A cold can happen at any time, but it is frequent in the winter months. Usually, it is more general in children than adults, who only get cold two or three times a year. However, there is no specific treatment for a cold, but you can prevent it when you feel it is coming.
Thus, there are a few precautionary steps that you may take to reduce the risk of cold symptoms. Moreover, those tips also help you to be strong and reduce illness duration if you get a cold virus. Hence, let’s move to the following section to first seek the symptoms and then the preventive steps for your health, particularly in cold weather.
Causes & Symptoms of a Common Cold
One of the main reasons is a viral infection that you may get the cold. There are various viruses which are the causes of colds, but rhinoviruses are the most common source that triggers 30–50% of all colds. Here are the reasons for catching a cold:
- One of the causes is inhaling drops that include virus particles from other people’s coughs or sneezes.
- Link up with drops that may include the virus particles on surfaces like touching the mouth, eyes, or nose.
Cold symptoms may contain:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Sinus pain or pressure
- Chest discomfort
How to Prevent getting a cold when you feel it?
Though, there is no particular treatment for the common cold, it usually goes away on its time, which is 7–10 days normally. Here are a few methods to ease cold symptoms when you feel it. So, go through the following preventive steps:
1. Get Plenty of Fluids
The body needs water to carry out well for all its vital functions, including fighting infection. If you do not have sufficient water in your body, then you may feel dehydrated, which makes your cold worse. So, you have to drink plenty of water and other liquids as well, like herbal teas or broths. Thus, you may see some of the indications of dehydration which are as follows:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Increases thirst or having a dry mouth.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
2. Get Healthy Sleep
If you feel cold, then you must get plenty of sleep and rest, which makes your immune system strong enough to fight infection. In 2015, a group of 164 healthy people participated in a study on the relationship between sleep and the weakness of the common cold. Where every contestant has to conduct a one-week sleep assessment before getting a dose of rhinovirus through a nasal dropper.
Thus, they observed that those participants who had less than 5 hours of sleep per night had a high risk of getting a common cold rather than those who slept for more than 7 hours per night. So, the researchers conclude that there is a connection between a shorter sleep period and increased weakness to the cold.
3. Manage Your Stress
Chronic or long turn stress can repress your immune system. Therefore, find ways to manage the stress that may help to boost up your body’ Defense against cold viruses and other pathogens. Here are the following tips for managing pressure:
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Taking a warm bath before bed
- Deep breathing exercises
4. Take a Healthy Diet to Prevent a Cold when you feel it
If you are taking a balanced, healthful, or varied diet, it will help you to maintain the immune system strong and more effective in fighting infections. The health department recommends some dietary guidelines to follow, like having a variety of vegetables, including all types of vegetables, legumes, fruits, grains, and fat-free or low-free dairy. Along with a range of protein-rich foods like seafood, poultry, lean meats, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils.
5. Incorporate Honey into your Daily routine.
As we all know, honey is very beneficial for health and especially for common cold symptoms. Honey helps you fight infections due to its antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Among all types of honey, buckwheat honey is considered superior in decreasing the severity of coughs in children.
To relieve a sore throat or cough, try stirring a cup of hot water or tea with a tablespoon of honey. Honey also forms a thin layer on the mucous membrane, which may help you ease throat pain and inflammation. However, children under the age of 1 should not get the honey as it causes a serious infection called infant botulism and is a high risk for them. Additionally, it is better to take buckwheat honey before bed to get a sound sleep.
6. Increase Vitamin D Levels to Have a Healthy Diet
It has been discovered that having adequate vitamin D levels reduces your risk of getting a respiratory infection compared to having low vitamin D levels. As we all know, natural sunlight helps the body synthesize vitamin D. However, sunlight is limited in some parts of the world, especially in winter. So, if you struggle to get sufficient sun exposure, then it would be helpful to take a vitamin D supplement.
Therefore, the Office of Dietary Supplements suggests that people aged between 1- 70 years take 15 micrograms or 600 international units of vitamin D per day.
7. Include Zinc in Your Diet to Prevent a Cold
According to research, if a person takes zinc supplements in their diet, they experience a shorter period of cold symptoms as compared to others. Even more, their cold symptoms are also shortened by one or two days. However, people also need to be aware of the zinc products as they may cause other side effects.
Thus, according to the National Health Institutes, they warn about intranasal zinc swabs and gels. As it may affect your sense of smell, or you may also lose it. Additionally, it further says that zinc tablets, lozenges, or syrup can also cause nausea and other small gut problems. But according to Mayo Clinic, if you feel the initial symptoms of a cold, then take zinc lozenges within 24 hours. So, it is better to take it in small quantities or take the doctor’s suggestion.
8. Take Vitamin C to Prevent a Cold when you Feel
Taking at least 200mg per day of vitamin C is not enough to reduce the risk of colds. According to the Meta-analysis of 2013, taking vitamin C lessens the common cold’s severity, incidence, and duration. But it decreases the phase of cold symptoms in adults by an average of 8% and in children by 14%.
9. Try Over the Counter (OTC) Medicines
Though some people cannot take medications, so they have to concern with the doctor and always keep away the children from OTC medications. Here are the over the counter medications which can help you to lessen cold symptoms:
- Throat lozenges to alleviate a sore throat
- Cough syrups to ease a cough
- Pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen
- Decongestants to relax your sinus pressure and a stuffy nose
As we know, health is wealth, so it is quite reasonable to take care of it. A healthy life is significant in every aspect of life. Therefore, you should be careful and strong enough to prevent infections and viruses. But on severe conditions, concern to the doctor without wasting time on trying precautions. Hopefully, the above knowledge regarding the cold is helpful for you. Also, let us know your views about the blog by commenting.