All of us have experienced this. Waking up with the symptoms of a cough and cold. We may think about calling our family practice doctor or even getting an appointment with the primary care physician. There are a few things they can do, but in reality, this is a waiting game. There are some things that can and should be done, to make us feel better while we recover.
- Get rest. If your body is begging to stay in bed with the cat and Netflix, that is something you should do. Your immune system needs a lot of energy to battle off the viruses that cause a cough and cold. Staying home and not going to school or work also prevents the spread of the nastiness to other people.
- Get enough sleep. People get better sleep in their beds than on the couch so, get yourself to bed! When people do not get enough sleep, one area of the body that suffers is the immune system. You need that operating at full capacity when you are trying to get over any sort of infection. If you need to, you can use an extra pillow to elevate your head and make it easier to breathe.
- Up your fluid intake. When you get more beverages, such as juice and water, you can help your body break up all the congestion. This is also a great way to prevent or improve the fatigue and headaches that so often are present with a cough and cold. The best liquid you can drink during this time is water. Caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages should be avoided. Another thing you may have heard is that chicken soup is good to fight a cough and cold. It is! Scientists have found it to be good to reduce inflammation and can help with your aches and pains.
- Use some warm, salt water to soothe your sore throat. Some of the best remedies are the most simple. If your throat is sore, try gargling with a mixture of salt and warm water. One combination that has been known to work is one cup of water with between one-half teaspoon of salt. Try to gargle a few times during the day to get the most benefit from this.
- Have some hot tea. Really any hot beverage can be soothing when you have a cough and cold, except for a hot toddy. A nice cup of non-caffeinated tea can ease your symptoms and make you feel better. If you add some honey, you can increase the good you do yourself. Honey has been known to reduce sore throats and help you sleep better by reducing your cough. Babies under the age of one should never be given honey unless you are instructed to do that by your pediatrician.
- Indulge in a hot shower. The steam from your shower can help your throat and nose feel better. It can also loosen up congestion. Not only that but the warm water does wonders for sore muscles.
- Flush out your nostrils. You can get over the counter flushes and sprays that will moisten your nostrils, which is something you really need. This can get rid of anything that is dried on and help you breathe better.
- Use an over the counter cold or cough medicine or pain and fever reducer. There are a number of cough and cold remedies you can opt for. There are very good over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. If you are taking both a pain and fever reducer with a cold remedy, read the ingredients. Often cold remedies have acetaminophen in them and you do not want to double up. There are also a number of decongestant sprays that can work. Keep in mind that, if you take them, you may some time after your cold is gone but you are still stuffed up.
One thing you do not need when you have a cough and cold is to get a prescription from your family doctor for an antibiotic. Those only work on bacteria, whereas colds are caused by viruses. That will not help nut these tips will.