Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Common Cold

I am almost at 100%.  I still got a cough, but my back is way better.  I started carrying my heavy camera everyday again. I hope to not get sick again for a long, long time, so I went online to find out more about "the common cold".  Hope this helps some of you.


Unlike various strains of influenza virus, which tend to travel in airborne droplets, cold viruses prefer a physical transmission route: from your hands to your nose or eyes, and then to the nasopharynx — where the nose meets the mouth at the back of the throat (and where most colds begin).   The nasopharynx, where the nose meets the mouth, is the “sweet spot” for cold viruses.

There are hundreds of viruses that cause the common cold, and most of them are rhinoviruses, which need to get into the mucous membranes lining the nose or into the tear ducts in order to cause infection. That means touching your face — specifically your nose and eyes — is the primary way people give themselves cold germs. You’re far more likely to catch a cold from touching an infected person’s water glass and then wiping your eye or picking your nose than you are from drinking a sip of the sick person’s water!

Studies have shown that most cold viruses can survive for up to three hours on nonporous surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and coffee cups. They can also survive on people’s hands for several hours if they don’t wash them.  That’s why hand washing — after you shake hands, after you open a door, after you push a shopping cart — is item number one in your anticold defense manual. If you kill cold germs on your hands before you transfer them to your nose or eyes, you stop a cold before it can start.


Sleep:  While you sleep, your body recharges your immune system, which is what fights off a cold.

Liquids:  A lot of water, juice, and clear broth or warm lemon water with honey are the best fluids to rely on. Fluids help your body heal from a cold by loosening congestion and preventing dehydration.

Chicken soup:  Scientists believe chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils, the cells of the immune system that mount the body’s inflammatory response. Hot chicken soup also temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the lining of the nasal passages.

Gargle with salt water:  Dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gargle with it. The reason this time-honored home remedy works is that a sore throat occurs when the throat tissues become inflamed by bacteria and germs. This inflammation takes the form of tiny fluid-filled bumps called edemas. The dehydrating action of salt draws out the edema fluid, killing the bacteria, which require a warm, moist environment to survive.

“Irrigate” your nose with saline:   Studies show that over-the-counter saline nasal sprays work to combat stuffiness and congestion and also reduce the amount of time that virus particles are in the nasal passages.  A neti pot, an alternative therapy gaining in popularity, is basically another nasal irrigation technique that puts the saline solution directly into the nasal passages.

Read more: 16 Ways to Stop a Cold


K and S said...

glad you are feeling better! take care.

jalna said...

Thanks Kat!

Betty Townsend said...

thanks for sharing the info...intersting read...and glad to hear you are feeling better...I am trying to not get sick again was a year ago that I got so sick which lasted for 3 months and ended up with bronchitis...take care of yourself!!

celia said...

I am glad you are doing so much better. So timely, I am currently fighting a cold. Thank you. Not good during this time of year, so much to do, huh?

jalna said...

You're welcome Betty. Wendell is sick now, and it's pretty hard not to touch everything he's touched.

Awww Celia, hope you get to feeling better soon.

Erick said...

Glad you are feeling better. Also, thanks for the advice Doc.

jalna said...

Thanks Erick.

Randism said...

good advice; u know that i had the flu a couple of weeks ago, yeah? wuz awful! 3 weeks felt like one eternity!

jalna said...

I know what you mean Rand!

Mariko said...

I am on my like 4th cold in 2 months. YAY.

I think my kids are the primary method of transmission! :)

Hope you feel better.

jalna said...

Awwww Mariko that sucks!