How to Relieve Cold and Flu Symptoms
Quick flu or cold relief is like a dream that rarely comes true. However, it is achievable if you start using emergency flu remedies as soon as you notice symptoms like widespread body aches and a high fever over 102 o F. The WebMD team describes the following as major cold symptoms to watch out for:
- Stuffy sinuses;
- Congestion and scratchy throat;
- Muscle aches.
Many health care specialists believe that taking an antiviral flu medicine within 48 hours is critical if you want to shorten the healing process. The other trick to speed up cold treatment is to treat each symptom separately – whether with home remedies or taking an effective over the counter flu medicine (OTC). Here we present steps for stop your cold or flu before it slows you down, according to the experts from WebMD and Mayo Clinic.
Clear your stuffy sinuses in a quick and safe way!
Cold and flu treatment can’t be done without clearing your stuffy nose. You may not have a fever, but a stuffy nose is a symptom that you can’t avoid. To achieve quick stuffy nose relief, you may do the following things:
Breathe in some aromatic steam
For this treatment, you can either fill the kitchen sink or bathroom with steamy hot water or use a water diffuser. Then drape your head with a towel. Lean over the steam and breathe deeply. If you add 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger, a teaspoon of the best over the counter cold medicine with menthol (like a common menthol ointment), with several drops of eucalyptus oil, you may speed up the process of unclogging your nasal passages.
Take a warm shower
Close the bathroom door and run the hot water to create a sort of a personal sauna. The steamy air can quickly cleanse your nose, head, and chest, making your sinuses moistened and thinning mucus.
Apply a moist, warm compress over your stuffy nose
If you place a warm compress on your cheeks and sinuses (the perfect way to relieve the stuffy nose at work), you may reduce your head’s throbbing and alleviate any difficulties breathing through the nose in just a few hours. But make sure that the compress is not too hot. Otherwise, you can burn yourself.
Buy a saline nasal spray
Despite the fact they aren’t classified as a common medicine for flu, salt water sprays may significantly clear and moisturize your nose, reduce postnasal drip, and, more importantly, keep dry nasal membranes moistened. The best advantage of such sprays is that they can be given to kids because they are safe and work quickly.
Last but not least – any decongestant spray
Despite all its possible side effects including headaches and digestive problems, using this cold medication can provide fast relief for a stuffy nose with swelling. You can use them safely for 3 days. Otherwise, even the best medicine for flu from this category may only worsen the nasal congestion.
For nighttime congestion relief
You can use a warm mist humidifier or vaporizer to unblock the head and chest. Alternatively, you can apply nasal strips – they are sold in most network pharmacies all over the United States.
Home saline rinse “recipe” for quick stuffy nose relief
- Mix ¼ teaspoon salt with a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in warm water (8 ounces);
- Take a bulb syringe (can be bought at any drugstore) and fill it with this mixture;
- Then lean over the sink, while holding 1 nostril closed with the finger and squirt the mixture into the other one;
- Let the rinse drain and then gently blow your nose;
- Repeat the rinse twice or thrice per day, for each nostril;
- For this purpose, you may use a special neti pot. You can recognize it in a drugstore easily because it looks like a little teapot.
Can you get cough relief in just 1-2 days?
If you are a fan of home remedies for treating cough (like honey), do not expect quick results. Yes, most medications can cause side effects, but, on the other hand, only OTC cough medications may promise quick relief. Your choice varies between 4 groups of cough medications:
- suppressants for soothing the sore throat and reducing the cough attacks (shouldn’t be taken if you have asthma);
- expectorants (mostly based on guaifenesin) may turn a dry cough to wet one;
- sugar-free cough syrups or hard candies that may calm tickling in the throat;
- topical medicines for rubbing onto your chest (for example, with menthol).
These medications should not be given to kids under 4 years old. There are certain cough syrups for children that are available without a prescription in most drug stores.
How can you beat high fever and muscle aches quickly?
The only way to beat a high fever effectively is to take any OTC cold medicine from the drug family of analgesic pills like Acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Any analgesic cold medicine can quickly lower a high temperature and reduce the accompanying muscle aches. Just carefully follow the recommended dosage in the drug’s instructions. Keep in mind that giving Aspirin to a child younger than 12 years is a bad idea.
Life-saving tips for a quick cold or flu relief
Even if you have to work while sick (this isn’t ideal but sometimes it’s not up to you to decide), then, at least, try reduce major cold symptoms with these tips that you may use both at home and work:
- Blow your nose as often as you can. But do it in the right way. Never blow hard, because excess pressure may trigger ear pain. Instead, gently press your finger over one nostril and slowly blow to clear the other nostril. After blowing both nostrils, wash your hands with a disinfecting soap;
- Rest as much as you can. At work, try to take short breaks every hour. You need to let your body fight against the virus in your body. The best way to boost your immune system at home may be lying down under a warm blanket;
- Consider frequent gargles to moisten your sore throat. To do this, you may gargle with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of table salt and warm water. Additionally, you may add 1 teaspoon of organic honey, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or raspberry leaves. Repeat at least 4 times throughout the day;
- Drink plenty of hot liquids to prevent dehydration from taking a medicine for cold. Medical professionals recommend drinking no less that 8 cups of liquids throughout the day – bone-based broths, milk and honey, teas. However, avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, which may only increase dehydration;
- Don’t fly while feeling bad, because the jetlag may only worsen the symptoms of flu and cold;
- To speed up the effect from any home remedies for colds at nighttime, try to get no less than 8 hours of sleep per day, preferably with an extra pillow under your head. In this way, you can prevent night nasal congestion blocking your airways.
Keep in mind that sometimes cold and flu can’t be treated at home. If you have the high fever longer than 4 days and nasal congestion along with a sore throat, seek medical assistance without delay.