Cold, Cough & Flu
Relieve the most common symptoms for cold, cough or flu.
What is a cold?Read more
Colds can commonly be known as an infection of the nose, throat or throat. It's nearly always caused by the spread of germs. Colds can sometimes blow over by themselves, however, there's a lot you can do to alleviate the symptoms. This advice is for adults but you can read our article on cold and flu in children here.
If you’re affected by a cold or flu yourself and you’re prone to a lot of coughing and sneezing, always try and sneeze and cough into your arm to help prevent the infection from spreading through the air.
What are the symptoms?
When you have a cold, it's common for you to feel tired and hungry. It is also common to have one or even all of the subsequent symptoms:
- sniffing or nasal congestion
- sore throat
- Colds may also cause a fever, however, it's often not high enough to be too concerned about. It's a lot more common for kids to have a fever than adults.
Sometimes the cold will cause symptoms from the eyes and ears. The eyes can become flushed and sometimes quite sore to touch. You might also feel a slight pain in your ears.
You might get a runny nose and it’s typically water-thin initially, however, some days it will become a lot of viscous. It's natural and not a sign of any complications.
When the membranes within your throat become irritated, it's common to feel agitated. After a short time, a lot of mucous secretion will appear within the airways and therefore your coughing might bring up some mucus.
The mucus might be yellow or green in colour. It's a natural consequence of viruses and isn't anything to be concerned about.
The cough might stay for a short time and your throat might be quite sensitive. But don’t worry, it usually passes in 2 to 4 weeks.
You’ll notice the symptoms fairly soon after you become infected. It typically takes a day or two for you to notice the primary symptoms of a cold. The symptoms then last for some days.
The symptoms you get usually differ from person to person. No matter what your symptoms are, after around one to two weeks you’ll start to feel better.
How can I relieve my cold or flu?
There is an abundance of ways you'll be able to alleviate the effects of a cold.
It’s a good idea to remain at home and take it easy for the first 24 hours if you a severe cold. If you have a fever, try to stay at home until it goes down.
You need rest but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lie in bed all day. It’s often better to be up and moving. However, you ought to not exercise or exert too much energy if you have an infection in your body.
With a cold, you might also get a fever that persists for a few days. If you do have a fever, it's smart to drink quite frequently because the body loses a lot of fluid.
You can try nasal drops or a nasal spray containing saline if you're really stuffy in your nose. You can get hold of these without a prescription so it’s quite a good idea to start with these as soon as you have a sniffy nose.
You can also create a saline solution) yourself by mixing salt in 100ml of water. The water doesn't have to be boiled but it will feel much better if it’s lukewarm. To help the isotonic solution into your nose, you can use a special nasal rinse or a little plastic syringe. If the isotonic solution doesn’t help, and neither does the nasal spray. You can speak to our pharmacist about prescription options.
If you are using a nasal spray, make sure your usage is consistent with the directions on the packet and only use it for a maximum of 10 days. Prolonged use of a nasal spray can produce other complications that are difficult to get rid of.
Hot drinks like tea will have a relieving effect if you have got a sore throat. Ice-cream and yoghurt sometimes feel good too, experiment what works best for you.
Sometimes it feels better to have something to suck on like sore throat tablets. They won’t stop the swelling itself but they will feel more soothing. To make sure you’re not affecting your teeth try to look for sugar-free tablets.
There are several different medicines and types of lozenges and sprays that relieve a sore throat. A number of medicines can be used for both kids and adults, you can speak to our pharmacist to understand what works best.
You can try to drink more fluids than normal if you’re coughing consistently. Drinking makes the mucous less viscous and easier to cough up. Avoid being in smokey environments because the smoke irritates the throat and sometimes even makes the cough worse. If you smoke yourself, there are several advantages to quitting smoking.
Non-prescription medicines for coughs
There aren't any studies showing that non-prescription cough medicines have any clear result however, a lot of people see noticeable improvements.
Drinking plenty is sometimes as effective as a mucus-releasing drug.