Health Advice For U


Common Cold

The common cold is the result of an infection by a virus, which leads to an inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The common cold can last from three to ten days and on the average can affect a person three times per year. There is a huge array of viruses that induce colds. There are more than 200 of viruses each with its own means of getting through your body’s defences. Hence, there cannot be any vaccine for common cold. The most common cause of colds is the rhinovirus. Aside from rhinoviruses, there are more than 100 subtypes that cause up to half of all colds. They can infiltrate the protective lining of the nose and throat, triggering an immune system reaction that can lead to sore throat, headache, and experience difficulty breathing through the nose.


A common cold is the result of exposure to the virus. Infections are spread from one person to another, by hand-to-hand contact, or by a cough or sneeze that sprays many virus particles into the air. Its intensity, however, depends upon the state of health of the person and environmental factors.


Colds are more prevalent in winter because we tend to spend more time indoors, in close quarters with infected people and surfaces. Breathing in dry winter air dries out the mucosal lining that protects nasal cavities. As a result, the potentially dangerous microbes are not caught before they reach respiratory system.


Drink lots and lots of water when you catch common cold. The body fights the cold by secreting more mucus to flush out the virus. Hence, drinking more water helps the body’s self-defence mechanism.


Another best medicine for cold is taking rest. By taking rest, the body can concentrate on its self-defences to weed out the virus. But don’t rest lying flat on your back as it can cause the congestion in your nose to drip down your throat, making sore throat and causing cough. But some light exercise will do better than resting all day.


Drink any clear, warm soup which helps ease the congestion and increase mucus flow. Clear soups are great for hydration because of hot liquid, salt and electrolytes.


Vitamin C supplements are not known to reduce or alleviate the common cold. But include natural sources of Vitamin C in your diet.


Zinc helps in maintaining the integrity of mucosal lining. A healthy lining can help resist viral infections. Zinc inhibits the multiplication of rhinovirus. It is better to include natural sources of Zinc in your diet on a daily basis rather than consume supplements. Red meat, shellfish, beans and nuts are some of the natural sources of Zinc.


The cold virus can survive up to 24 hours outside the human body. Hence, it is a good idea to give the hands a good scrubbing after touching anything suspected to be in touch with the infected person. Door knobs, TV remotes, Lift buttons, taps etc are at risk. Remember not to touch your eye or nose without washing hands after touching above.


Gargling with warm water and salt will help soothing sore throat.