How to Diagnose and Treat Common Cold?

Common cold is easy to identify but tricky to treat. As it’s not a serious disease, people with common cold usually get better in one or two weeks. Treatments for common cold usually include decongestant nasal sprays, cough syrups and pain relievers.

Diagnosis of common cold:

Most people with a common cold can be diagnosed by their signs and symptoms. If your doctor suspects you have a bacterial infection or other condition, he or she may order a chest X-ray or other tests to exclude other causes of your symptoms.

Treatments for common cold: pain relievers, nasal sprays and cough syrups

Ironically, There’s no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses and shouldn’t be used unless there’s a bacterial infection. The major functions of these measures are to relieve signs and symptoms.

Pain relievers. For fever, sore throat and headache, many people turn to acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other mild pain relievers. However, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. In fact, you may consider giving your child over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications designed for infants or children. These include acetaminophen (Tylenol, Infant’s Feverall, others) or ibuprofen (Pediatric Advil, Motrin Infant, others) to ease symptoms.

Decongestant nasal sprays. Adults can use decongestant drops or sprays for up to five days. Prolonged use can cause rebound symptoms. Children younger than six shouldn’t use decongestant drops or sprays.

Cough syrups. The FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends against giving OTC cough and cold medicines to children younger than age 4. These remedies may not be beneficial and safe for children. Yet an older child may benefit from cough syrups.

Effective home remedies: eating chicken soup and drinking

Below are some effective home remedies you may want to try:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water are good choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Eating chicken soup.
  • Resting.
  • Adjusting your room’s temperature and humidity. Keep your room warm and humid.
  • Soothing your throat. A saltwater gargle — 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in a 4-ounce to 8-ounce glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat.
  • Using saline nasal drops. You can buy these drops over-the-counter, and they can help relieve symptoms, even in children.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.