Avoid Catching a Cold
Edited by Debbie, Timbuktu, Charmed, Eng and 5 others
You wake up in the morning and your throat feels sore, your nose is stuffy and you can't stop sneezing! All of us have experienced the symptoms of a cold. What causes a cold? Well, a cold is caused by a virus. We can get this virus by touching things that other people have touched that have had a cold. Then we can spread it to other people. We can also catch it through the air breathing it in through our noses and mouth. There are precautions we can take to keep ourselves from getting a cold.
- 1Wash your hands. Do this regularly to avoid germs.Advertisement
- 2Take vitamins. To help build up the body's immune system against a virus.Advertisement
- 3Stay away from someone who has a cold. If you are around them, do not share or use anything the other person has. The cold virus is also transmitted by airborne virus, so keep your distance from someone with a cold especially when they sneeze. Sneezes have been show to project virus carrying spray up to 16 feet. Even after a sneeze is finished the virus remains airborne for sometime. Exit the room as quickly as possible without breathing if possible. Wash your hands again.
- 4Eat healthy. Foods with protein and vitamin C can fight viruses.
Helpful facts about colds and how to avoid catching the cold virus
- 1The common cold is one of the most common causes of why human beings lose school and work time. In the U.S.A., up to 22 million school days are lost due to people being sick with colds. There are over 200 different viruses that can cause colds and they have varying severity.Advertisement
- 2The soft lining of the nose and throat are what are being infected when you catch the common cold, which is a contagious viral disease. It leads to the irritating condition wherein you have a runny nose and a sore throat.
- 3Recovery usually happens within a week or two because it is a relatively mild sickness. But sometimes it occurs with the participation of other illnesses like influenza.
- 4Generally, most people will catch a cold up to a maximum of four times in year. It usually afflicts people of all ages in the cold winter months.
- 5Possible complications include inflammation of the eyes, inflammation of the middle ear, pneumonia, sinusitis, and tonsillitis. The possible cause of these complications is that the irritated mucous membrane is infected by a pesky virus or opportunistic bacteria which normally would be kept at bay by your immune system. However while fighting the cold virus, your immune system is weaker, and more susceptible to bacterial infection.
- 6The secretion produced by the runny nose at first looks like water but it thickens and becomes more yellowish when the cold worsens. It becomes very hard to breathe through the nose when its soft lining steadily swells up.
- 7Colds are usually compared or are confused with influenza because they have similar symptoms. In influenza, there is also a watery and runny secretion from the nose, but it usually does not worsen to the point that it affects breathing through the nose, unlike colds.
- 8After shaking hands or touching a person with a cold, do not touch your eyes or nose. This is a very common way to have the infection spread to other people.
- 9Crowded, poorly ventilated, stuffy conditions increases the risk of contracting the cold virus. So, stay away from this kind of atmosphere.
- 10Especially after blowing your nose or doing something which will stain your hands or make them feel sticky, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap.
- 11Rooms you frequent should be well ventilated at all times.
- 12You should not feel embarrassed wearing a surgical mask several times in a day, especially if you are the type of person who easily catches a cold. In addition, you should wear that surgical mask if you feel you will be exposed in a place or situation during the day wherein there will be a lot of strangers and you will be having a large percentage of risk of contracting a virus. Erase the stigma of wearing a surgical mask in public. It is for your own protection.
- 13Drinking plenty of fluids, of which special mention is water, is very helpful for your health. Water is the "miracle liquid". Do not believe the marketers of other energy drinks or boosters which are chemically processed. Not only are they expensive, but they do not have any medical claims to back them up. Water will flush your system. It will wash out the poisons and the toxins as it re-hydrates you.
- 14When you stop smoking cigarettes, you are taking an effective step in avoiding colds for yourself and your loved ones.If you have a baby or small children, and then you smoke in their vicinity, they have a larger percentage of probability that they will develop colds and other respiratory illnesses than if you do not smoke. Cigarette smoke does not cause the colds (It is viruses that causes colds) - but second hand smoke can irritate and damage the toddlers and the kids' respiratory tract and decrease the effectiveness of their immune system. This makes them susceptible to catching the colds virus because their system is weak. Thus, for their sake, do not smoke.
- 15Fruits and vegetables help you in what the expert nutritionists say that prevention is better than curing an illness before it starts at any stage in your life. Fruits and vegetables have natural chemicals that have nutrients that are beneficial to the body. It is being suggested that if you cannot consume them in their raw (the best) form, they should be eaten in the form of a salad, or enjoyed through soup.
- 16Temporarily use disposable items like disposable cups and utensils when someone is infected with colds in the household. This is to avoid the accidental spread of viruses especially among children who are not so careful about the use of their own drinking glass or dining utensils.
