8 Tips For Surviving the Inevitable Common Cold
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Health and Wellness

8 Tips For Surviving the Inevitable Common Cold

Vitamin C is NOT the answer, people

8 Tips For Surviving the Inevitable Common Cold

So you're almost through the semester. Just four or so weeks left. Sometimes you can feel it coming, sometimes it comes out of nowhere. Either way, it is almost inevitable that you are going to end up with the common cold right around now.

I'm struggling through a cold right now, so it seemed wise of me to do research on how the cold works, and what the best ways are to relieve some of its awful symptoms. Hopefully we can all get through this together.

What exactly is the common cold? It's a virus, which means antibiotics won't do anything. The CDC even states that taking antibiotics unnecessarily can actually inhibit their effectiveness when you actually do have a bacterial infection, against which antibiotics are the superheros. So unless you think what you have is more than just a cold (strep throat, pneumonia, etc.), going to the doctor isn't going to be very helpful. If they end up telling you that all you have is a cold, the doctor will give you all of the same advice that I have listed below.

In other words, there is no cure for the common cold, and you don't need a doctor to tell you that.

Importantly, colds usually last between seven and 10 days. If your cold is definitely surpassing that range, you might want to consider a trip to the doctor's, because colds can develop into something worse, like pneumonia. The CDC claims that you should call the doctor if your temperature is above 100.4° F, if the symptoms last more than 10 days, or the symptoms are immediately severe or unusual.

So here are 8 of the best tips for surviving the common cold.

1. Blow your nose...the right way

According to WebMD, it's important to blow your nose the right way. What is the right way, you ask? Pressing a finger over one nostril while you gently blow out the other nostril. They are also sure to mention that washing your hands after you blow your nose is a must.

2. Get your rest!

This should go without saying, but let's be real. The reason we're sick is because we haven't been resting. We've been working our bodies too hard, and that made us susceptible to sickness. So rest cannot be emphasized enough!

Those who log less than seven hours of sleep are almost three times as likely to get a cold. That's pretty significant.

3. Gargle

What?! Yeah. Apparently, gargling with salt and water soothes a sore throat, and gargling with tea or a mixture of honey, lemon juice, and hot water help with an itchy throat.

4. Take a hot shower

Understandably, the steam helps clear your nasal passages. But more than that, hot showers help us to relax, which leads us to rest, which, ultimately, aids in our recovery.

And get this, William Schaffner suggests snuffling water through your nose to help clear your nasal passages, as well as blowing your nose in the shower. It's supposed to be a steamy shower, and not the sexy kind of steamy, so deal with it.

Another suggestion given, in the case of there not being enough time for a shower, is to turn the hot water on in your bathroom sink, drape a towel over your head so it's covering your head and face, and lean into the sink. Breathe in the steam for a similar effect as the hot shower!

5. Stay hydrated

Isn't "drink more fluids" basically the answer for everything? Importantly, coffee and alcohol undo all of your hydration efforts. So avoid them.

6. Help out that chapped nose, too

Everyone gets chapped lips, but a chapped nose while you have a cold?! Definitely the worst. Take some petroleum jelly and use it as a balm for your poor, cold, dry nose.

7. If you're a gym junkie... Don't stop

It actually helps you feel better. But there is a catch. Cut back on the weight you're lifting and the intensity of your work out so you don't overexert your energy when your body is already doing so much to fight the virus.

8. Stop it with the vitamin C nonsense

Literally who doesn't recommend taking vitamin C when you're sick? Well, William Schaffner and Wendy Bennett argue that taking high-dosage vitamin C is making expensive urine. Your body knows what it needs, and the truth is, you probably are not deficient in that vitamin, so you're just going to excrete all the excess. However, another source said one to three grams of vitamin C may shorten the common cold by one to one and a half days. All that to say, the benefit on vitamin C on your cold is controversial, so it probably would be smart not to depend on it exclusively for improving or maintaining your health. In fact, one paper actually found that zinc is the beneficial mineral in preventing the common cold.

Give some of these tips a try, not to shorten the duration of your cold or to cure it, but to relieve some of those frustrating symptoms!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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