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Things To Do At Home For Common Cold

The common cold affects numerous people each year, and even the same person multiple times per year. Most colds are due to a viral infection, but the term “cold” was coined as most of these viruses occur during cold weather seasons. There are multiple strains of viruses, but Rhinovirus is the most common. You can catch these viral illnesses via air droplets. For example, if someone who is infected with a virus coughs and does not cover their mouth, you could be at risk for inhaling those infected respiratory droplets. It can also be spread by hand-to-hand contact; this is why washing your hands is the number one way to prevent viral illnesses.

Common symptoms of colds or viral illnesses include cough, runny nose, congestion, sore throat, headache, earache and even low-grade fever. Because these symptoms are viral, they are usually self-limiting but it may not always feel like that. Some things you can do to decrease your symptoms are rest, increase your fluid intake, take over the counter cough suppressants or decongestants, drink warm tea with honey or perform salt water gargles, and take Tylenol or ibuprofen for headache or body aches. Most viruses last 7-10 days. Some things you can do to prevent viral illnesses are washing your hands, avoid sharing eating utensils or cups, covering your cough or sneeze, and disinfecting surface areas/work stations.

So, when should you come to the doctor? For adults, you should seek medical care if you are experiencing symptoms longer than 10 days, fevers greater than 101.3 for 5 days or if the fever is not resolving with Tylenol or ibuprofen, shortness of breath, wheezing, or severe headache. Children should seek medical care if they have symptoms lasting greater than 7-10 days, fever greater than 101.3 for 3 or more days or fever that does not resolve with medication, wheezing, ear pain, unusual drowsiness, feeding problems or decreased urination.

Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605

By Jenna Evans, PA-C

Family Practice Provider,

Adair County Health System

The information provided on the Adair County Health System’s Blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
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