Tips to treat colds and flu

Lesotho Times - - Health -

WITH no cure in sight for the cold or the flu, over-the-counter treat­ments can at best bring symp­tom re­lief or shorten the du­ra­tion of those symp­toms. Or you can take the nat­u­ral ap­proach.

Blow your nose of­ten It’s important to blow your nose reg­u­larly when you have a cold rather than snif­fling mu­cus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pres­sure can cause an ear­ache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a fin­ger over one nostril while you blow gen­tly to clear the other. Wash your hands af­ter blow­ing your nose.

Stay rested Rest­ing when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body di­rect its energy to­ward the im­mune bat­tle. This bat­tle taxes the body. So give it a lit­tle help by ly­ing down un­der a blan­ket.

Gar­gle Gar­gling can moisten a sore throat and bring tem­po­rary re­lief. Try a tea­spoon of salt dis­solved in warm water, four times daily. To re­duce the tickle in your throat, try an as­trin­gent gar­gle — such as tea that con­tains tan­nin — to tighten the mem­branes. Or use a thick, vis­cous gar­gle made with honey or a mix­ture of honey and ap­ple cider vine­gar, a pop­u­lar folk rem­edy. Steep one ta­ble­spoon of rasp­berry leaves or le­mon juice in two cups of hot water and mix in one tea­spoon of honey. Let the mix­ture cool to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore gar­gling. Honey should never be given to chil­dren un­der age 1.

Drink hot liq­uids Hot liq­uids relieve nasal con­ges­tion, help pre­vent dehydration, and soothe the un­com­fort­ably in­flamed mem­branes that line your nose and throat.

Take a steamy shower Steamy show­ers mois­tur­ize your nasal pas­sages and re­lax you. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.

Ap­ply hot or cold packs Ei­ther tem­per­a­ture may help you feel more com­fort­able. You can buy re­us­able hot or cold packs at a drug­store. Or make your own. Take a damp wash- cloth heat it for 55 sec­onds in a mi­crowave (test the tem­per­a­ture first to make sure it’s not scald­ing). Or take a small bag of frozen peas to use as a cold pack.

Sleep with an extra pil­low This will help with the drainage of nasal pas­sages. If the an­gle is too awk­ward, try plac­ing the pil­lows be­tween the mat­tress and the box springs to cre­ate a more grad­ual slope.

Don’t fly un­less nec­es­sary There’s no point adding stress to your al­ready stressed-out up­per re­s­pi­ra­tory sys­tem, and that’s what the change in air pres­sure will do. Fly­ing with cold or flu con­ges­tion can hurt your eardrums as a re­sult of pres­sure changes dur­ing take­off and land­ing. If you must fly, use ade­con­ges­tant and carry a nasal spray with you to use just be­fore take­off and land­ing. Chew­ing gum and swal­low­ing fre­quently can also help relieve pres­sure.

Re­mem­ber, se­ri­ous con­di­tions can mas­quer­ade as the com­mon cold and a mild in­fec­tion can evolve into some­thing more se­ri­ous. If you have se­vere symp­toms or are feel­ing sicker with each pass­ing day, see a doc­tor. — WEBMD

Rest­ing when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body di­rect its energy to­ward the im­mune bat­tle.

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