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Dr Russ Blog - The Common Cold - What to Do?
The Common Cold - What to Do?
Created on 10/19/2012

The common cold really is common - and it's pretty common these days. It seems many of us have the symptoms of a scratchy throat, runny nose, cough and sneezing and congestion.

The good news is that colds usually go away on their own and last at most
7-10 days, though coughing may persist a bit longer for some people.

Even better news?

You can do a lot to help prevent catching a cold, like:

- washing your hands frequently (cold viruses end up on surfaces we touch)

- not touching your eyes, nose and mouth frequently (you know those surfaces we touched? If you don't wash your hands often you'll spread those viruses to the nose and mouth and eyes where they can end up causing a cold)

- get plenty of sleep each night - getting less than 7 hours a night slightly weakens our immune systems

- manage stress in healthy ways - laugh, meditate, exercise - do something healthy that also helps you manage stress, because stress can also lessen the effectveness of immune defenses

- stay well-hydrated to help keep your mucous membranes moist

If you do get a cold, some of these same things can help make it go away quicker and make it more bearable. In addition, you can consider using:

- echinacea - an herbal remedy often used against the cold, it is effective for some and not for others - be careful if you have allergies

- andrographis - another herbal remedy that appears to help shorten the duration of colds

- zinc - some studies suggest benefits with zinc lozeneges, others say they don't work; a word of caution is due with respect to zinc nasal sprays - there have abeen a number of reports of people losing their sense of smell when using these products - best to use something else

There are plenty of other options available, but the best way to go is to baby yourself - get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and try not to go to work until you're feeling better - you just might get other folks sick, too.

Stay well, be well.
Dr. Russ
** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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