Symptoms and Treatment for Cold in Home
Common cold is normally experienced by an individual at least twice each year, depending of course on one's health conditions. However, as much as the common cold is a typical condition, it can be debilitating at times and if left untreated could lead to coughing and increased lethargy. The common cold is typically experienced during freezing weather, although you could easily catch cold too during the summertime. Eating too many sweets, inhaling dust, or getting caught in the rain without an umbrella can cause simple colds, and it will be best if you have simple remedies ready and waiting right at home.
One of the best home treatments for the common cold would be plenty of fluids and long hours of rest. Experiencing colds is not necessarily a disease in itself but is actually a symptom of fatigue and stress. It is a sign that your immune system is already running low and that you need to take a break from all the stressful activities. It is very likely that you may have neglected your diet the previous days or weeks, or have been taking a lot less fluids. Drink a glass of water every hour and take a bed rest. As your body keeps on flushing the toxins out, you will feel much better the following morning, after taking a good night's uninterrupted rest.
Another way of treating the common cold would be to consume Vitamin C laden fruits and juices. Lemons and lime are just two of the fruits which are normally loaded with Vitamin C, and you can treat yourself to a glass of lemon or lime juice laced with a few drops of honey. Oranges may be too sweet and are thus best switched with either lemon or lime. Ginger is also very effective in the treatment of the common cold. Homemade ginger tea is very simple to make. You only need to boil a few strips or slices of fresh ginger for a few minutes and then take it as a tea. For flavor you can add a very scant amount of brown sugar or organic honey.
Symptoms of the Common Cold:
The common cold can cause different symptoms in different people. Many different viruses cause colds so that may play a role in our symptoms. Learn more about cold and flu symptoms.
Recognizing the symptoms of the common cold is important for a few reasons. If you realize what symptoms are bothering you the most, you will know which medications will help relieve them. You may also prevent unnecessary doctor visits if you know that you have a cold. Since your doctor cannot cure your cold, there is no reason to see the doctor unless your symptoms last longer than two weeks.
The common cold is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms of the common cold may include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold, with rhinovirus causing approximately 30%-35% of all adult colds.
Other commonly implicated viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus. Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them. For this reason, colds are a frequent and recurring problem. In fact, children in preschool and elementary school can have six to 12 colds per year while adolescents and adults typically have two to four colds per year. The common cold occurs most frequently during the fall and winter months.
The common cold is the most frequently occurring illness in the world, and it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work. It is estimated that individuals in the United States suffer 1 billion colds per year, with approximately 22 million days of school absences recorded annually.
Home Treatment for Cold
The diet should be light and free from nitrogenous foods. Nothing could be farther from the right than the injunction, "Feed a cold and starve a fever." A cold is a fever, the inflammation being localised in the respiratory mucous membranes. Overloading the stomach is directly harmful, and meats, gravies, fried stuff and richly spiced food are especially to be avoided.
One should take freely of fluids. A milk diet for a day or so is advisable for those who have no antipathy to milk, and those who have may overcome it in a measure by taking the milk well diluted with Vichy water. Fruit is allowable, and fruit juices in the form of orange, lemon or grape fruit, or cider should be given freely.
In the very beginning of a cold it is helpful to bring about a free perspiration. This is most effectively done by drinking freely of hot lemonade punch, to which has been added a moderate amount of rum or brandy. A hot mustard foot bath or a general warm or hot bath may be taken also with benefit, the patient, going to bed immediately and wrapping warmly with blankets in order to promote good sweat. In the morning following, a saline laxative should be taken; an ounce of sulphate of magnesia, a Seidlitz powder, or a glass of magnesia citrate will answer the purpose.
During the acute febrile stage of a coryza, there is usually a tendency to lessened alkalinity of the blood. To combat this, alkaline treatment is advisable, which can be very satisfactorily given in the form of bicarbonate of soda, in twenty grain doses (about a third of a teaspoonful) every two hours in warm water. If there is fever, headache or joint pains, aspirin in doses of five grains, or phenacetin or salol in doses of three grains may be taken along with the soda. After the first two or three days soda is no longer of value.
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Considerable benefit may now be derived from the internal administration of iodine. One may get for the purpose from the drug store an ounce of Lugol's solution and take about five drops in a half glass of water before each meal. No other medicine is to be taken at the same time.
During the first stage of an acute rhinitis, we should have respect for the highly sensitive state of the inflamed membranes and not attempt to use local treatment in any form. In the second stage, local treatment must be cautiously used. Steam inhalations containing menthol, or an oily spray composed of one per cent menthol and one per cent oil of eucalyptus in a liquid petroleum base tends to lessen the congestion, and has a generally healing and soothing effect.
With the onset of the third stage a more energetic scheme of local treatment is in order. Numerous alkaline and antiseptic solutions are on the market, each claimed to be the most valuable of its kind. They have all practically the same formula, the chief differences being in the flavour and colouring matter. If you do not want to pay for name and advertisement, you have only to apply at the drug-store for a few ounces of alkaline antiseptic solution (N.F.). It may be used in a dilution of one to three or four parts warm water, two or three times a day, running it through the nose by means of a medicine dropper or a douche rather than in spray form. When the inflammation is intense and the ears show evidence of being involved the alkaline douch may be fol-lowed each time by a few drops of ten or fifteen per cent solution of argyrol or a ten per cent solution of neo-silvol.
Certain other medicines are indicated for colds when complications have arisen. When there is decided involvement of the pharynx and painful swallowing, chlorate of potash is helpful; if there is tonsil inflammation with general aching of the muscles and joints, the salicylates in some form as salol, should be taken, and if the inflammation has spread downward as evidenced by hoarseness and cough, muriate of ammonia is advisable.
Two or three years ago, a method of treatment for colds by chlorine gas was widely heralded and great success claimed in certain quarters. Colonel Vedder of the U. S. Army, stationed at Edgewood arsenal, impressed with the report of the freedom from cold of employees in the plant producing chlorine, made some careful scientific investigations as to the effect of the agent upon certain bacteria. He came to the conclusion that the gas in a concentration that was harmless to the individual (viz. 0.015 m.g. per litre) had a decided bactericidal effect in acute respiratory diseases, in which the affecting organisms are located on the surface of the mucous membrane.
We undertook to make some clinical experiments to test the practical value of this treatment, and came to the conclusion that benefit was frequently derived in simple uncomplicated cases of coryza, when treated in the first stage of the disease, but little effect was to be obtained when the sinuses or tonsils were involved, or when the inflammation had extended to the deeper layers of the membranes, rendering the bacteria inaccessible to the action of the gas.
With regard to the use of vaccines-the treatment of cold by this method is advocated and pro-claimed by many physicians, despite the fact that, as we have attempted to show in another place (See Chapter VIII) it has little or no scientific foundation. That, apparently, very good results are sometimes obtained is probably due to mere coincidence. The profession is generally losing confidence in its efficiency and its popularity as a dependable method of treatment is fast dwindling.