As the seasons change, it's common for many people to catch the common cold. In most cases, there is no need to see a doctor for your cold symptoms. If your symptoms do not go away over time, or worsen, call your doctor to get some extra help in fighting the common cold. If you feel like you've come down with symptoms this season, try these tips to beat the common cold.
Symptoms of the common cold
Signs and symptoms of the common cold can vary from person to person. However, the most common symptoms experienced include:
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches (mild)
Treatment at home
Unless your symptoms worsen, or continue after various treatment efforts, you can treat your cold at home without making an appointment with your doctor. Some of the best ways to fight and beat the common cold at home include:
Staying hydrated can help your body function at its best, and heal from issues like a cold or illness. Hydration means water, juice, and broth and does not include drinks that are caffeinated or alcoholic -- as those lead to dehydration.
Sipping warm liquids
Chicken noodle soup and tea. The perfect combination to help fight your cold. Warm liquids like broth can help sooth a sore throat and break up congestion.
It's amazing what rest can do for your body and recovery. If you are battling a tough cold, try and stay home as much as possible and take the time to rest and heal. Plus, staying home will help to reduce the risk of passing your cold to others.
Using cough drops and nasal sprays
Cough drops and/or lozenges can help to reduce the irritation of the throat, as well as suppress the need to cough. Nasal sprays can help to fight the irritation of the nose, while also breaking up congestion and stuffiness.
Beat it and prevent it
It's not uncommon to get multiple colds during cold and flu season, especially if you're exposed to changing weather, other people with a cold, etc. There is no guarantee that prevention methods will keep you from catching a cold, but these tips certainly increase your chances at being cold-free.
- Wash your hands. Germs live on everything and get on your hands from touching different items. Wash your hands with soap and water, thoroughly, or used an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And always avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Especially if you have unclean hands.
- Disinfect. Spraying high-touch surfaces with disinfectant is a great way to limit the spread of germs. This is especially important if you have someone in your household who is battling a cold. Lysol wipes can be a great tool for easy wiping and disinfecting.
- Cover your cough.
- Stay away from others with a cold. If you know someone who is sick, keep your distance. And if you're the one with a cold, keep your distance from family and friends to avoid the spread of germs.
When to see a doctor
If you're symptoms continue to worsen after practicing at-home treatment methods, it might be time to talk to your doctor. Be sure to keep track of when your cold started and how long you have been experiencing symptoms, as well as what treatment methods you have tried to help give your provider the best idea of where to start.
At Logansport Memorial Hospital, our team of Family Medicine providers are here as your support in fighting the common cold. Don't have a primary care provider? Schedule an appointment with one of our physicians or nurse practitioners.
For cold symptoms or concerns that are more urgent than scheduling an appointment, but not urgent enough for the Emergency Room, visit our team at Express Medical Center for same-day care.