A cold can make you feel miserable, and you want to get relief quickly so you can continue with your usual life without feeling exhausted, congested, and in pain. You can often treat a cold at home yourself, but sometimes you need to seek medical help. Here are some home remedies you can try to help your cold symptoms feel better and a look at when you should see a doctor for cold treatments.
Cold Treatments That Might Make You Feel Better
If your nose is stuffy and your throat is sore, you may not have much of an appetite. You may not even want to drink anything. However, you have to guard against dehydration. Drinking liquids keeps you hydrated. Try drinking warm liquids that soothe your throat. You may even want to try drinking soup or broth so you can get a little nutrition too.
Gargling with salt water might help your sore throat. You might find relief from stuffiness and congestion by running a vaporizer at night when you're sleeping, especially if you breathe through your mouth due to a stuffed nose. You'll probably be fatigued when you have a cold, so take time to rest. Take off from work so you can spend time sleeping and resting until you start feeling better.
When To See Your Doctor For A Cold
A virus causes a common cold, so antibiotics won't help you get well. It isn't always necessary to see a doctor when you have a cold, but sometimes it's a good idea. Colds can turn into other types of infections or they may be mistaken for other problems, such as a sinus infection. When you see a doctor, you'll get a diagnosis of your problem, and if you have a bacterial infection rather than a viral one, then your doctor can give you antibiotics so you can heal.
If you have a high fever or a fever that lasts a few days, call your doctor and ask for advice. If you have unusual symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, or chest pain, be sure to let your doctor know. A cold can last for several days, but after the initial few days of being sick, you should gradually feel better. If your condition doesn't get better in several days, if it gets worse, or if you get better and then relapse, it's good to see a doctor.
If you have a chronic medical condition, such as COPD or asthma, call your doctor when you have a cold to get advice for treatment. Your doctor may need to adjust your usual medications or provide other prescription drugs to help you fight the cold while not making your medical condition worse. Also, it's good to see your doctor to get advice on the right over-the-counter cold medications to take if your doctor advises them. When you take prescription medications, you have to be careful about taking OTC medications and supplements.
When you have a bad cold and feel miserable, you may worry you have something besides the common cold. Rather than worry, call your doctor and describe your symptoms or set up an appointment so you can get medical care if your doctor thinks you need it.