According to Medical News Today, the common cold is caused by a viral infection. In fact, there are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold. When you have a cold, you may experience a stuffy nose, sneezing and a sore dry throat. These symptoms can last for as long as 10 days; however, there are many things you can do to shorten the duration of a cold.
Methods to Stop a Cold in Its Tracks
There are numerous methods that can help shorten the duration of a cold and get you back on your feet quickly. The most important things to do is improve the immune system, moisturize the nasal passages, soothe an irritated throat and reduce inflammation.
- Get plenty of rest. One of the best things you can do when you are battling a cold is to get plenty of rest. During an illness, your body can become fatigued. To help with this aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep. If possible, stay home from work or school and rest. Finally, a 20 to 30 minute nap can boost your energy levels.
- Drink plenty of liquids. When your body is fighting off a viral infection, it needs extra fluids. You can keep your body hydrated and your throat moisturized by drinking eight 8 ounce servings of water, fruit juice or sports drinks. Caffeinated beverages, such as tea, colas or coffee, as well as alcohol can cause dehydration and should be avoided.
- Keep the air moist. Using a warm steam humidifier is a great way to keep your sinus passages and your throat moisturized while suffering with a cold. Placing a small amount of eucalyptus oil in the reservoir can also help to unclog nasal passages, helping you to breathe better.
- Chicken soup is good for a cold. Your grandmother had it right- chicken soup may help decrease the severity and length of a cold. The warmth of the soup will soothe irritated throat tissues and open sinus passages. The broth also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties to shrink swollen sinus passages.
- Vitamin C, found in a variety of citrus fruits can help reduce the severity and duration of colds. This immune boosting antioxidant has been used for years to help relieve the symptoms associated with a cold. A lemon contains vitamin C and can help cut phlegm from the throat.
- Light exercise, such as walking or yoga is a great way to improve your immunity, which helps the body fight off a cold. You can boost your immunity by exercising outdoors. The sun provides the body with vitamin D, which improves the body’s natural immunity.
- Gargle with salt water. Salt is a natural antibacterial agent. To alleviate a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water a couple of times a day.
Colds cause a number of symptoms, such as a sore throat, a stuffy nose, coughing or sneezing. WebMD describes a cold as a viral infection that can cause a runny nose, scratchy throat, watery eyes, stuffy nose and nonstop sneezing. Most colds last between a week and 10 days. If your symptoms last longer than this, contact your physician to ensure a bacterial infection has not occurred.