There is no real protection against cold viruses - but you can treat those annoying symptoms of the common cold effectively
- the cold lasts for more than ten days.
- there is high fever or if fever and pain persist for more than two days despite medication.
- the phegm expelled by coughing has a yellowish-green color. In this case there might be bacterial involvement which, in some cases, should be treated with antibiotics.
- the throat becomes quite painful or if the pain lasts for more than three days.
- the tongue or the mucous membranes of the throat display white to yellow coatings because this might signal a fungal infection.
- the tonsils display stippling spots.
In case you cought a cold after all, the following steps can help you to get relief!
- Enough rest
- Enough sleep
- Proven household remedies such as cold packs for the throat and/or calf, inhalation…
- fresh air
- Enough humidity in rooms
No smoking under any circumstances because its noxious substances also harm the mucous membranes already under attack.
- Drink at least two liters of water a day! This keeps the mucous membranes moist! Dry mucous membranes are the best breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses.
- Make sure to exercise enough, best outside in fresh air! This is also true for the cold season - do not forget to put on warm clothes! When going outside in the fall and winter, this should include a scarf, gloves, and a cap. A lot of heat is lost in winter time, especially from the head.
- Make sure to get enough and restful sleep! Studies have shown that enough sleep protects against infection! The amount of sleep needed differs from person to person, usually somewhere between six and ten hours. Bed rest is also a cornerstone in the treatment of colds, the flu, and other infectious diseases.
- Balanced diet! This also includes a sufficient intake of vitamins. Vitamin products from the drugstore put you on the safe side.
- Exercise the immune system with hot & cold showers, sauna, and endurance training.
- Wash your hands several times a day.
- Air the rooms regularly and prevent the air from becoming dry.
- If possible, avoid large gatherings of people during fall and winter. This is where a multitude of cold viruses are lurking!
- Cold temperatures may increase the risk of the common cold: Cold temperatures weaken the body defenses by restricting the blood flow through the mucous membranes. Just having cold feet can be enough to signal the body "exposure", making it constrict the blood vessels.
- Overly warm rooms may also promote colds: The warm air dries out the mucous membranes, the most important barriers against microorganisms, thus making them less impervious to germs. Now the viruses can penetrate there more easily and settle down.
- Stress also weakens the body's defenses enormously: Lowering the stress level, for instance, by planning regular relaxation exercises during the day, helps to strengthen the immune system and the body's defenses!
Colds are passed from person to person by "droplet borne infection": People cough or sneeze at you. Each time this happens, millions of viruses are flung into the air, fine droplets are airborne for minutes, while the expelled viruses can persist there for hours. With each breath taken, the viruses then enter the airways of other people. Or you shake hands with someone suffering from a cold, and later on touch your mouth - scientists have uncovered the hands as a huge reservoir for transmission!
Frequently washing your hands is the first step to be taken in preventing the spread. A strong immune system will take care of the rest - in other words, fighting off the remaining viruses. It is known that a weak immune system is much more likely to succumb to the common cold than a strong one! Especially during the cold season it is important to take in a sufficient amount of vitamins and to eat fresh fruits and vegetables several times a day! The immune system is also strengthened by adequate exercise and sleep.