At some point in our lives, most of us have experienced the common cold. It might be due to the drastic changes in the weather, stress or exposure to infected individuals. It is important to note that common cold is triggered by the cold virus which is airborne and can be easily passed on to others through sneezing, coughing or direct contact with an infected individual. Even though there is no cure for common cold at the present, you can reduce the chances of getting a cold while at the same time help the body fight the virus once it is acquired.
An effective way to avoid acquiring the cold virus is observing good hygiene. The ideal way to avoid getting sick or spreading the condition to others is to wash hands using soapy and warm water. It is important to wash hands after being exposed to sick individuals or after staying in places where cold virus might be easily transmitted.
It is essential to avoid touching the nose, mouth or eyes after touching surfaces where the cold virus might be present. If an individual has a cold, the transmission to others can be prevented by covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and only touching surfaces after washing the hands properly. Additionally, maintaining a clean environment at home can also prevent the spread of the infection.
Throughout the years, it has been a belief that vitamin C can help prevent and treat common cold. On the other hand, after several studies that have been conducted, it was discovered that vitamin C does not provide significant benefit in preventing colds. Nevertheless, there is a small percentage of reduction observed when vitamin C is taken at the onset of colds.
Take note that Echinacea can help prevent or reduce the duration of colds. As for zinc, it has been highly effective in minimizing the symptoms linked with common cold. Based on studies conducted, zinc worked in reducing the severity and duration of the cold symptoms due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Caring for an individual who has common cold
If an individual acquires a cold, it will usually run its full course. On the other hand, you can help treat the symptoms and make the individual comfortable. If you suspect that an individual has a cold, you have to keep him/her hydrated and properly rested. Take note that gargling using salt water can help soothe a sore throat. Keeping the room of the individual moist and warm will help soothe the congestion and coughing. Additionally, as part of basic first aid for common colds, you can administer saline nasal drops in order to soothe the nasal passages while at the same time reduce the congestion experienced by the individual.