YOUR head throbs, your nose runs and you’re coughing. While the common cold isn’t usually serious, it’s nothing to sneeze at either. Cold symptoms can make the average adult miserable for about a week.
If you catch a cold, besides getting enough rest, these remedies might help you feel better:
- Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which can make dehydration worse.
- Soothe a sore throat. A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat.
- Combat stuffiness. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays can help relieve stuffiness and congestion.
- Relieve pain. Adults can take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin.
- Sip warm liquids. A cold remedy used in many cultures, taking in warm liquids, such as chicken soup, tea, or warm apple juice, might be soothing and might ease congestion by increasing mucus flow.
- Add moisture to the air. A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Don’t use steam, which hasn’t been shown to help and may cause burns.