remain healthy. It is present in nuts, beans, and meat. It is assumed that zinc has got antiviral properties thus can inhibit the growth of viruses such as the cold virus.
Keep Surfaces Clean
Wiping of all surfaces that are frequently touched, using a cloth dampened with detergent is essential since some viruses live on surfaces for several days before dying thus could cause a cold to an individual who comes into contact with them.
Covering of the Mouth
Mouth covering occurs when sneezing or coughing thus preventing sending of germs into the air. Covering the mouth keeps the bacteria from coming into contact with other people and eventually infecting them. Though covering of the mouth is encouraged, the mouth should not be covered using your hands since viruses stick onto bare hands thus they get easily spread. While sneezing or coughing, you are encouraged to use a tissue then throw it away since they are active habitats of germs and bacteria. If no tissue is available, one should use the inside of their elbow.
Use of Probiotics
These are microorganisms that when consumed, they restore the beneficial bacteria into an individual’s digestive tract. They do not only help with the digestive system but also help in the busting of one’s immune system.
Ways of Treatment
There is no cure for a cold since a virus causes it. Treatment of a cold I aimed at directly relieving the signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms relievers include:
This involves eating foods with low-fat content and taking those with high-fiber content. The meal should also be inclusive of a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits help in the boosting of the immune system.
A cold could also result in loss of appetite thus one should not force themselves to eat if they have got no appetite. It is a common symptom
Administration of cough syrups to children under the age of four is not encouraged because it is not a guarantee they are safe and beneficial to children. If given to a child who is over four years, you are recommended to follow label instructions. Also, medicines containing the same active ingredient such as antihistamine are not recommendable since their intake could lead to an accidental overdose.
Nasal sprays are used by adults to unblock the nose. They are administered in spray or drop forms and are used for a maximum of five days. Excessive use can lead to rebound effects( more mucus and congestion). If in treating kids, the kids should not be less than six years of age.
Nasal sprays help ease nasal blowing. Nasal irrigation, on the other hand, is poured into one nostril and then let out through the other. Nasal irrigation washes away dried mucus facilitating more natural breathing comparing to breathing with a blocked nose.
Drinking a lot of Fluids
Fluids help in the thinning of mucus and breaking up congestion. If a body is without fluid, it results in fatigue and headaches caused by dehydration. The constant taking of fluids helps hydrate the body thus dehydration does not occur. One should avoid liquids such as alcohol, sodas containing caffeine and coffee because they result in body dehydration. Also, their avoidance allows for the free flow of mucus and also ease congestion.
Fluids in the body are lost as a result of sweating which is a common phenomenon associated with sweating. Fluid loss a could also be due to a running nose.
Taking Warm Drinks
Warm drinks help in easing sore throat and fatigue. Drinking them also results in retaining the body’s warmth. Recommended warm fluids include a mild broth, lemon tea, and non-caffeinated lemon water.
Though fever is uncomfortable, it is the bodies mechanism to kill a virus with the heat. As a result, blood circulates faster helping with the healing process. A fever may be an indication that a cold may not last long. Also, coughing is the way the body clears out thick mucus.