Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Cold is caused by many viruses. The symptoms of a cold are a runny nose, red eyes, sneezing, sore throat, dry cough, headache and general body aches.There is a gradual one or two days before the onset. As a cold progresses, the nasal mucus may thicken. This is the stage just before a cold dries up. A cold usually lasts about one or two weeks.
Colds can occur throughout the year but are most common in cold weathers. Children have an average of six colds in a year while adults have fewer. Colds cannot be prevented by using a mouth-wash or antibiotics There is no particular cure for colds. The solution is to treat the symptoms if you catch a cold. Sometimes a cold could lead to a bacterial infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
HOW TO PREVENT A COLD
· Eat well and get plenty of sleep and exercise to keep up your resistance.
· Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes, and mouth, but cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
· Wash your hands often, particularly when you are around people who have colds.
· Stop smoking.
· Breast feeding should be encouraged, breastfed babies seem to have fewer, milder colds.
STEPS TO RELIEVE A COLD
· Get extra rest after work or school. Slow down just a little from your usual routine. It isn’t necessary to stay home in bed, but take care not to expose others.
· Drink plenty of liquids. Hot water, herbal tea, or chicken soup will help relieve congestion.
· Over the counter drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, etc can help relieve aches but don’t give them to children without a prescription.
· Humidify the bedroom and take hot showers to relieve nasal stuffiness.
· Watch the back of your throat for postnasal drip. If streaks of mucus appear, gargle to prevent a sore throat.
· Use disposable tissues not handkerchiefs to reduce spreading the virus to others.
· If your nose is red and sore from rubbing with tissues, put a bit of petroleum jelly on the sore area.
· Treat each symptom separately.
· Use a mucus thinning agent to improve mucus drainage.
SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR YOUR COLD WHEN
· A very high fever that does not go down after two hours of taking home treatment.
· A high fever with shaking chills and cough.
· Persistent fever.
· Sputum is yellow, green, rust -coloured or bloody and other symptoms are worsening.
· If facial pain, fever and other signs develop.
· Nasal discharge changes from clear to coloured after five to seven days of a cold.
· Cough that lingers more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms have cleared especially if it is producing up sputum.