Dealing with Cold

Cold is a notorious and annoying visitor during Winters. It spoils the fun of the winter and spoils the mood! Here are some tips on battling the cold.

Fighting symptoms of cold

If you already have a blocked nose and bad throat:
  • Watch out for fever. Low grade fever is typical of viral-infection and plenty of rest and warm fluids is enough. Fever over 100 F may need standard over-the-counter drugs. Fever above 102-103 is serious and needs a visit to the Doctor.
  • Blocked nose can spoil the sleep. Steam inhalation and saline-nasal-drops can help. Blow your nose and clear the mucus before applying steam or nasal drops.
  • Babies have trouble feeding if their nose is blocked because they cannot breathe. Saline drops can help clear their nose before they start feeding.
  • Sore throat needs hot water. Green tea is good. Hot milk with turmeric is another old home-remedy that helps. One can also drink hot water with ginger & honey. Grate the ginger and boil it in water to get the ginger-extract out. Drink it warm with honey.
  • Hot tea with ginger and tulsi is another great favorite.
  • Of course, these hot drinks can be sipped any time – even if you are well. They are a great way to stay hydrated and provide good nutrients.

Avoid getting cold

Prevention is, of course, better than cure.
  • A warm water gargle after eating oily or cold foods will help avoid throat-infection. Salt water is even better.
  • Don’t let a throat irritation snow-ball into an infection. Take vicks/strepsils etc. Switch to warm water and hot-drinks. Avoid oily and cold foods. Gargle before bed!
  • Prefer drinking warm water to cold water during the season.
  • Do not be caught out without adequate winter wear! Kids and old people should cover their head and ears to avoid exposure.
  • Kids are fussy about taking a blanket – have them wear socks and warm clothes before sleep.
  • Avoid exposure to cold air with wet hair straight out of bath!
  • Exercise to keep your immune system armed and ready. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. There is no substitute for good immunity.
  • Take Vitamin D supplements if you are not getting enough sun.
  • Flu vaccine is advisable for senior-citizens for a temporary boost in immunity.

Watch out

  • A prolonged cough for weeks and months should be shown to a doctor. It could become a chronic condition.
  • In old age an untreated and prolonged cold can develop into pneumonia and can become life-threatening.

For more details, see NIH website here.