Winter is here, which means sledding and hot chocolate! But with the good comes the bad: specifically, the common cold. The average person will catch 3-4 colds a year, and dry air and increased time indoors make winter the easiest time to end up with this annoying illness. There is no cure for the common cold virus; it just has to run its course through rest and other self-care techniques. However, there are a couple remedies that can be done at home to help alleviate cold symptoms. Here are some tricks to try out next time the common cold strikes:
Use a Humidifier in your Home
Humidifiers increase the moisture in the air, which can help loosen sinus congestion and alleviate symptoms. Dry air, especially during winter months, takes away moisture from your nose and throat. An abundance of dry air can worsen the congested sinuses and throat pain that often comes with a cold. Humidifiers are usually inexpensive and can be found at most drugstores. Be sure to clean and change the water in your humidifier regularly to avoid the spread of bacteria.
Increase Fluid Intake
It’s important to stay hydrated if you’re experiencing cold symptoms. Dehydration can occur with the loss of fluid that occurs during a cold, so increasing water and electrolyte intake is crucial while your body fights the virus. Consuming warm liquids, such as tea or broth, can also help alleviate congestion by loosening the mucus. Steam from hot beverages can help as well.
Using over the counter medications can help temporarily relieve some symptoms of a cold. Pain relievers, antihistamines, and decongestants are the most common medications for cold symptom relief. These medications can help with congestion, sore throat, muscle aches, and other cold symptoms. However, these medications will not cure or shorten the cold. It is important to check the ingredients on the box so you are not mixing medicines that could potentially be harmful.
Gargle Salt Water
Saltwater can be another helpful at-home remedy for relieving congestion and other cold symptoms. A saltwater gargle can help a dry and sore throat, and also decrease the risk of infection. Saltwater can also help with mucus flow to clear sinus congestion. Add about a teaspoon of salt to your glass of water, gargle, and repeat as necessary.
Get treatment at a local urgent care center
Feeling under the weather this winter? Come visit us at AFC Edgewater! We are here to diagnose and recommend treatment options so you are back to feeling your best in no time. No appointment needed at our walk-in urgent care clinic, and most major insurance providers are accepted. Give us a call for further questions.