As the weather cools down during the fall, viruses tend to become more prevalent. Sometimes, although you can take certain measures to prevent illness exposure, you cannot escape catching a cold. Read on to find ways to make your recovery faster and minimize the effects of cold symptoms.
Causes of a Cold
A cold is caused by a viral infection. There are hundreds of different kinds of viruses that can make you sick with a cold. However, the majority of the time, the symptoms are mild in nature and do not require medical intervention.
You catch a viral infection through contact with the virus. This can occur in multiple different ways, but the most common are touching someone who is infected or through droplets in the air released by coughing or sneezing. Due to how contagious viruses can be, sometimes, it is impossible to avoid them in your day to day life. Early detection and intervention with over the counter medications are the best way to help lessen the symptoms. To learn more about fall illness we treat, visit our services page.
Common symptoms of a cold are:
- Running nose
- Watery eyes
More severe symptoms such as fever are possible, although not common.
How to Avoid Catching a Cold
The best way to protect yourself from illness this fall is to prevent being infected with a virus in the first place. There is no vaccine for the cold, meaning that keeping your environment clean and avoiding sick people when possible are important measures that can help prevent you from catching a virus this fall.
Ensure you’re following proper hand washing protocol and washing your hands often, including after touching common surfaces such as door handles in public places. If you don’t have a sink available, it is a good idea to carry around hand sanitizer so that you can sanitize your hands often.
Avoiding people who are sick is also a great way to reduce your risk of catching a virus this season. Although sometimes it is impossible, taking measures such as sitting far away from people who may be sick at work or school will help reduce the likelihood of you coming in contact with viruses. If someone sounds congested, is coughing or sneezing or recently has been sick, avoid them until their symptoms are completely resolved. Cold viruses can travel via droplets in the air caused by sneezing and coughing. Viruses also linger on surfaces, and can be picked up if you come in contact with them.
Cold Symptom Treatment Options
Unfortunately, there is no effective medical treatment for most viruses as viruses cannot be treated with antibiotics. Due to the mild nature of symptoms, it is unlikely that medical intervention is necessary. If you are struggling to shake your cold symptoms, rest, isolation, hydration and over the counter medications are the recommended treatment options. If your symptoms escalate in severity, like the development of a fever, it is possible that your illness may be more serious than a viral cold.
There are a few at home remedies which can help you subdue common cold symptoms:
- Sore Throat: Drinking warm liquids such as teas can help ease a sore throat. Adding honey can also help soothe an irritated throat. If the pain is significant, you can opt for an over the counter throat spray.
- Congestion: Consult your healthcare provider to see whether using a neti pot to drain your sinuses is a good option for you. Over the counter medications with phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can help relieve congestion.
- Headaches + Fatigue: Make sure you are staying hydrated while sick to avoid headaches. Ensuring you are getting ample sleep is also an important way to let your body rest while it fights off viruses.
Seeking medical advice at urgent care can provide you with additional resources such as medication recommendations or supplemental care options.
Visit AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst for General Illness Treatment Near Lyndhurst, NJ
If you or your loved one is showing signs of a cold, the best way to avoid spreading the illness is to isolate and wait until the symptoms completely disappear. Over the counter medications may help you battle the symptoms from a cold, however, getting enough rest and staying hydrated while your body fights off the virus is the only way to recover. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, you should always seek medical treatment at urgent care. Call us to speak directly to a medical professional at (201) 345-3839.