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Understanding Causes, Symptoms & Prevention of Common Cold
The common cold is an unwelcome but inevitable part of life. Yet many people must understand its causes, symptoms, and prevention strategies. You can reduce your chances of catching a cold by following simple steps. Read on to learn how to conquer the common cold and stay healthy.
What is Common Cold?
The common cold is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by several viruses. It is the most frequent of all infectious illnesses and affects people of all ages, including children. Common symptoms include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, muscle aches, congestion, and headaches. Most instances of this illness are not severe and do not necessitate medical intervention.
A common cold typically resolves within a week, but certain symptoms may persist. While a sore throat or blocked nose may vanish within a few days, a cough can persist for up to three weeks.
Causes of Cold
One of the most prevalent illnesses in the world is the common cold. It is caused by various viruses, including rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, and adenoviruses. Viruses are highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact with an infected individual or surface. Symptoms include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, and fever.
It is common for children to catch 6 to 10 colds per year, typically while attending school, daycare, or kindergarten. Adults experience an average of 2 to 4 colds a year, generally during colder seasons.
Symptoms of Cold
The Common cold is a viral infection which affects the upper respiratory tract. A runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, mild fever, and body aches usually characterize it. The duration of the condition can range from 10 to 14 days and typically does not require medical intervention as it will resolve on its own.
In some cases, the symptoms may worsen after a few days due to increased mucus production and inflammation of the airways. When this happens, it becomes more complicated for your body to clear the virus from your system. This leads to a prolonged illness lasting beyond two weeks, requiring medical attention.
Difference Between Common Cold & Flu
Viral illnesses include both the common cold and flu, but they have many differences. The common cold is milder than the flu, and symptoms typically last for several days. Cold symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, runny nose, or congestion. Generally speaking, it is not accompanied by high fever, headaches, or body aches like with influenza.
Influenza (or “the flu”), on the other hand, is typically more severe than a cold and may be accompanied by a fever (greater than 100°F), chills, headache, and body aches. In some cases, pneumonia can also be a serious complication caused by this. Flu symptoms appear suddenly and last from a few days to two weeks.
Colds usually don't cause serious health issues like pneumonia or bacterial infections or require hospitalization. The flu, on the other hand, can lead to severe complications.
Ways to Prevent Common Cold
- Wash your hands regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Be physically active
- Avoid touching your eyes and mouth with unwashed hands
- Eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables
- Practice good hygiene, such as covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Manage stress levels
- Quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
Diet and lifestyle changes
Diet and lifestyle changes can be powerful preventive measures when fighting the common cold. Consuming a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins helps strengthen your immune system and make it more resilient against infections. It’s important to get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for the antioxidants they provide and lean proteins like fish and chicken,which are needed for energy.
Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking lots of water is key for flushing out toxins from your body. Also, pay attention to getting enough rest so your body can recharge properly.
Ayurvedic Herbs & Supplements to Prevent Cold
1. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce common cold symptoms by fighting off viral infections. It also helps increase immunity levels and improves overall health.
2. Amla: Amla is a powerful antioxidant with high Vitamin C content, which helps build up resistance against infection. It helps clean the body and flushes out toxins that can weaken your immunity system.
3. Ginger: Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce nasal congestion and aids digestion which is especially beneficial when suffering from the common cold.
4. Tulsi: Tulsi has strong antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties that help fight off common cold infections and boost your overall immune system health.
5. Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, known for its powerful antioxidant, antiseptic, and analgesic qualities, which help fight off the common cold virus.
Home Remedies for Cold
One of the most effective home remedies for cold is to stay hydrated. Drink fluids like water, juices, herbal teas, and soups to flush out toxins from your body. Other helpful remedies include getting enough rest and sleep, using a humidifier in your bedroom, gargling with warm salt water several times daily, taking hot showers or baths to reduce congestion, and drinking warm beverages like tea with lemon and honey to soothe sore throats.
List of Hygiene Practices
- Avoid close contact with others. If you can, stay at home while you are sick.
