Written by Katelyn Schwanke (last updated September 5, 2008)
The common cold is a small infection of the nose and throat. The common cold does not generally result in any long term complications. The cold is a small infection in the nose and throat and can be treated relatively easily. Symptoms generally include headache, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat and fatigue. Adults and children alike will catch the cold four times a year on average so knowing how to treat it is very important.
Treatment is very simple but is not a "cure"; the cold will disappear on its own, treatment simply helps make you feel a little less miserable. Colds generally last 7-10 days and during that time there a lot of things you can do to make yourself feel better. Over the counter medications are available for coughs, headaches and nasal congestion. Be wary of any packages that make promises to cure your cold, it is not possible (there are not even any prescriptions that can do that). Getting plenty of fluids and plenty of sleep are the best things to help the cold disappear more quickly and make you a little less miserable. Believe it or not, chicken noodle soup has proven itself in laboratories and really does help relieve symptoms of the cold. Beyond over the counter medications a humidifier will help to soothe coughs and sneezing. Humidifiers add moisture to the air so throat irritation is minimal.
Prevention of the common cold is easily achieved through cleanliness. Wash your hands, properly dispose of used tissues, keep your house clean, do not share food, cups or utensils with other people and do not spend lots of time with people who are already ill. Getting plenty of rest, exercise and proper nutrition will also help prevent the cold by building up your immune system.
Proper prevention and taking care of yourself if you do catch the cold can help make it all a little less miserable and help you get back to normal life more quickly.
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