What causes the common cold? How do you catch a cold? Is there relief? This article will discuss what the common cold is and how you contract it. You will learn the symptoms of a cold and how to get relief from a cold. You will also learn simple things you can do to prevent yourself from getting a cold.
The disease we call the common cold is really a group of minor illnesses that can be caused by any one of more than 200 different viruses. A common cold is usually confined to the nose and throat although the same viruses can also infect the larynx causing laryngitis, and the lungs causing acute bronchitis. These viral infections may be followed by more serious bacterial infections of the throat, lungs, and ears.
In general, most people have their first cold during the first year of their life. The frequency of colds increase during early school years because the school environment contains new viruses that the child is not immune to. Most people acquire more immunities as they grow old causing them to catch fewer and less severe colds.
You may ask yourself how you caught a cold. Since there are so many different cold viruses and because the viruses can live outside the body for hours or days, odds are that you will catch a cold every so often. Here are some common ways a cold is caught:
1 You shook hands with someone who was carrying the cold virus and then touched your nose or eyes.
2 You may have touched an object such as a telephone or doorknob that was used by someone who had a cold and then you touched your eyes or nose.
3 A cold suffer got to close and sneezed or coughed the virus into the air and into your nasal passages.
You can get your body into prime cold fighting shape. Begin by pumping up your immune system with these tips and kill the virus before it can attack you.
1 Wash your hands. This could be the best way to kill cold germs before you get sick. Before touching your eyes or nose, always wash your hands.
2 Exercise and eat a balanced diet. This is the simplest way to build up your immune system and protect yourself from the cold.
3 Get rid of mold. Mold may trigger inflammation in your respiratory system and leave you more vulnerable to colds.
4 Use a solution containing chlorine or a disinfectant to kill germs on surfaces such as counter tops, telephones, and doorknobs.
5 Throw away tissues immediately after you’ve used them. Do not put them back into your pocket.
6 Open windows at least a little whenever possible to circulate the air and remove germs. Colds are more easily spread when people are indoors and the windows are closed.
7 Don’t smoke or allow smoking in your home. Exposure to cigarette smoke weakens the immune system.
The symptoms of a cold depend on what virus is responsible. The major symptoms are runny nose, sneezing, watering eyes, sore throat, hoarseness and coughing. At the beginning of a cold, the nasal discharge is usually watery. It then becomes thick and greenish-yellow in color. You may also experience a headache and a slight fever. The fever may result in shivering and the chills. Usually a cold will clear up in three to four days. With a bacterial infection, a head cold should not last longer than seven days.
The respiratory tract is a series of spaces connected by passages, because of this, an infection can spread from your nose and throat to your middle ear, sinuses, larynx, trachea, or lungs. These secondary infections may lead to more serious disorders of the respiratory tract.
There is no point in asking a physician to treat an otherwise healthy person who has a cold. Doctors generally will not prescribe antibiotics because viruses do not respond to them and an antibiotic may make matters worse by causing side-effects like diarrhea. There is no known way to treat a common cold. There are however ways to get relief. These tips may help you keep your cold under control.
1 Eat hot chicken soup. Researchers have found that hot chicken soup increases the flow of mucus. Although they are not sure if it’s the aroma or the taste, researchers believe that chicken soup helps make your nose run, decreasing the amount of time the cold germs spend inside your nose. Chicken soup was first recommended for colds over 800 years ago.
2 Drink a lot of fluids. When the mucus that lines your throat is moist, the mucus traps viruses and sends them to the stomach, where digestive acids break them down, destroying them. Six to eight cups of non-alcoholic liquid is enough, although some researchers recommend doubling your fluids because you can loose a quart or more of fluids each day when you’re sick.
3 Have some garlic. Not only will garlic zest up a meal and keep vampires away, it will also boost your immune system, because garlic contains allicin. Allicin is released when you crush the cloves and is responsible for giving garlic its flavor and aroma. Allicin fights colds, the flu, and other infections by breaking down into smaller chemicals called sulfur compounds. Sulfur compounds jump start your immune system, helping your body get rid of harmful toxins and microorganisms naturally.
4 Eat spicy food. Spicy foods that contain hot peppers, curry, or chili powder help to get mucus flowing, which may help unplug your nose and make your cough more productive.
5 Some doctors recommend taking 500 mg of vitamin C, 4 times daily along with 24 mg of Zinc gluconate every 2 hours to speed up recovery from a cold. WARNING- Taking more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C each day may cause diarrhea in some people.
6 Take aspirin at night to relieve aches and pains.
7 Over the counter cold tablets, cough syrups, and nasal decongestants may also provide temporary relief. Remember to only use them in moderation and do not expect them to cure a cold.
Scientists now see another way to prevent colds, by blocking the cellular receptor sites that the viruses need to enter the cell, replicate, and cause illness. Researchers discovered that there appears to be one or two major receptor sites which the rhinoviruses attach to. They reasoned that if the major receptors were blocked with a special antibody, they could prevent cold infections up to 90 percent of the time. When the antibody was tested, it delayed the onset of a cold and reduced its severity. Although it did not prevent the cold, scientists believe that in the future it may be possible with further development.
In conclusion, anyone who has a cold should stay at home in isolation if possible in order to stop the spread of the virus. This will also give you a chance to rest and recuperate. Consult your doctor if the cold lasts more than ten days, if you have symptoms that suggest the infection has spread beyond the nose and throat, or if you get bronchitis or ear infections often. If you experience earache, pain in the face or forehead, a temperature above 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 34 degrees Celsius, and a combination of persistent hoarseness or sore throat, shortness of breath, wheeziness, and a dry painful cough you should see your doctor immediately.