THE COMMON COLD IS OFTEN TREATABLE AT HOME.
HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE WORRIED IT MIGHT BE THE FLU,
YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO SEE A DOCTOR.
We’ve outlined some ways you can avoid catching a cold and some ways to relieve your symptoms if you do.
Colds are caused by viruses which are easily spread from one person to another. The virus can travel in tiny droplets that are coughed or sneezed out of the body, which you can breathe in directly, or pick up from hard surfaces and infect yourself by touching your face or eyes.
Because they spread easily and there are so many different types of viruses it’s common for adults to get a few colds each year.
It may sound obvious, but your best bet is to try to keep your distance from infected people as much as you can. Unfortunately this is not always possible, so it’s a good idea to also practice good hygiene.
Viruses that cause the common cold can survive on unwashed hands for up to 2 hours and on surfaces for up to 24 hours. This is why you should wash your hands often with warm water and soap and try to keep your hands away from your eyes, mouth or nose, because if you touch a surface and pick up a virus it can easily enter your body this way.
If you live with someone who has a cold, avoid sharing towels or household items with them. Ask them to use disposable tissues and throw them in the bin as soon as possible. To further prevent spread of the virus, regularly clean surfaces that everyone in the house touches, such as door handles.
Symptoms of a cold can include:
Runny or blocked nose
Children may be more likely to experience a fever than adults.
The common cold will usually go away on its own in about 7 to 10 days. In most cases, you can manage the symptoms of a cold yourself, but one thing to keep in mind is that antibiotics are not effective against the cold virus. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections (and a cold is caused by a virus).
Here are some ways to help relieve your symptoms:
Rest and sleep
Drink adequate ﬂuids to stay hydrated
Gargle with plain or salt water to relieve a sore throat
There are also medications available that are designed to help you relieve the symptoms of a cold. Some are available from your supermarket, while others are available from your local pharmacy. If you are unsure, your pharmacist will be able to help you decide what options can help relieve your symptoms. Medications may include:
Decongestants which can help unblock a stuffy nose
Pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce any pain or fever you may have.
An important thing to note when deciding on a medication to help your symptoms is to always read the label and use the medication as directed, this is to make sure you are not taking too much of an ingredient that could be harmful. If you are not sure about what to do, check with your pharmacist for advice.
LEMSIP has a range of products that are specifically designed to give you relief from the symptoms of a cold, so you can get back to activities you enjoy. Talk to your pharmacist about which product is best for you.
See your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve after three weeks, or if:
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.