This time of year, it can be difficult for many people to avoid getting sick. With all the large gatherings, stress, travel, and cold temperatures associated with the holiday season, it’s no wonder that the common cold is so common during the winter months. And while we all know that there is no way to cure a cold, there are certain things you can do (and avoid doing) to make sure your cold doesn’t linger any longer than it has to. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to manage your cold symptoms this winter.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

People typically think of consuming warm beverages like tea when they have a cold to help soothe symptoms like a sore throat and cough. However, drinking water is just as important. Drinking plenty of fluids (warm or cold) can help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration, which is especially common when you have a cold virus.

Try Using a Humidifier

Dry air means dry nostrils, which can worsen cold symptoms like a sore throat and coughing. We recommend using a humidifier, which evaporates water and releases the vapor into the air to add additional moisture to a room. If you are using a humidifier, it’s important to change the water daily and make sure your unit is cleaned regularly. If you don’t have a humidifier, leaving a shallow bowl of water out close to a heat source can partially replicate this effect.

Avoid Drinking & Smoking

Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco products are never good for a person’s health, but this is especially true when a person is sick. Smoking (as well as exposure to secondhand smoke) can irritate already tender areas like the nose, throat and lungs. Additionally, drinking alcohol while sick can easily lead to dehydration and an escalation or worsening of symptoms.

The most effective remedy for treating a cold is typically preventing it in the first place. Doing what you can to stay rested and hydrated, and consistently washing your hands in warm water for about twenty seconds can go a long way towards preventing a cold this winter. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Family Practice Center. We are open for morning walk-in appointments and telemedicine visits at our Atlanta and Alpharetta locations. You can follow us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, and much more.