Scientists have yet to find a cure for the common cold but there are still things you can do to get rid of the sniffles fast. There are also a number of things that can derail your recovery and make you feel a whole lot worse. Granted, flu season may be on its way out in the U.S but the nasty virus can strike at any time. According to Reader’s Digest, if you do catch a cold, these do’s and don’ts could help you get over it fast.
- Rest: The best thing you can do is rest when you feel the sniffles coming along. Not only will this help you overcome the cold but the time off work could save your colleagues from catching the contagious virus which, according to research, is most contagious in the first few days.
- Take in fluids: You may not realize how much fluid you are actually losing from all that sneezing and nose blowing but you are and it is important to keep hydrated by increasing your fluid consumption. The added bonus is that warmer drinks may help to ease congestion. So, tuck into that hearty bowl of soup.
- OTC medication: You can treat a cold with a three-pronged action plan. Saline sprays to alleviate a stuffy nose, over-the-counter combination drug therapies that include antihistamine and decongestants to help decrease inflammation and improve symptoms and pain killers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) which will tackle body aches and headaches. You will be feeling better in no time.
- Skip the vitamin C: Popular belief is that popping an extra vitamin C pill will help you overcome a cold much quicker but experts say this is not true. Furthermore, massive doses can cause unpleasant side effects including nausea and diarrhea, Mayo Clinic noted.
- Avoid alcohol: An age old cold “remedy” is a shot of whiskey but there is no proven benefit to this. Instead, alcohol could have the opposite effect. Not only could it dehydrate you, it could exacerbate the typical side effects related to cold and flu medication. Best skip the “hot toddy.”
- Ditch the antibiotics: Doctors routinely prescribe antibiotics to patients suffering from colds but there is no point in taking the medication as they only work to treat bacterial infections- colds and flu are viral infections. Antibiotics come with side effects that could leave you feeling worse. You could also build up a resistance to the drugs.