Cold and flu experts share how to beat the symptoms in just 24 hours
It’s that time of year when we all start to get bunged up and try to remember what it felt like to be able to breathe through our nose.
The warning signs before a cold are very recognisable and as they set in, we run out to stockpile soup and medication before hibernating into our duvets to feel sorry for ourselves.
However, experts say that treating the symptoms early enough can banish the cold before it takes a grip of our sinuses.
They all gave their top tips on what you should do in the morning, afternoon and evening if you think you might be coming down with a cold to rid the symptoms in just 24 hours, as reported by The Sun.
Professor Ron Eccles, a cold-and-flu expert and emeritus professor at Cardiff University, says beginning the day with a hot shower can ‘loosen secretions’ in our noses as the steams helps clear blocked sinuses.
The warm water can also bring relief to the aching limbs we often experience when we fall ill.
Next, dose up on vitamin C by including oranges or kiwi in your breakfast, or by simply throwing fresh berries in with your porridge.
The bad news for hot drink fans is tea and coffee should be the last drink you reach for, with nutritionist Amanda Ursell explaining the caffeine content of the drinks may dehydrate you further.
So stick the the orange juice instead.
Nutritional therapist Julie Silver recommends also using a saltpipe – an inhaler designed to help improve our respiratory systems – to alleviate coughing and sneezing. They can be picked up online for around £15.
GP Dr Sarah Brewer recommended staying inside and keeping warm if you feeling a cold coming on.
“If the nose gets too cold, these immune systems don’t work properly, so you are more susceptible to infection,” she explained.
“Staying indoors also limits the spread of infection. If you have to go out, wear a scarf around your nose to keep it warm and, if necessary, use a moisturising nasal spray.”
We all turn to soup when we’re feeling a little under the weather and it turns out the tradition isn’t simply an old wives’ tale, with ears, nose and throat specialist Adam Frosh saying the comfort food is warm, nutritious and makes us feel better. So stock up.
He also advised to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water to beat that scratchy feeling that develops at the back of our throats when the temperatures drop.
Alcohol can dehydrate you further so it’s best to stay off the booze for a bit.
Nutritionist Amanda recommended snacking on nuts, as they contain selenium which supports our immune systems.
Saving the best until last, having a cold is the perfect excuse to get a curry in. So it’s not all bad.
Amanda said the hot spices can irritate the lining of your nose, making it easier to clear and helping us feel ‘instantly’ better. That’s our kind of medical advice.
Surviving the cold weather
In terms of medication, ENT specialist Adam recommends a combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen, following the recommended amount on the back of each pack.
Good luck out there.