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The season for the common cold has finally arrived.In typical cases, the common cold does not lead to life-threatening events but it bothers everyone that makes us visit doctors, and leads to absenteeism from school or work.There are four from numerous studies that can help reduce the duration and effects of the common cold.
Coping Methods for the Common Cold
The common cold is a viral infection, usually caused by rhinoviruses of the upper respiratory tract.Healthy adults usually suffer from the common cold for up three times every year, while children younger than six have the highest chance to catch it.Normally, most people recover after a week to 10 days.
The symptoms of the common cold include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, a mild headache, and a low-grade fever.People who catch the infection usually feel the symptoms within three days.Generally, you do not need to see a doctor if you have the common cold.But certain factors may indicate something else that demands medical attention.
In adults, seek medical attention if you have a fever higher than 38.5 degrees Celsius, fever lasting for more than five days, fever returning after going away, shortness of breath, wheezing, pain in the sinus, severe sore throat, and severe headache.
In children, take them to the doctor if their temperature rises to 38 degrees Celsius, more than two days of high-grade fever, worsening symptoms or failure to recover, severe cough, severe headache, pain in the ear, appetite loss, and unusual drowsiness.
From numerous studies on how to cope with the common cold, four of them presented the best ways to help reduce the effects of the infection.
1.In a 2011 study, zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of the common cold, provided you have taken it within 24 hours after the symptoms manifested.
2.In a 2005 study, researchers suggested that gargling your throat with water may prevent upper respiratory tract infection.
3.A systematic review in 2011 has been found the usefulness of handwashing to fight respiratory viruses.Handwashing significantly reduces the spread and transmission of infectious agents that cause respiratory diseases.
4.A randomized controlled study in 2014 suggested that moderately intense exercise may prevent people from getting the common cold.However, the researchers needed more studies to clarify the findings, because the sample size was too small.
Risk Factors and Complications
The chances of getting the common cold increases based on the kind of risk factor.Risk factors include age, the strength of the immune system, the season, and lifestyle.
1.Children younger than six are susceptible to the common cold.This is because of their immature immune system which is unable to fight off the infection.
2.A compromised or weakened immune system can easily be penetrated by rhinoviruses.People with chronic illness, such as lung disorders, are vulnerable to the common cold.
3.We can get the common cold any time of the year but, the cases of rhinovirus infection rise during cold and wet seasons.According to a study published 2014, warmer cells infected by the virus produce a significant amount of interferons.Interferons are proteins that alert the immune system of the presence of pathogens in the body.But cells in the nasal cavity cooled down by specific seasons have less efficiency to warn the immune system.
4.Smokers suffer worse from the common cold.Based on a study published in 2008, the researchers explained that the immune system of smokers overreacts to deal with the infection.They also found that viral infections in smokers may accelerate the development of emphysema and airway scarring.
5.If you are surrounded by many people, particularly in an unventilated area with sick people, your chance to catch infection becomes higher.
The common cold can lead to complications if the infection worsens and is left untreated.Complications include otitis media or acute infection of the ear, the triggering of an asthma attack, infection and inflammation of the sinuses, pneumonia, croup or children's bronchitis, and strep throat.
Since there is no available vaccine against the common cold, doing the preventive measures reduces the chance of catching it and spreading it in your household.
- Do not share drinking or eating utensils, such as glasses, spoons, and forks, with other members of the family.It is recommended to have your own set of utensils or disposable ones to prevent spreading the infection.Also, avoid getting too close to someone who has the common cold or to someone who does not have it, in case you have the infection.
- Make sure to take good care of yourself to keep your immune system strong.Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, having a regular exercise, and sleeping well promotes a healthy immune system.Always practice the good habit of handwashing so you won't catch a cold and avoid touching your face with unwashed wants.Handwashing also reduces the transmission rate of the infection in your household.