I have written repeatedly about the flu and protecting yourself from it this season. It is also worth mentioning that this is cold season as well. A lot of folks are suffering from the common cold.
The Mayo Clinic has some worthwhile suggestions on fighting a cold virus if you succumb.
Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter has the following to say about handling cold symptoms.
“Being sick with a cold virus for a week or two doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. These remedies may help:
• Fluids — Drink plenty of liquids. Water, juice, clear broth, or warm water with lemon juice and honey can help loosen congestion.
• Saltwater gargle — To relieve a sore or scratchy throat, gargle with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water.
• Saline nasal drops and sprays — These nonprescription products combat stuffiness and congestion. Unlike nasal decongestants, saline drops and sprays used over the long term don’t cause symptoms to get worse once use is discontinued (rebound effect).
• Nasal decongestants — Limiting use of nasal decongestant products — such as Afrin and 4-Way — to no more than three consecutive days generally provides symptom relief without the rebound effect.
Editor’s Note: Be very careful with Afrin. It can cause swelling in the nasal passages and worsen the situation you are trying to alleviate.
• Chicken soup — The soothing qualities of a steaming bowl of soup may be due to its possible mucus-thinning and anti-inflammatory effects.
“What doesn’t work? Worth noting are antibiotics, which destroy bacteria, but are no help against cold viruses. As for zinc, a recent analysis had mixed results and stopped short of recommending it until more research is done. Zinc containing nasal gels or sprays have been associated with permanent loss of smell.
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