How To Stop A Cold From Lingering
Okay, you’ve got a cold. It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last. If you’re like most Americans you can expect between one and two weeks of a runny nose, coughing, sore throat and maybe a headache. Of course there’s no cure for the common cold, but you can cut the time you suffer with its symptoms. Here’s how:
TAKE ZINC AND ECHINACEA: At the first indication of a cold, go to the health food store or the pharmacy’s natural remedy section. Studies show that zinc nasal sprays can help reduce a cold's severity as well as its length. Scientists suspect that spritzing with a zinc spray coats the cold virus and prevents it from attaching to nasal cells where they enter the body. Also, one study of 120 people with cold-like symptoms who took 20 drops of echinacea every two hours for 10 days had briefer colds than the folks in the study who didn’t take echinacea.
TRY OTC REMEDIES. Some non-prescription medications can lessen your symptoms. For example, decongestants can help make breathing easier by shrinking swollen mucous membranes in the nose. Use for no more than two or three days. But before you take any OTC meds, speak with your health care provider or the drug store pharmacist to be sure the ingredients won’t affect other medications that you’re taking. FYI: Cough preparations are usually not very effective.