Winter means people are more likely to get colds, respiratory infections and the flu. Waking up with a sore throat and stuffy nose definitely can put a damper on your day … and the next week. If you’re feeling a little under the weather, Sabrina Pojar, DO, a family medicine faculty physician at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, has a few suggestions that will boost your immune system and fight your cruddy symptoms.
Tips to treat a cold
First off, Dr. Pojar says that the average adult can expect to have two to four colds per year. And, you can expect your son or daughter to bring home six to ten colds per year.
Take note of these tips to nip your illness in the bud and stop the spread of infection:
- Fluids, fluids and more fluids. Stay hydrated.
- Zinc lozenges may reduce the severity of symptoms and duration in adults.
- Eat a well-balanced diet, so your body has the right nutrients and energy to fight an infection.
- Rest as much as needed to feel refreshed.
- Cigarette smoking increases the risk of upper-respiratory infection and even more serious infections, like pneumonia. So, get serious about that New Year resolution and quit cold turkey.
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help with general aches, pains and fever. Before starting these medications, give your doctor a call to ensure it is safe, especially if you are considering them for your child.
The average cold – with the scratchy throat, runny nose and overall fatigue – improves on its own in about seven days. However, the cough can last for much longer.
When you’re feeling less than average, do your co-workers, family members and friends a favor and cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. Then wash your hands with warm, soapy water. Together we can stop the spread of taking sick days.