The common cold, as the name itself suggests, is one of the most common types of illnesses affecting people all over the world. The most common symptoms include runny nose, coughing, and sneezing. Sometimes the symptoms may be slightly more severe and the individual may present with join pain, headache, and slight fever. The main underlying cause behind these colds is viral infections. While often the person’s immune system may protect itself from further viral infections, after fighting off specific virus once, the number of viruses causing these symptoms has been estimated to be approximately 200.
Consequently, the older a person gets and the more common cold they have experienced, the lower the chances of them being stricken with the common cold again. In spite of that, the common cold is nonetheless very contagious and in many instances once one family member gets it, it often tends to spread to the other members of the family. However, there are some ways that you can protect yourself from the common cold and prevent it from spreading to the rest of yourself family.
Since the common cold is brought upon by a virus, the main way of protecting yourself is by controlling the spread of such cold viruses. The first and the best way is washing one’s hands, after every close contact with an ill family member. While you will not get infected through skin contact itself, rubbing your eyes while having virus cells on your hands will in most cases lead to you developing a cold. You can go a step further and wear a face mask, protecting yourself from any airborne viruses. While such step may seem drastic at first, it is important to remember that the common cold tends to spread rapidly, and it is important to have at least one of the parents stay healthy enough to take care of the rest of their ill family members.
Another successful way of fighting off the common cold is controlling its symptoms and severity. Since it is the person’s immune system that fights off the viral infection, making sure such is operating properly and effectively is very important. Certain vitamins and minerals like Zinc and certain B vitamins have shown themselves to be effective at improving the condition and performance of the immune system, and may be used to improve one’s chances against common colds. Vitamin C supplementation has also shown to be somewhat effective at reducing the severity of certain symptoms of cold as well as its duration. Finally, it is important to make sure all the ill individuals stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, as this helps irrigate the throat and nasal passages and makes them easier to clear.