Tips for Preventing the Common Cold this Winter

As the winter months are upon us, it is important to take these actions to help prevent yourself from catching the common cold this season. 

Among the many ways to help prevent getting a cold, the most important is to wash your hands regularly. By washing your hands often, you are destroying bugs that you can pick up from touching surfaces that are touched or used by other people that could have potentially being carrying a bug. Light switches and door handles are the areas in an office or school that are touched the most and you should pay careful attention to hand washing after coming in contact with them and other surfaces. Here is a helpful article explaining how to appropriately wash your hands. 

It is also vital that you keep your house and any household items such as cups, glasses, and towels clean, especially if someone in your house has been ill. 

Unsure if you have the common cold or something more serious? Here are some of the symptoms of the common cold can include:

  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches 
  • Coughs 
  • Sneezing
  • Raised temperature 
  • Pressure in your ears and face 
  • Loss of taste and smell 

Treating a cold usually includes some at home-remedies or medications from your local pharmacist. Rest and sleep are very important to getting over a cold as well as drinking plenty of water and fluids such as fruit juice. Home-remedies to relieve any discomfort can include gargling with salt water for sore throat relief, hot tea with honey and lemon for congestion relief, and layers of clothing to help stay warm while fighting off a cold. 

Your local pharmacist can help you find cold medicines to help any symptoms of your cold. There are many types of decongestant sprays or tablets as well as lower the temperature you may have by taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. 

There is also evidence that supplements such as vitamin C, echinacea or garlic can help prevent colds or speed up the recovery process. 

If your symptoms do not get better after a few days, it is time to see your primary care physician for further diagnosis and treatments.