This post is featured on behalf of Stacey White.
There are hundreds of different viruses that cause cold symptoms, so it’s no wonder that they’re so common and easy to pick up.
Over the colder months when more people congregate indoors, it makes the transfer of these contagious germs even easier. While in healthy people cold symptoms will pass in seven to ten days, they’re unpleasant and can definitely leave you feeling run down and under the weather
Boost Your Immune System
A good immune system is your body’s first line of defense, and will reduce your chances of catching colds, flu and any other illness for that matter. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables with lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grains will all support your body’s immune system. When you give it everything it needs, it’s able to function at full capacity.
Getting enough sleep is another way to boost your immune system, as well as improve your health in general. You should be aiming for at least seven hours a night but ideally eight or more. Smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs will also take their toll on your immune system, so give these a miss. if you’re addicted, speak to your doctor and see what kind of help and support is available to you.
Practice Good Hygiene
Colds viruses are generally spread by coughs and sneezes. The particles go into the air and contaminate surfaces, or are spread directly onto people’s hands. If you then touch their hands (or any surfaces they have recently touched) and then touch your face the virus has a way into your body.
Researchers have found people can touch their face thousands of times a day, it’s usually an unconscious thing. But goes to show just how easily we can introduce these viruses into our body. Wash your hands often especially when you’ve been out in public, carry anti bacterial hand gel for times that you can’t get to a sink. After touching something someone else will have touched (door handles, shopping cart handles, ATM machines, etc.) give your hands a clean.
Treat Any Secondary Symptoms
In many cases, colds come and go and you’re soon back to feeling well again. But sometimes they can cause secondary infections and issues.
Bad, chesty coughs can lead to laryngitis, bronchitis, even pneumonia. Blocked noses can cause sinus infections, and colds can also lead to ear infections since all of these airways are connected. Often these issues are far more painful and problematic than the initial cold.
You don’t need to visit a doctor for the common cold, but an infection that comes later as a result of this will usually need to be treated by a professional. Serious ear infections will need to be seen by your GP, an ear doctor or even an ENT specialist depending on the extent of it. This is because left too long, fluid buildup caused by a cold can cause partial or permanent heating loss. Since pneumonia can be potentially fatal, it’s important to get treatment as quickly as possible.
If you look after your general health, you prevent your chances of catching a cold as well as lots of other illnesses. If you do catch a cold, be sure to rest and look after yourself until symptoms pass, and if you develop unusual or severe symptoms speak to your GP.