The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating Colds at Home

A family medicine physician offers helpful tips on how to treat a cold at home and what you should avoid.

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CLEVELAND – If you’re suffering from a cold, you may be desperate to try different remedies with hopes of feeling better.

Neha Vyas, MD, family medicine physician with Cleveland Clinic, shares which ones are best to follow when recovering at home.

“Drink lots of fluids, non-caffeinated beverages are the best. So remember broth, whatever kind of broth you like, whatever kind of soups you enjoy, whether it be chicken soup, lentil soup or any sort of miso soup,” said Dr. Vyas. “Anything and everything that is water based that you can get in is quite helpful when you’re trying to fight the common cold.”

Dr. Vyas said herbal tea with some honey and lemon is another good option and can soothe sore throats.

And speaking of honey, research has shown a spoonful before bedtime can help a coughing child sleep.

Giving your body enough rest is also recommended.

Dr. Vyas said saline nasal drops and over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can relieve symptoms too.

It’s important note there’s no way to cure the common cold. They normally just go away on their own, so you’ve got to be patient.

However, if you are starting to feel worse, be sure to talk to your physician.

“If you have trouble breathing, if you find that even a few steps makes you short of breath, if your fever doesn’t go away or your cough or other symptoms don’t go away after a week, then certainly contact your healthcare provider right away,” Dr. Vyas advised.

Dr. Vyas said it may be tempting to try some experimental remedies or supplements suggested online, but be careful. They could wind up making you feel even worse.

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