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Common Cold – Treatment,Prevention and Home Remedies for Common Cold

Common Cold is caused from about 200 viruses and is an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract infection. This usually lasts for 5-10 days and can vary depending on the severity of cold.This is the most common type of problem occurring in the school going children. In the United States, most of the colds occur during the fall and winter. The common symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion and sneezing.

Treatment for Common Cold
The common drugs that may be prescribed by a doctor include:

  • Pain Killers: Pain killers may be taken to relieve symptoms like fever, sore throat and headache, but if more than the required dose is taken, then it can lead to liver damage and painkillers like aspirin should not be given to children as it has been associated with Reye’s syndrome which is a rare but potentially a fatal illness.
  • Decongestant Nasal Sprays: These nasal sprays can cause chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane, hence these decongestant drops should not be used for a prolonged period for adults and in children they may cause many side effects.
  • Cough Syrups: In winter, non-prescribed cough syrups fly off the pharmacy stores. Prescribed drugs should be taken as an accidental overdose of this drug among children can be fatal. Cough associated with cold remains for at least less than two to three weeks. If a cough does not reduce within three weeks, then consult your doctor and take prescribed drugs.
  • Antibiotics: These groups of drugs reduces the infection present in the body.
  • Antipyretics:These drugs may be prescribed to reduce the temperature in case of high grade fevers.

Prevention of common cold
Here are some common precautions to be followed to prevent the spread of cold virus:

  • Wash your hands: When you are suffering from cold, try to clean your hands thoroughly and often. Teach your children the importance of hand washing. Carry a alcohol based solution when soap and water are not available as these are very effective in killing most of the germs.
  • Scrub your stuff: When somebody in your family is suffering from cold, clean the kitchen and bathroom counter tops clean. Wash children’s toys after they play.
  • Tissues: Use tissues always when ever you sneeze and cough into the tissues. The used tissues should be discarded and then wash your hands. If tissues are not available, then sneeze or cough into your elbows as this way the mouth is closed without using the hands.
  • Don’t Share: Do not share drinking glasses or utensils with other members of the family or use disposable glasses when someone is sick. Avoid prolonged contact with anyone who has a cold.
  • Choose your child care center wisely: when you want to put your child in a day care center, look for a place with good hygiene and where sick children are kept at home.

Home Remedies for Common cold
Some of the effective home remedies include:

  • Prepare lemon juice in a glass of water and add sugar to sweeten.This must be taken to relieve the nasal congestion at bedtime.
  • Eucalyptus oil can be applied over the forehead, chest and nostrils in the night. Then cover yourself in a warm blanket and got to sleep.
  • Add a spoon of garlic paste to one glass of milk and drink this milk as it helps to relieve chest congestion.
  • Ginger extracts can be taken several times a day.
  • Chew the leaves of holy basil as this gives relief from cold.Tea can also be made from basil leaves.
  • A hot water bath is recommended as this is a good remedy for cold.
  • Steam inhalation with Vick’s or karvol can be taken to reduce the congestion.
  • Yogasanas like bhujangasana, dhanurasana are alsoefective in treating cold.
  • Prepare a powdered mixture of black pepper and mix this in curd and add some jaggery.Eat this twice a day.
  • Drink lots of fluids like juices, tea and warm soup.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Stay back at home if you have a bad cold and cough with fever and take plenty of rest.
  • Warm gargles with salt water can be taken twice a day.
  • Take vitamin C supplements as this reduces the risk of catching cold.
  • Zinc nasal sprays or lozenges when take at the beginning of a cold may help to reduce the symptoms.
  • Echinacea extracts are very effective in reducing the symptoms of cold.

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