- Cover your nose & mouth while sneezing or coughing. Use tissues when possible and discard them in a trashcan after use.
- Wash your hands with soap regularly for at least 20 seconds
Importance of Boosting Immunity
Immunity is a crucial body system that protects us from disease and illness. A strong immune system helps to detect and fight off any foreign viruses or pathogens that try to enter the body, keeping us healthy and safe. With today's lifestyle, we often don't do enough to maintain a strong immune system. Eating unhealthy foods, lack of sleep, stress, and an overall sedentary lifestyle can greatly reduce your immunity.
Food to Avoid
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt
- Unripe fruits and vegetables
- High-sugar foods like cakes, pastries, and candy
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, or soda
- Alcoholic drinks
Food to Eat
- Fruits with high vitamin C content, such as oranges, tangerines, and lemons.
- Vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, and broccoli are rich in vitamins A and C.
- Whole grains like oats, quinoa, or brown rice for energy-boosting properties.
Zanducare Ayurvedic Medicine & Products for Cold
1. Sonachandi Chyawanplus
Zandu Sonachandi Chyawanplus is a formulated blend of 51 traditional Ayurvedic ingredients that have been scientifically proven to have properties that enhance memory, learning ability, and concentration. It is also rich in antioxidants including vitamin C and has been clinically proven to help protect against coughs, colds, and allergies.
2. Zandu Balm
Zandu Balm is a unique blend of natural ingredients that provides fast relief from headaches and body aches.
3. Kesari Jivan
Zandu Kesari Jivan is a unique herbal supplement that provides the body with a potent dose of energizing support. Enriched with saffron and pearl, it helps to strengthen bones and improve immunity - providing the perfect pick-me-up for those seeking to stay energetic throughout the day.
4. Haldi Drops
Zandu Haldi Drops is a unique blend of four powerful ingredients: saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper. This combination has been widely known for boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, fighting free radicals, and relieving pain and allergies. It's sure to be an effective addition to your health regime
- A common cold typically resolves within a week, but certain symptoms may persist. While a sore throat or blocked nose may vanish within a few days, a cough can persist for up to three weeks. (NIH)
- It is common for children to catch 6 to 10 colds per year, typically while attending school, daycare or kindergarten. Adults experience an average of 2 to 4 colds a year, generally during colder seasons. (NIH)
- Common cold can last anywhere from 10 to 14 days and usually resolves on its own without any medical intervention. (Medlineplus)
- Colds usually don't cause serious health issues like pneumonia, bacterial infections, or require hospitalization. The flu, on the other hand, can lead to severe complications. (CDC)Zandu Sonachandi Chyawanplus is a formulated blend of 51 traditional Ayurvedic ingredients (Zandu)
- Zandu Kesari Jivan is enriched with saffron and pearl, it helps to strengthen bones and improve immunity (Zandu)
- Zandu Haldi Drops is a unique blend of four powerful ingredients: saffron, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper (Zandu)
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of the common cold?
Common cold symptoms can include sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, congestion, coughing, headache, and muscle aches.
How long does the common cold usually last?
The common cold usually lasts for 7 to 10 days.
What causes the common cold?
A virus causes the common cold. The most common cold virus is called rhinovirus.
Is it possible to prevent the common cold?
Several measures can be taken to reduce your chances of catching a common cold, such as washing your hands regularly, avoiding close contact with people with a cold, and getting enough sleep.
Are there any treatments for the common cold?
Treatment can help alleviate symptoms such as cough medicine and decongestants. It is also important to stay hydrated and rest as much as possible.
Should I stay home if I have a cold?
Yes, staying home if you have a cold is advisable to avoid spreading it to other people. You should also practice good hygiene regularly.
What are the best ayurvedic medicine for cold?
You can use Ayurvedic herbs such as ginger, turmeric, holy basil, and licorice root to treat the common cold. Other than this, if you're looking for Zanducare products, it would be beneficial to choose Zandu Sonachandi Chyawanplus, Zandu Balm, or Zandu Kesari Jivan.