What helps when you catch a cold and what does not.

After close to 38 years of catching a cold at least twice a year, I think I am qualified enough to share some tips on the otherwise non fatal but terribly annoying ailment – the common cold.

What is tempting and helps the least:

Drinking hot beverages like Tea/Coffee – Having a nice hot beverage is very tempting when your head is aching and your sinusitis glands are acting up. But in reality having that sugary cuppa will not help. This is because tea and coffee and particularly coffee dehydrate your body. In a common cold situation your body is already struggling with hydration. You are losing water through the nose and your Sinusitis glands are blocked. Having tea or coffee aggravates the situation  further.

What helps the most and comes free:

Drink up – drinking an absurd and copious amount of clear room temperature water. The more you drink up the more you will feel refreshed. Your body will receive the water it needs to get back to normal since it has been losing water heavily.

Cover up – The more you keep your nose, head and face covered up the better. Common cold is mostly an allergic reaction. The sneezing and irritable nose can be reduced a lot by keeping it warm through covering up.

Steam up – Boil a pot of water and inhale the steam as much as you can. This is the world’s best medicine for blocked up Sinusitis glands and frontal sinusitis problems. A bad case of sinus can typically extend the pain from your cheeks to even your gums and teeth. Hot steam will give you relief in literally 10 minutes.

OTC Medication

In spite of all necessary care, it is possible your condition requires some medication. Meeting a doctor is always the best thing to do. But if you can’t find time to meet a doctor then you can always go for some over-the-counter medication. A common anti allergy pill like cetrizine can help you a lot with the sneezing and headache. A simple low dosage paracetamol will relive you from the low grade but draining fever. Quick word of caution – anti allergic medication can usually make one drowsy. Take care not to indulge in activities which require a concentrated mind like driving or working with heavy machinery.

Bottom Line

Nothing can spoil a weekend quite like a common cold. But if you care to look at the glass half full, then drink, up, cover up, steam up and cosy up with a blanket and a nice book you have been longing to read. It’s not a complete cure but it will definitely reduce some of the irritation associated with cold.


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