A cold is a range of different viruses, with the most widespread being rhinovirus. Adults suffer an average of two to four colds each year, with children catching many more.
Colds carry a range of different symptoms including coughs, sneezing, a raised temperature, muscles aches and a loss of taste and smell.
These symptoms can negatively impact how you go about your daily tasks, but luckily, a cold can be treated at home without having to see your GP.
There’s no cure for a cold, but they will usually clear up by itself in a week or 10 days. In the meantime experts recommend certain remedies to help relieve symptoms.
Decongestant Olbas Oil is recommended by high street health store Holland and Barrett.
On the product’s website it explains: “Olbas comes from a brilliant idea from mother nature.
“Olbas Oil is a special mixture of pure plant oils, with ingredients including clove oil, eucalyptus, juniper berry and cajuput.
“It’s the combination of these natural ingredients which releases those famously soothing and relieving natural vapours. It’s the power of nature – for noses.”
A 10ml bottle is priced £3.49 on the Olbas Oil website but can be found for cheaper online.
But this isn’t the only recommended remedy to beat a cold. Holland and Barrett also recommends taking paracetamol.
It adds: “A review of studies found taking a high dose of vitamin C on the first day of symptoms could hep reduce the length of a cold.”
The NHS recommends four things to treat a cold yourself at home.
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is ok) to avoid dehydration
- Gargle salt water to sooth a sore throat
Cough and cold medicines from a pharmacist can also help relieve cold symptoms.
Bupa advises preventing a cold in the first place by eating a balanced diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables to gel get lots of vitamins and minerals which can boost your immune system.
Other recommendations include:
- Taking regular exercise, and having enough rest for your immune system to work properly
- Not smoking, or if you do, try to stop as smoking reduces the strength of your immune defences and reduces your levels of infection-fighting vitamin C
- If you have a cold you should try to stay away from other people to prevent the virus from spreading, throw away tissues as soon as you have used them, and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands regularly
With flu season fast approaching, the NHS recommends whether you should get the flu jab if you have a cold.
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