The Cold is caused by a viral infection of the respiratory tract (nose, throat and airways). It is very common, especially during winter, and most adults will experience 4 or 5 colds per year. Colds can spread rapidly to other people, via droplets in the air as you breathe, cough or sneeze, or by the spread of mucus.
As the virus attacks, it causes inflammation in the nose and throat leading to excessive mucus production and other symptoms:
· Blocked or runny nose
· Sore throat
· Muscular Pain
Colds are usually self-limiting and last 7-10 days, but symptoms can be uncomfortable.
It is important to rest and eat well when you have a cold as your body needs to use its energy to fight the infection. You can treat the symptoms of the cold using:
Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective in relieving aches and pains and to reduce fever. They are also important in the treatment of headache.
Sudafed® and Otrivine® are Decongestants that treat blocked or runny noses by reducing mucus production. They are available as liquids, tablets and nasal sprays.
Coughs can be either dry or productive (bringing up phlegm). The treatment chosen depends on the type of cough. Benylin® Dry Cough or Benylin® Chesty Cough are effective treatments for cough and come in drowsy and non-drowsy versions.
Day Nurse® contains multiple ingredients to treat Cold symptoms. It contains a painkiller, a decongestant and a cough suppressant. Night Nurse® also contains a sedative to aid sleep. Lemsip® is available as sachets that are used to make a hot orange or blackcurrant drink that contains paracetamol and a decongestant.
Vapour Rubs such as Vicks® can be used on the chest and back or inhaled in warm water to help blocked or runny noses.
Strefen® Lozenges contain an anti-inflammatory ingredient to give effective relief from the pain of a sore throat.
It is thought that a combination of Vitamin C and Zinc can help to boost the immune system to prevent Colds and Flu.
Echinacea is a herbal remedy that had been clinically shown to reduce the occurrence of Colds over a 12 week period. It is thought to increase the activity of the immune system. If you would like any more information about Colds, please contact our Zoom Chemist Pharmacist, or alternatively please start a new topic on our forum.