Cold symptoms: How to get rid of a cold fast and treat symptoms

The common cold is caused by a virus, which needs to be cleared by the body naturally before symptoms will completely disappear.

Colds usually last for about one to two weeks, which can be annoying if symptoms are severe.

However, it is possible to relieve symptoms which can help speed up the recovery process.

As winter approaches, follow these five tips from Harley Street doctor Arun Thiyagarajan, to encourage a speedy recovery.

Stay hydrated

Honey and lemon, water and clear fluids are the recommended beverages during a cold, as they help to loosen nasal congestion.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will worsen dehydration and possibly worsen symptoms.

Use home remedies

Gargling salt water can provide temporary relief to an itchy and scratchy sore throat.

Warm fluids like chicken soup can also help soothe congestion by easing mucus flow.

Get some rest

It is important to give the body time to rest in order to heal appropriately, according to Dr Thiyagarajan.

“It’s likely the more you rest, the quicker you will recover.”

Combat congestion

Congestion and a feeling of stuffiness can be improved by taking over-the-counter remedies.

There are many medicines out there, and even regular intake of paracetamol and ibuprofen can dramatically reduce symptoms.

Try steam inhalation

Dr Thiyagarajan recommends steam inhalation as a good technique to provide imminent relief from cold symptoms, but warns to make sure boiling water doesn’t come into contact with skin.

“The most important thing to remember is that it will pass and if you stick to those techniques you will feel better very quickly,” said Dr Thiyagarajan.

“If your symptoms however do not improve over that time frame, it is important that you consult your doctor.”

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