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Cold and Cough - Steps to snap out of the phase

Posted On 2016-12-17

Cold and Cough - Steps to snap out of the phase

There are more than two hundred subtly different types of cold virus variants around and therefore it is hardly surprising that we succumb to cold. The virus is transmitted either by direct inhalation (when someone sneezes) or touch. Such infections may also lead to coughing. Flu is always on the rise in winter season with cold, a runny nose, persistent cough and fever.


Here are some of the precautions to beat the cold and cough:


1. Warm your nose

One theory why we catch colds and flu more in winter is that our nose is colder which lowers its resistance to infection. Hence it is advisable to place a scarf over the nose to keep it warm.


2. Don't shake hands

Research has shown that shaking hands transmits ten to 20 times more infection between people as it involves contact over a larger surface area hence the risk of spreading infection is higher.


3. Wash clothes on a hot cycle

The flu virus can survive warm temperatures so if someone in the family is affected, it is advisable to wash their clothes and bedding on a hot wash.


4. Cut down on sugar

Studies have found a direct correlation with immune cells decreasing their potency when the body consumed sugar. Therefore, cutting back on sugar will give better immunity as the phagocytes in the immunity cells can work better.


5. Get eight hours' sleep

Less than seven hours’ sleep a night makes a person three times more likely to catch a cold than someone who gets eight hours, research suggests. Disturbed sleep or lack of sleep interferes with the workings of an immunity gene called TLR-9. Hence, it is very important to get a good night’s sleep.


6. Observe the two-seat rule

The risk of catching flu dramatically increases if a person sits within two seats in any direction of someone infected. It is better to move seats if one sees anyone sniffing or coughing. If moving is not a possibility, the windows should be opened.


7. Ditch the sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is unlikely to be powerful enough to kill the viruses that cause colds and flu (unless it contains 60-70% alcohol) and it won’t work at all if hands are dirty. It is advisable to always wash hands with soap and water to prevent infections.


8. Wash out your nose with salt water

Salt can help reduce the number of colds by preventing germs from taking hold in the nasal cavity.


9. Exercise - but only moderately

Gentle or moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system which can be helpful in fighting against infections.


10. Take vitamin D supplements

Low levels of vitamin D can interfere with bacteria-fighting molecules called hCAP-18 that stimulate immune cells and the risk of catching colds and flu is raised. Taking a vitamin supplement can help.


11. Treat your cold and cough with turmeric

Turmeric is rich in curcumin and volatile oils that have a protective as well as therapeutic action in persons suffering from cough and cold. Haldi also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial activity that can help beat the infection.


12. Drink protective herbal tea

Drinking warm tea with honey also can soothe the throat. Herbal teas combine the beneficial effects of different ingredients such as pepper, ginger, tulsi and cinnamon to help relieve the symptoms of cold and cough and keep the condition at bay.


13. Stay Hydrated

An upper respiratory tract infection like a cold or flu causes postnasal drip where extra secretions trickle down the back of the throat, irritating it and sometimes causing a cough. Drinking fluids helps to thin out the mucus in postnasal drip. Drinking liquids also helps to keep mucous membranes moist. This is particularly helpful in winter when houses tend to be dry.


14. Take Medications to Treat Coughs

If the home remedies do not work, it is better to take a cough syrup (Decongestants, cough suppressants or expectorants), depending upon the kind of cough.

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