By Dr. Sajeev Kumar, General Physician,
A common cold is a form of viral infection that occurs in the throat and nose. A lot of viruses are generally responsible for common cold. Among them, the most common is the rhinovirus, which causes 10-40 per cent of the infections. Other viruses such as para-influenza virus and the respiratory syntactical virus also cause common colds. The virus normally gets circulated by means of contact with the infected person. A common cold usually lasts for about 1 to 2 weeks. The virus attacks the mucous membrane of the nose and the throat and forces the infected resident cells to reproduce more virus cells. The symptoms are mild coughing, sneezing, fatigue and headache. The remedies for common cold are directed towards removal of the symptoms, while the body immune system tries to eliminate the virus.
Certain easy remedies to get rid of the common cold have been enlisted below:
- The doctors recommend a lot of rest to ease the fatigue.
- You can also try drinking warm liquids like soup and ginger tea. This might help clear the congestion by increasing the mucous flow.
- It is also recommended to drink a lot of water and other fluids such as homemade fruit juices to prevent dehydration.
- An early morning salt water gargle (a mixture of teaspoon salt and one glass water) might be very useful in removing soreness of the throat.
- To get rid of nose blocks and congestion, you can use nasal drops and sprays.
- You can loosen up your stuffy nose if you breathe in some steam. Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe slowly through your nose. But be careful. Don’t let the heat burn your nose.
- Both saline spray or salt-water rinse can help break up the congestion in your nose.