Get That Cold Gone In 12 Hours

Colds can eventually turn into more serious conditions like sinusitis, chest infections or ear infections.  A healthy lifestyle, while being the best defense against the virus, is not enough when you already have the bug.  Before the cold gets out of hand, here are a few things you can do to get it off you.

Colds don’t always respond well to tea, ibuprofen, and especially tissues.  The common cold often becomes worse; turning into inflamed sinuses, a sore throat, nonstop cough, bronchitis, or an ear infection.  Being prone to a particular complication, which means having conditions like obstructed sinuses, underlying medical problems like asthma, or a childhood history of some kind of illness like ear infection, can most likely cause you to become sicker in no time.

Move fast; it’s not really the multiplying virus that is usually the problem but the natural response of your immune system to infections, which causes the thick, trapped mucus that is the source of most complications.  When you feel the scratchy throat, runny nose and sneezing, you have to take immediate action, because complications begin to develop 10 to 12 hours after the infection starts.

For those who are most likely to develop sinus infections:

The cold virus causes fluid to leak out of your swollen blood vessels in your nasal passages; it also causes increased mucus production and the slowing down of the microscopic hairs that are the sweepers of you sinuses, ears, and lungs.  This chain of events makes for a sinus infection because bacteria can breed in trapped mucus.  If you are able to breathe through your nose, then it is least likely that you would develop a sinus infection, so clear those nasal passages:

  • You can shrink the swollen blood vessels in the lining of your nose with decongestant sprays that contain phenylephrine (Neo-synephrine) or oxymetazoline (Afrin); this will allow mucus to drain.   These products work immediately, but avoid from using these for more than three days, otherwise rebound congestion can occur, which is the stuffiness that happens just a few hours after using the product.
  • If sprays make you uncomfortable, decongestant tablets can help instead.  60 mg of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can cause a 30% drop in congestion after just one dose.  You may experience a slight side effect though; these tablets can keep you awake so it is best that you don’t take them when you are about to go to sleep.   Choosing a plain decongestant can ensure that you get the recommended 60 mg dose; combination remedies can contain less than 60 milligrams.
  • Antihistamines, especially the old types like Chlor-Trimeton which can cause drowsiness can reduce nasal secretions by 50%.  Just be careful about other activities like driving while taking this medication.  A week on this medication will do.
  • Viral particles and sloughed-off respiratory immune cells get carried away by the mucus, making this thick as the cold progresses.  It is recommended to thin this mucus by using mucus thinners like guaiafenesin (Mucinex).   After 48 to 72 hours, if the medication worked on you, your mucus will flow more easily and you will be able to blow your nose.
  • Blowing your nose too hard can send fluids into your sinuses and cause infection; this also causes more nasal passage swelling or “reflex nasal congestion”.  Be gentle, put a tissue over your nose, close one nostril and blow for about three to five seconds, then switch to the other nostril.
  • Chicken soup can actually help you.  This home remedy did well by inhibiting the movement of white blood cells by 75% in a lab test, and this can result to a reduction of cold symptoms in your upper respiratory tracts.
  • Keep sinus pressure from building by placing a warm washcloth over your cheeks or having a cup of hot tea.  The increased temperature can also initiate cilia movement so that these little hairs can move mucus along.  Another way of increasing sinus temperature is steam inhalation.
  • Alternatively, you can use herbal remedy to dry up nasal secretions.  Your best bet would be andrographis paniculata; 1,200 milligrams of this extract daily for five days can dry up nasal secretions.
  • If your face or the area around your eyes become red, swollen, or painful, you have severe headache or neck pain, or nothing went better for you in a week, inform your physician.
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For those who are most likely to develop acute bronchitis:

Infections of the upper respiratory tract start in the upper airways, and move down low, causing problems in your lungs a few days after your cold symptoms appear.  Cough two or three days after your cold begins means that the tiny tubes in your lungs are inflamed.  You have to prevent infection with the following steps:

  • Keep away from cigarettes and cigarette smoke as these can weaken the immune system.  The chemicals in cigarettes can also irritate your airways and cause them to swell, making your cilia slower than normal.  If you keep on exposing yourself to cigarette smoke you will most likely cough more.
  • Fire emissions like those coming from wood fires, coal-fire powered plants, cars and other sources can cause acute bronchitis.  Protecting the environment with stoves that burn efficiently can also protect you from acute bronchitis.  Stay away from the fireplace; the tiny particles in the wood smoke can be very irritating to your airways.
  • Spare yourself from harmful chemicals in spray cleaners, aerosol, and pump-bottle products.  These can irritate your lungs.
  • Ivy-leaf extract, which is an herbal remedy, has been shown to help bronchitis by reducing pain, coughing, and mucus production.  Go herbal.
  • Inform your doctor when you detect a fever, you have difficulty breathing, you cough severely, you develop asthma or emphysema or COPD, or you have frequent bouts of bronchitis.

For those who are most likely to develop ear infections:

Ear infections are not conditions that only kids develop; one-third of all adults with colds tend to develop negative air pressure in the middle ear caused by the Eustachian tube swelling and congestion.  These are the tubes that work to allow air into the middle ear and drain fluids from it; swelling in these tubes can create a vacuum, so when the tube is open again, it could suck in secretions from your nose that contain virus.  To prevent infections caused by this, here are some things to do:

  • Decongest ASAP!  Sprays and tablets that are designed to decongest can open up your Eustachian tubes.
  • Popping your ears on a plane trip can be very dangerous, more dangerous even when you have a cold, as this may push infected mucus into the ears.
  • Keep away from any kind of smoke (cigarette, pipe, cigars) as these can slow down cilia in your Eustachian tubes.
  • Talk to your doctor if the pain worsens, you get a fever or a severe headache and dizziness, or if you have hearing problems or swelling around your ear.
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Be kind to your body, help it heal.

When you have a cold cytokines, which are chemicals released by your immune system make you sleepier than normal – don’t let that snooze opportunity pass you by, sleep.  Lack of sleep, even for just a night, can damage your immune system response.

You can boost immune function with moderate activity such as a 30-45 minute walk.  Stay away from intense work-outs though.

Don’t eat too much because the reason why your body reduces your appetite during a cold is to conserve body heat to prepare for the viral battle.  Have lots of fluids to thin your mucus.

Home remedies for sinus trouble:

Saline Rinse:

Rinsing your sinuses with saline solution daily can cut down symptoms by 72% and prevent infections in those with chronic sinus problems.  It removes dried-up mucus, washes away viral particles, bacteria, and immune system irritants, and thins nasal secretions. Here is an easy technique:

  • Combine ½ teaspoon non-iodized salt, 1 pinch of baking soda, and 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Have your head down while leaning over the sink and gently squirt the solution into each nostril.  You may also inhale the solution, one nostril at a time, from your palm or a small bowl.  Breathe while doing this so that the solution does not enter your mouth, if it does, spit it out.  Blow your nose gently and do it all over again until you consume all of the 8 ounces of solution.

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4 Responses

  1. thank you so much for the information… i swear im always sick and dont get better for like months.

  2. To help clear sinuses that are congested, you can consider washing the nasal cavities with a solution of salt and room temperature purified water.

  3. from my past experience herbal remedy is a good choice of the above, it really helps with everything

  4. thanks for the tips! i need to try this next time so it doesn’t turn into a sinus infection.

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