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Ways to Get Rid of a Head Cold

This article details the various medical and home remedies, which will help you to understand how to get rid of a head cold, also known as common cold. Read on.
Everyone of us suffers from the occasional bouts of head cold, once in a while. It is, basically, the common cold with the maximum discomfort in the facial region. Head cold is frustrating, to say the least. It neither has us bed-stricken altogether nor makes us feel comfortable completely. It is not life-threatening, but it certainly doesn't make our life easy for those 10 - 15 days, when we have an infection. As the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases testifies, there is no cure for head cold and the illness resolves on its own over the course of 10 - 15 days. What we can do is minimize the head cold effects and feel better temporarily, at least to have a good night's sleep. Let us see in detail the causes, symptoms, and eventually how to get rid of a head cold.

Causes and Symptoms of a Head Cold

A head cold can be caused by about 200 different types of viruses called coronaviruses, rhinoviruses and influenza like viruses. Now, that's a huge number! Your body can be susceptible to any of these viruses, if your immune system is not strong enough. It is particularly observed during the change of seasons. When winter arrives, sometimes the drop in temperature can be sudden and you may get affected with some virus. Children do have a weak immune system, hence, are more susceptible to common cold. The head cold symptoms are stuffy nose, mild fatigue, itchy or sore throat, cough, watery eyes, slight body aches, mild headache and low-grade fever. Sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion, are most commonly seen. If the person gets high fever with fatigue, and the color of the phlegm is green or dark, then it is a certain case of viral infection.

Different Ways to Get Rid of a Head Cold

Even though I have said that there is no exact cure for a head cold, there are many ways through which you can get rid of it over a period of time and minimize the discomfort caused. There are many medical and home remedies to get rid of a head cold. I have enlisted most of them below.

Nasal Drops and Sprays
Using nasal drops or a spray is the best way to get rid of a head cold. It works by narrowing the blood vessels in the nose area and removes the airborne irritants like pollen or dust. These are prescribed by many doctors to fight the congestion in the nostrils. They are, however, not advisable for children.

Medications
There are many pain killers available for treating headaches. Using a eucalyptus or a menthol salve is one of the best head cold treatment. Also, for treating a cough, sore throat, etc., you can use syrups like Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec or Triaminic, which are easily available over-the-counter. Echinacea tablets are a kind of herbal medicines, which you can take according to a doctor's recommendation. Many other antibiotics should be used only on doctor's prescription, and if the symptoms are severe.

Homemade Remedies
  • Blow your nose whenever you have a feeling of mucus gathering inside your nose and throat area. This helps to reduce the congestion in your nostrils and will ease your breathing.
  • Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most essential things, when you suffering from cold. There's a lot of dehydration involved, so keep drinking fluids like water, juices and lemon water. But avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Get warm salt water in a coffee cup and gargle with it. Let a little of it run down your throat. Make sure not to make it too strong with salt, otherwise, it will burn. It helps in clearing the throat passage and makes you feel warm.
  • Have chicken soup, which helps in the movement of the immune system cells called neutrophils, causing an inflammatory response in the body. Also, it gets rid of the viruses with increase in the movement of the mucus.
  • A small amount of ginger in boiling water with honey is also very effective. Or try brewing chili, ginger and garlic in a pot and drink the warm tea of these spices. Through this, you can get instant relief from the headache and stuffy nose.
  • Make sure your regular diet includes iron, zinc and multivitamins rich food. Your immune system can be strengthened with the help of foods rich in Vitamin C.
These tips on how to get rid of a head cold can go a long way in ensuring that the effects are minimized, and gradually you will feel well. But, if the symptoms persist for more than ten days, it is advisable that you immediately visit a doctor for further treatment.
By Rohan Bhalerao
Published: 3/15/2011
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