I hab a code in my nose and a cough that kept me up most of the night. So your Wednesday Writing post didn’t get the polish it deserves and will not appear here until it does. Instead, I’ll talk about what’s bothering me.
The Bad News About Colds
The average adult gets 4-6 colds per year and the average child can get up to 10 colds per year. Since that is an average, that means some people (like me) almost never get colds, while others get many, many colds.
There is no medical test that will diagnose a cold. There is no cure for a cold. Antibiotics do not help a cold. You take antibiotics for 1-2 weeks. Without antibiotics, you will recover from your cold in 1-2 weeks.
What You Can Do
Get plenty of rest.
Did you know that chicken soup has possible anti-inflammatory and mucus-thinning properties? Of course, you did, it’ Jewish penicillin.
Studies have recently shown that taking zinc can help a cold but the most effective dose and duration have not been determined.
Gargling salt warm salt water will help soothe a scratchy or a sore throat.
Dehydration can happen quickly when you can only breathe through your mouth. Drink plenty of liquids: water, juice, broth, or warm lemon water. Liquids will prevent dehydration and will help loosen congestion. Alcohol, coffee, and caffeinated sodas will make dehydration worse.
Over-the-counter cold and cough medications won’t cure your cold, but they may lessen your symptoms. But, if used more than a few days they can make your symptoms worse. Remember, they are dangerous to use in children under two years of age. Taking cold medications with prescription drugs, alcoholic drinks, beer, or wine can be very dangerous. If you are on prescription medications ask your doctor which cold medications are safe for you to take.
Please read the ingredients of any medication you take. Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) is in many cold medications. If you are taking cold medication do not take additional Tylenol, Motrin or Advil. It is seriously dangerous to take more than the recommended dosage of these medications, as in possible liver damage serious.
In fact, all medications, including many herbs and vitamins, are dangerous if taken in high doses for a long period of time and sometimes they interact with other medications you are taking. Always check with your physician before taking over-the-counter medications.
Saline nasal drops and sprays help relieve stuffiness and congestion without the worsening of symptoms that happens with over-the-counter cold medications.
Humidity will help thin secretions. A cool vaporizer is safer than the steam variety.
If you have a sore throat and a fever with no cold symptoms, make an appointment to see your doctor. If you have chest tightness, have difficulty taking a breath, and/or wheezing, call your doctor. If you have ear pain that is not relieved by medication, facial pain or tooth pain, call your doctor. You may need antibiotics.
Avoiding crowds, eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and minimizing stress are the effective ways to prevent colds, but the number one way to prevent colds is to wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your face.
Hope for the Future
Researchers at MIT think they may be onto a way to beat a cold. But it will be a while before all the testing will be done.
Even though you are very careful, you may still catch a cold. If you do, take care of yourself. Goodnight, all. I’m going to take the above advice.
clip art by Phillip Martin