Winter weather has arrived in Temple City and everyone knows that means flu season is approaching. As people walk into really crowded places like restaurants, supermarkets, theatres, and business offices, they are highly susceptible to catching a cold.
There is no definite cure to the common cold, but there are many prevention techniques that can assist you from catching what the person next to you has.
First off, what causes the common cold? The answer to that question can take forever because there are over 200 viruses that can affect people. Surprisingly, stress and allergies can also be causes of a cold.
Also, people catch colds differently, and others are more susceptible to getting sick than others. The immune system is what helps your body fight off germs and viruses. People have different immune systems, some weaker than others, which is why some can easily catch a cold while others do not.
Many people do not realize that there is a difference between getting the flu and catching a cold. Most likely, if you are sick because of this weather, you have caught the flu, which is often apparent during winter or spring. However, the biggest difference between a cold and the flu is that the flu can lead to death if not treated properly. Young children and seniors have the most difficulty recovering from the flu. Another thing that most people misconceive is the difference between allergies and catching a cold. Both are similar, but a cold is more severe.
Before addressing some tips to prevent a cold, let’s highlight some of the symptoms that most people experience. People who catch a cold start with a sore throat followed by a runny nose. You will know the severity of the cold based on your runny nose, the darker the secretions are, the sicker you probably are. You should not have a fever because then that means you have caught the flu.
These following prevention techniques will only be helpful if you catch your symptoms early. There are no guarantees however that you will be cured of the cold, but they will be effective if followed properly.
Step One: Keep yourself hydrated. If you are experiencing or think you are experiencing some of the symptoms of the common cold, remember to constantly drink fluids. Drinking alcohol, however, does not count as a fluid and may worsen your symptoms.
Step Two: Resting. Allow yourself to get a lot of rest is vital to preventing a possible cold. Try to isolate yourself from noise and turn on your heater or a heating pad and slip underneath your blankets for an hour or two. Make sure the heater is not too warm, but at an average temperature. Purchase an air humidifier to moisten the air if necessary.
Step Three: Sooth your symptoms. If you have a sore throat, gurgle some salt water at least three times a day. A common Chinese remedy is a honey with lemon drink. Add some hot water to a tablespoon of honey and squeeze a lemon; it is rumored to be fairly effective. Airborne, and effervescent tablet that boosts up your immune system, is also effective.
Step Four: Know which medicines to purchase. Taking antibiotics is unnecessary at this stage; it would be more beneficial to your health to take over-the-counter cold medicines like ibuprofen. Consult a doctor to see which medicines would be most beneficial to your health.
Finally, maintaining basic hygiene is common sense but will prove useful. Wash your hands and do not share food or even stuff as this may spread the cold. Don’t touch your facial features, especially your eyes and mouth because that is where the virus can easily enter your body.
Although it may be a hassle to actually set out and prevent your cold, imagine how worse you can feel once you catch the cold. So the next time you enter a crowded environment or go outside, do not forget to bring a jacket and take an Airborne before you leave the house.
Be courteous and try not to be the person who spreads the cold; if you know you’re coming down with something, stay at home and get some rest.
Sources: Yahoo! Health and WebMD.com
This article was written by Margaret Thi. It was published in the Temple City Voice on January 23, 2008.