How to Treat a Cold?

Find out 3 effective methods to treat your cold symptoms.

Sanaz Majd, MD,
December 24, 2011

Question: How to Treat a Cold?

1.      Take Care of Yourself – Get plenty of rest and eat right. Your body is working hard to get better; give it all the help you can. You don’t have to lie in bed all day, but don’t stay up late watching TV.

2.      Treat Symptoms – Decongestants, cough medications, and pain and fever reducers are available separately or in combinations of all sorts. Antihistamines, which are present in many cold medications, aren’t much good for a cold, although they may make it easier to sleep. Check the labels and pick a medication that matches your symptoms.

3.      Moisturize – Using a humidifier and saline nasal spray can make your mucous easier to blow out of your nose. Keeping things loose will make it less likely for a sinus or ear infection to creep in.

*NOTE: You may have heard of recent warnings advising parents not to use cold medications in young children. That's not because they are dangerous, but because no study has shown they really help children. Without that benefit, even the really small risk these drugs pose is not worth taking. Don't give cold medication to kids under 2.

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