Many of us do all we can to prevent getting a cold. Let’s see the difference between the flu and the common cold. Both have symptoms which can be similar, but if you can determine which is which, you can get treated much quicker. Flu symptoms come on very suddenly, with the first sign being a fever. Colds and fever don’t happen very often. Other signs include aches in your joints and muscles. Weakness or fatigue. Headaches and dry cough. Sore throat and runny nose. Pain and tiredness around the eyes as well as red, watery eyes. The skin can appear warm and flushed. Adults with the seasonal flu usually don’t vomit. For the many times I’ve gotten sick, I’ve come up with a few tips that I’ve tested on myself to try to prevent those little buggers from doing more damage. These may or may not work for you, but it’s just some tips in case you’re wary of taking OTC medicine.
1. Sore throat
This is the first sign for me that something is brewing within my body. As soon as I get up, I will do a salt gurgle. Take 1-2 teaspoon of salt and add to warm water. Gurgle until you’re done with the cup of salt water. Repeat as often as necessary. For children over 6 months, I recommend a very soothing Asian pear sauce that is made with Chinese rock sugar. I learned of this sauce from my niece who suggested I make it when my nephew who was sick and could not take medicine. What you do is buy any type of Asian pear, Chinese or Korean pears work. Cut into dices, removing the core. Add about 1/2-1 tbsp of rock sugar into 225ml (about 1 cup) of water into a pot and boil with the diced pear. Cook covered with a lid on low heat for 20-30 minutes or until pear is fully cooked through. Afterwards pour the pot with the liquid into a blender and blend the mix until it’s an applesauce texture. Leave it chunkier if your child can chew at this point. This medicine pear sauce also works with cough. Adults can try this too! You may find yellow rock sugar at your local Asian supermarket.
2. Runny Nose
You keep blowing your nose and it just never stops. You hear yourself constantly suctioning your own nose. Try a neti-pot. The salt water will cleanse your passage way and loosen those mucus. Remember to put some lotion or cream around the nose area. Constant tissue wiping can make the nose more irritated and dry. That red nose is as painful as the constant blowing. Also try saline drops. This will loosen the debris and mucus inside. Saline drops and sprays are safe for children of any age as well. Use this when they’re congested. Also use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to clear a stuffy or runny nose in children.
3. Stuffy nose
A warm mist humidifier will work best with a stuffy nose. Steam opens the airwaves and can help with a pestering stuffy nose. Try Eucalyptus oil for children as well. It’s “warm” in the beginning, but cools almost immediately. The smell is very soothing as well. I rub this on my nephew’s chest or feet when he’s sick. After I apply it on his feet, I put socks on to keep him warm. Add drops of eucalyptus oil into the warm mist humidifier for easy breathing. Use a bulb syringe or nasal aspirator to clear a stuffy or runny nose in children.
4. Clogged ears
Clogged ears and cold go hand in hand. The auditory tube carries unwanted debris from the ears to the back to the throat where it is swallowed. It can become plugged and fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear. Try blowing out your ears or the Valsalva maneuver where you pinch your nose and “pop” the ears. Take a decongestant. This will help clear the sinuses and return your hearing. Nasil spray will work here as well. Please don’t resort to inserting a cotton swab in your ear to relieve yourself of all that wax. There are much safer methods to removing ear wax. There are ear wax removal products you can buy. Use nasal spray or drops for children if their ears are clogged. The saline will help clear the mucus.
Bathe in lukewarm water to cool yourself off. Don’t plunge yourself into cold water in hopes to cool down the fever. This will have the opposite affect in getting your body to cool. Put a warm damp washcloth on your forehead and at the back of your neck. Replenish with plenty of liquids. Hot tea, water, and juice. Sports drinks like Gatorade help with lost of minerals in your body. If you still don’t recover, try an acetaminophen instead. That would be the quickest relief. For children over 1 years old that aren’t taking to water, try apple juice and coconut juice or water.
All you want to do is rest. That’s completely natural. Your body is trying very hard to fight off whatever is attacking your system and to do so it needs sleep. Sleep or nap when you get the chance. Some of us can’t afford to leisurely sleep, which means the recovery time is much longer. At this point, I would say to ask for help. If you can’t rest, it’ll only prolong the recovery time. Call your parents or friends over to help with children or pets. Even 2 days of rest on the weekend would do a ton for your body. For children who have a hard time breathing, elevate their head while they sleep. This will make it a little easier for them to breathe.
I hope some of these little tips come in handy when you’re battling a cold.If your cold is not extremely detrimental, try some of these simple tips before resorting to medicine. Sometimes our body just needs a break from all that medicine. Remember to get in plenty of vitamin C and water everyday for this upcoming winter! Humans are bound to catch germs and spread them, but you can do your best to prevent them from taking you out of commission.