If you are feeling under the weather, it helps to know what you have and how to deal with it. Common colds are called “common” because it’s something that people get all the time. Although they are not necessarily dangerous to one’s health, they can be quite uncomfortable. In fact, benign as they may be, the common cold and cough is the leading cause of absence from work or school.
Beating A Cough, Cold, Sore Throat in Los Angeles
Typically coughs, colds and sore throats are caused by viral infections and go away in a few days, where as something more severe, like strep throat, which is a bacterial infection, can last a little longer. Also, things like cigarette smoke, pollution and allergens can cause sore throat. The cough and cold virus spreads similar to a flu virus, as they spread from one person to another via the respiratory system, and are transmitted through coughs and sneezes, and germ-ridden surfaces.
If you have a cough, treatment is very similar to treatment for a common cold. Essentially, there is no cure. Antibiotics are ineffective because coughs and colds are viral and not bacterial.
The best way to get over a cold is:
- Drink plenty of fluids but avoid caffeinated drinks
- Eat healthy, well balanced meals to give your body the nutrients it needs to recover
- Gargle with salt water to alleviate a sore throat
- If you want relief from symptoms, use over the counter remedies, like cough and cold medicines
The best way to prevent a cold is:
- Keep your hands clean. Wash with soap and water or use anti-bacterial gel
- If you are going to cough or sneeze, turn your head away from people and cover your mouth, and sneeze into a tissue and not your hand
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose if people around you are sick
- Don’t share items with people who are sick
- Avoid crowds during peak flu season, which is August through March
Statistics on colds and coughs:
- Children typically get colds and coughs 6-12 times a year
- Adults on average get about 2-4 colds and coughs a year
- Seniors typically get about 1 cold or cough a year