A head cold is not a serious condition, but it certainly feels that way most of the time. Congestion and coughing make breathing difficult, and a fever generally drains energy. Most colds last about a week and most people get a cold about twice a year, according to the Mayo Clinic. While there’s no cure for head colds, take some comfort in knowing that you can relieve your symptoms and get back on a path to health.
Drink and Eat for Health
Replenish your system with fluids. Drink plenty of water or juice to replace fluids lost while you have a fever. Beware of juices that contain a lot of sugar because they can worsen diarrhea. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol, as those can contribute to dehydration. Sports drinks are not an optimal choice because they don’t contain the right combination of water, sugar and minerals, according to the Marshfield Clinic. Chicken soup is also beneficial when you have a cold because it acts as an anti-inflammatory and relieves congestion, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To ease nasal congestion, breathe steam by using a vaporizer or standing in a hot shower. You can also massage your nasal area to relieve congestion. To ease nasal dryness, try using a neti pot, available at most health food stores; this pot allows you to rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution.
Soothe a sore throat with warm water, lemon juice and honey. Another treatment for sore throats combines ¼ teaspoon with ½ cup warm water; gargle the mixture every two hours.
Take echinacea or zinc. Echinacea, an herb available in tablet form, and zinc lozenges are available at most discount stores. These treatments will not prevent any infections from occurring, but evidence suggests that they can reduce symptoms and curtail the duration of a head cold. Vitamin C may also help reduce symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Practice Other Comforts
Get as much rest as possible. Stay home from work if you have a fever or cough.
Make your room comfortable. Keep your room warm and, if possible, use a humidifier or vaporizer to soothe nasal and chest congestion.
Don’t smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke; these only aggravate your symptoms.