UK weather forecasts are pointing towards a cold month ahead, and in the long-term a big freeze is set to grasp the UK.
The freezing temperatures are set to keep many wrapped up, and many people will fall ill from some kind of bug during the winter months.
Chief among these is the common cold, presenting mainly as sniffles or a stuffy nose.
For most people the symptoms will go away quickly, but others may need a helping hand.
Best ways to get rid of a blocked nose
A blocked or snotty nose is generally caused by something that irritates or inflames the nasal cavity, meaning blowing your nose can irritate it more, making matters worse.
The swollen area in the nose means that breathing is more difficult, and mucus can become lodged much more easily into sinuses.
Therefore, the best methods are the ones which reduce swelling, allowing the fluids to drain out from where they are stuck.
Decongestants are used to cause small blood vessels in the nose to narrow, which in turn decreases swelling and inflammation.
These come in both pill form and nasal spray for immediate application, both over the counter and via prescription depending on severity.
Generally they will allow sinuses to open up by thinning small veins and reducing inflammation, but some may need to be used over a period of days or weeks.
Rather than focussing on nasal swelling, you can also work to thin out the mucus lodged inside.
This would mean diluting it somehow, making the fluid more water based so it sticks less to the inside of your nasal passage.
Something as simple as a shower can achieve this effect, but will likely only last temporarily.
Alternatively, adding humidity to the air via a humidifier will also help add more moisture to your nose and achieve the same effect on a longer term basis.
Best way to get rid of a cough
Coughs can be as loud and frustrating as a stuffy nose, and can be a little more difficult to treat due to a number of types and causes.
People will usually have either a dry cough or a chesty cough, which sounds as if fluid is stuck in the airways.
Most of the time coughs are short-term, but could suggest serious problems such as cancer if they pursue for weeks.
Treatment for a common cough isn’t usually necessary, but there are remedies to ease things along as they run their course.
If your cough is caused by allergies, you can take antihistamines and avoid irritants to prevent or control it.
A bacterial cause means taking antibiotics, but medicines which claim to stop a cough do not come recommended due to apparent ineffectiveness, according to the NHS.
Apparently, a concoction of honey and lemon in hot water can be just as effective as medicines which claim to ease coughs.
Otherwise, people can avoid the effects of a nasty cough by taking paracetamol, ibuprofen or resting and drinking fluids.