Coughs and Colds in Highland and New Paltz

Treating Upper Respiratory Infections-The Common Cold

It’s that time of year again, when close quarters and dry conditions offer the perfect environment for the common cold virus to spread throughout the general population. During the winter months many people spend more time indoors which results in more contact with other people. In addition, many areas of the country are also encountering lower humidity levels which provides an excellent environment for viruses to grow and thrive.

The first telltale signs of a cold are a scratchy sore throat, watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing. As the cold progresses, a person may encounter a headache, minor body aches, fatigue and perhaps even a low-grade fever. Getting extra fluids is one of the most effective strategies to combat the symptoms of a cold, however cold sufferers should avoid caffeinated beverages. Hot tea with honey or straight raw honey is a good choice and will help to coat and soothe the throat area. Spending time in a room with a humidifier will also help, as well as breathing in steam either from a shower or bath. A dose of UMCKA herbal medication has been shown to be effecive, as is Vicks Vapor Rub.

If at all possible, stay away from public places at least the first 2-3 days of a cold as that is when the virus is most easily spread to others. Your co-workers or classmates will thank you and for those who are suffering from fatigue, headache and body aches, a day or two of rest will assist in helping the body to fight off the virus.

Fortunately, unless a person is very young, elderly or immuno compromised, upper respiratory infections are just one of life’s minor nuisances. Anyone who does fit one of these three categories should check with their doctor to make sure their cold will not cause more serious health issues.

Anyone who has a cold that lasts more than five or so days may benefit from a visit to the doctor. FirstCare Medical Center sees about 40 respiratory infection illnesses each day. Come see us!

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