Whoever discovers a cure for the common cold will surely be doing all of us a favour. Many of us are familiar with those dreaded symptoms - a dry sore throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, probably because we had a cold in the recent past.
But the truth is viruses that cause colds keep changing every year so it is hard to develop a cure and resting in bed with plenty of fluids is probably the best thing for a cold.
People mistakenly think that antibiotics will treat a cold but these don?t work on viruses. Antibiotics will only be useful for a cold if you develop a secondary bacterial infection from it, like a chest infection or a sinus infection.
People often refer to the cold as the flu but the flu is a more severe infection. It comes on very quickly and will often be accompanied by very sore achy muscles and a high fever. The flu also tends to last longer than a cold (about 1-3 weeks).
When the symptoms of a cold become too much to bear medicines can help. Self Care pharmacists can help find the right medicine for your symptoms.
?For example, lozenges or gargles are available for sore throats,? recommend Self Care pharmacists. ?Decongestant tablets, nose drops, nasal sprays or steam inhalations can all help a runny nose. Cough suppressants can dull a dry irritating cough and expectorants can help loosen phlegm.?
Products that treat more than one symptom at a time are also available. However Self Care pharmacists advise that it is better to treat individual symptoms. This way you can stop a medicine when your symptom goes away.
It is sometimes easy to double up on medicines when you take lots of different cold remedies. For example, someone may take a cold preparation for a runny nose not realising it also contains paracetamol, and then take paracetamol separately for a headache. Check with your pharmacist first if you are unsure.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or glaucoma, talk to your Self Care pharmacist as some cold medicines can interact with medicines for these conditions. Check with your pharmacist before taking any medicine if you are pregnant.
Remember the best thing for a cold is resting and plenty of fluids. Resting gives your body a chance to recover and concentrates all your energy on fighting the infection. Some people find a hot lemon drink and some vitamin C also helps their cold.
If you have some questions or need treatments for colds please contact us