- 17Keep household items clean. Clean frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, computer or Laptop keyboards, drawer pulls, telephones and cellphones, light switches, counter-tops, remote control units, sinks and basin covers. These surfaces can harbor viruses for up to several hours after they were touched or used by an infected person in the household. Wipe and clean them with soap and water or with a disinfectant solution.
- 18Clean the toys of the children. Kids are the ones most prone to colds (aside from the senior citizens). Make it a part of the weekly schedule to also disinfect their toys.
- 19Use paper towels instead of cloth towels in the kitchen and the bathroom to be used after hand washing. Cloth towels are discouraged to be used because germs live on for several hours on their surfaces.
- 20Used tissues and paper towels should be thrown away immediately after use. Both are major sources of virus and they can contaminate anything that they touch.
- 21Each toothbrush should be kept in a separate container. Do not let the toothbrushes of the members of the household kiss each other in one container which almost always is wet because they are kept in the bathroom. Wetness is the best friend of germs and viruses and they thrive so well there that kissing toothbrushes is a great colds transmitter for them. Remember that germs and viruses do not survive so well on dry surfaces.
- 22Keep warm. Grandmother was correct all along. Making yourself warm can make you avoid not only colds but also coughs and flu. Shivering from the cold will rattle our immune system and make us susceptible to colds. In winter or cold weather, lower levels of sunlight also affect the way the immune system works. Do you know that we lose up to 30 percent of body heat through our head? So wear a hat or a cap or anything to protect your head, especially in icy weather.
- 23Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent colds. Although direct evidence is not available, adequate sleep, physical exercise (with sweating, but should be within your personal capacity), and good nutrition all help in contributing to a perfectly working immune system that is ready to fight germs and viruses.
- 24Postmenopausal women who chose brisk walking as their physical exercise and do it, on average, 30 minutes per day, for five days in a week have increased blood flow, which stimulates their immune system. They are at an advantage in avoiding colds than their sedentary and inactive counterparts who are twice as likely to catch a cold virus.
- 25Stress control. Emotionally stressed people, as shown in studies, can have weaker immune systems. Thus, they are more prone to catching colds than their calmer counterparts who knows how to counter negative emotions like anger, depression, resentment, and sadness.
- 26A little bit of pleasant stress to the body, which a manageable exercise routine can do, is beneficial to the body. Doing anything in such a way that you overdo it, like for example, playing full court basketball at the age of 50 may be too much for your middle aged body. You are defeating the purpose of exercise. Do not overdo it. Rather, do something that fits your age. Tai chi, brisk walking, doubles tennis might be more to your body's liking. Remember, your goal is to strengthen your immune system, not to tire yourself out.
- 27There are studies that show that vitamin C, zinc and garlic supplements and echinacea (a herb) help in avoiding the cold or in reducing its duration or frequency. But consult your doctor first.
- In one study, people who take echinacea came down with fewer colds. If ever the echinacea consumers did get sick, their colds symptoms (weakness, sweating, chills, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, and headaches) were less difficult to cure. Echinacea is observed to help people who are susceptible to be taken down by several colds in a year. Their frequency of having colds lessen. This herb works through strengthening a cell's protective membrane, making it difficult for viral invasion to occur and making it more resistant to infection. Echinacea, as well as Licorice and the Chinese herb Astragalus, increase T-cell activity which improves general immunity.
- Echinacea and Licorice slow down virus duplication through increased production of macrophages. Macrophages are white blood cells that consume the viruses. When taken as preventive medicine from colds, echinacea should be taken for one to two weeks. Then stop for a week. This procedure is also advised when taking other herbs. It is like teaching your immune system to operate. Then giving it the opportunity to practice.
- It is just fine to combine herbs and over the counter remedies to fight colds. For example, be treated with the herbal steam in the morning before working. Then use the spray and lozenges while you are busy during the day.
Natural ways to avoid catching a cold
Taking any forms of medications can be bothersome and also a problem. It is bothersome because you have to take the medicines twice or thrice daily or as advised by your doctor, and it is also a problem because any medications can cause some adverse effects. You can actually avoid catching a cold by just following the natural and helpful ways below:
- 1Wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap or a rubbing alcohol. Colds and flu are viral. The disease can spread from person to person through a direct contact. Wherever you are, there are people who may have this disease, and it is so unfortunate if the colds and flu virus chooses you as a target. You can actually prevent this through washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap or with alcohol, because it is likely to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria on your hands. The truth is that, every day you always touch something which may have touched by other people, especially those who may have a cold. This way, there's a possibility of contagion. To avoid this circumstance, you may want to rub that thing first with wet tissue but soaked with isopropyl alcohol. You may also want to wash your hands several times a day with anti-bacterial soap.
Tips, tricks and warnings
- Exercise is a great immune booster.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Control stress. Studies show that people with weak immune systems are more likely to catch a cold.
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