There's no cure for the common cold, but there are things you can do to help feel better while your immune system fights the virus.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases offers these suggestions:
- Rest in bed.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- To help a sore throat, suck on ice chips, use lozenges or a throat spray, or gargle with warm salt water.
- For a stuffy nose, use a saline nasal spray or decongestant.
- Apply petroleum jelly to a sore, raw nose.
- Take acetaminophen or aspirin to help manage fever and headache. Never give aspirin to children younger than 13, however.
Health Tip: Before You Take a Decongestant
Though decongestant medications can offer much-needed relief when mucus plugs your nose, the drugs could be harmful to some people.
The American Academy of Family Physicians says you should speak to your doctor before taking a decongestant if you have:
- Heart problems or high blood pressure.
- Problems with the thyroid.
- Problems with the prostate.