The Common Cold: Raising Awareness
Cold is a common ailment.
It is caused by many different types of viruses that attack the nose, sinuses, throat and large airways. These viruses can spread easily from person to person by coughing and sneezing. It can also be spread by touching anything that has been infected by the virus.
During cold months, parents always advise their children to wear thick clothing so they do not catch a cold. But according to doctors, chilling does not lead to colds.
A person infected by the cold virus starts feeling its symptoms one to three days after the infection. Sneezing, runny nose and slight fever are some of the symptoms, of the common cold. Mucus coming from the nose is clear and watery when the infection begins. It becomes thicker as the infection goes away. A cough also develops in some cases and can last for two weeks. The rest of the symptoms disappear four to ten days after.
Many supposed cold remedies can be brought in the drugstore. But all these have not been proven to be effective. For instance taking an aspirin may make you feel better, but it cannot cure your cold. The same is true with either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Nasal decongestants cannot cure a cold either. They only decrease the symptoms of a cold. Antihistamines may treat a runny nose, but it can also cause other side effects like drowsiness. Antibiotics are not advised unless the patient is found to have bacterial infections.
If none of these are effective, how do we make the pesky cold go away?
For once, inhaling steam can clear the airways and help the patient breathe better. Doctors also suggest that the patient is kept warm and comfortable at all times. A good rest can also make the patient recover faster.
Drinking lots of fluids help the body get rid of mucus and viruses. Health experts warn against treating coughs hen suffering from a common cold. According to them, coughing helps clear the airways from phlegm and mucus. Therefore, coughs should only be treated if it causes sleeplessness and too much discomfort.
There is no vaccine for the common cold yet. Not even a lot of vitamin C can prevent one from catching a cold. The best prevention for the common cold is still proper hygiene. Because the cold virus easily spreads, you should always wash your hands properly before eating. Properly disposing of used tissue paper will also prevent the virus from spreading to other people. Lastly, clean surfaces that are most likely to be infected by the virus.