7 Best Methods To Prevent A Cold

What are the methods to prevent a cold when you feel it coming? This question strikes almost every individual’s mind when they feel that they are contracting symptoms of a cold because everyone hates to catch a cold.

The common cold is a kind of disease that is characterized by symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, sore throat1, mild fever, coughing, watering eyes, etc. A common cold is enough to make a person lethargic2, peevish, and tired, making the whole body ache.  Making an individual lose their concentration and inability to focus properly are other signs of the common cold. These reasons are enough to make a person think about preventing a cold when they feel it coming.

Though cold is not a very severe disease, it still makes a person very weak and prone to irritation. A person starts getting mood swings and hampers the energy level of a person therefore, cold is a disease that people prefer not to contract. But it is not in our hands to completely avoid cold because we can catch a cold anytime or anywhere, knowingly or unknowingly. On average, a person catches cold symptoms twice to thrice a year.

So as an escape to this, they find out ways to prevent cold. We start googling how to prevent cold when we feel it coming. So in this article, we will discuss the possible ways to prevent cold when you feel it coming or if it is even possible to do so.

1. Is It Possible to Prevent a Cold?

If you are finding treatment methods regarding how to prevent cold when you feel it coming, then you won’t be able to find any such method. You can’t prevent or stop a cold. Cold is a viral disease3 and ends only when its cycle gets completed. The average cold cycle usually lasts for 7-10 days and no matter how many medicines you take, you can’t end it before that.

These medicines or precautions will help ease your cold symptoms and make you feel better, but you can’t completely eradicate it.

So following are a few health tips on preventing a cold when you feel it coming.

1.1) Drinking hot tea

Instead of pondering how to prevent a cold when you feel it coming, try drinking hot tea this winter. Drinking hot tea has many benefits. Not only does it helps to boost your immunity, but it also helps to relieve sore throat and keeps you fresh after an exhausting day. You should drink one cup of tea daily for a stronger immune system. When you feel a cold coming, you can add ginger to your cup of tea as it will help relieve the cold virus. Various teas such as Peppermint tea4, herbal tea, chamomile tea, and turmeric tea are also effective in curing cold, cough, and flu symptoms. Drinking tea when you have a cold is helpful for an itchy throat and reduces inflammation.

method to prevent a cold
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1.2) Taking steam

Inhaling steam is a good way to cure cold symptoms, especially when you have a blocked nose. Steam helps in overcoming nasal congestion and provides immediate relief. In addition to this, steam also helps in easing the irritation which is caused by respiratory infection. Steam also helps mucus removal easily via the respiratory passage5. However, you should accurately take a step and follow all the steps accordingly to get the best results and avoid any inconvenience.

1.3) Drink plenty of warm liquids

Warm liquids are very soothing, especially in case of sore throat. Drinking warm liquids such as hot salt water or warm water with honey. Studies suggest that honey has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties6, so it helps in fast recovery from cold symptoms. Drinking hot soups is also quite effective when contracting a cold and sore throat. Non-vegetarians can also experiment with soups such as chicken soup, tofu soup, etc. Not only should one drink warm liquids but also plenty of fluids as it helps a person fight off infectious diseases. Drinking lots of fluids help to subdue a scratchy throat. Studies have shown that when a person is ill, he loses water rapidly in the healing process. So it is advised to drink fluids to stay hydrated for a faster recovery.

methods to prevent a cold
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1.4) Saltwater gargle

If you have a sore throat, gargling with salt water in the morning and night before going to sleep will help you feel better. This has been one of the oldest and most effective treatments for curing sore throat.

1.5) Hot shower

Hot showers are a good way to relieve a person suffering from a common cold virus. They help in cleaning the nasal passage making the sick person feel better. In addition, hot showers help treat body aches, making a person feel less sick and tired and increasing his energy level. Hot water can also relieve headaches and kill germs.

prevent a cold
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1.6) Over-the-counter medicines

If you find no improvement in your symptoms, then you can take over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, saline, nasal spray, etc. However, to avoid complications, it is advised to consult a doctor before taking such medications, as they can have possible side effects and harm you in the long run. For children, it is best to avoid such medicines, but if the condition continues to deteriorate, first consult a doctor and then give medicines that the doctor prescribes.

1.7) Take enough rest and sleep

Last but not least, don’t forget to take enough sleep and rest, as sleep always helps the body recover faster and more efficiently. Avoid doing heavy work out when you are not well, as it will strain your body, even more, making it difficult for your body to recover fast. If you are a fitness freak and can’t stay even one day without exercising, you can consider doing light exercise until you get well. Studies have shown that people who take adequate rest can fight cold symptoms in a better way than those who take a lesser sleep and work on a strict schedule.

prevent a cold
By Claudia Scott // Pixabay// Copyright 2022

When you cannot benefit from all the methods mentioned above, you can use pain relievers, inhalers, saline nasal sprays, etc.

2. When Should You Visit a Doctor?

After taking all the mandatory precautions and measures, if you find no progress in your health conditions and are clueless about preventing a cold when you feel it is coming, you should visit a doctor and get the proper checkup done.

This will give you the exact cause of your illness and the chances you might suffer from some other disease. With a proper diagnosis, you will receive the correct treatment and proper rest and will be able to beat your cold and cough quickly.

You can also check out the article on Advil For Cold And Sinus: A Complete Guide To Its Usage.

3. Precautions to Prevent Catching Cold

Although you won’t find a perfect answer to how to prevent a cold when you feel it coming, you can still take precautions to prevent contracting a cold.

Here are a few precautions that should be taken to prevent cold:

  1. Common colds are very contagious, so try to avoid people suffering from a cold or cough. If you have to interact with someone with a cold, then ensure your nose and mouth are properly covered.
  2. Most people catch a cold during winter, so as a precaution, drink ginger tea the whole winter season.
  3. Eat foods that help in boosting immunity so that you don’t fall ill frequently.
  4. Wash your hands whenever you come from outside or touch any foreign object.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes and nose.

4. On a Final Note

No one enjoys being ill, and common colds and coughs are one such disease that can negatively affect mood and energy. But if you ever wonder how to prevent a cold when you feel it coming or what steps you can take to stop it, then this article might provide some helpful insights for you.

Furthermore, if you are sick, then you should stay away from people to avoid spreading cold, fever, flu, or viral infection to others. Try to rest properly and sleep when you are sick for a faster recovery.

You can take the required precautions, like washing hands frequently and avoiding touching surfaces uselessly. Make sure you eat a healthy diet, as it will boost your immunity during the flu season, making you less prone to contracting a cold.

5. FAQs

5.1 Do Herbal Treatments Work to Ward Off the Common Cold?

Drinking herbal tea, using essential oils, taking zinc or echinacea pills, and engaging in stress-relieving activities like yoga or meditation are some natural therapies that may help prevent a cold. Before attempting any natural cold prevention or treatment, it’s crucial to speak with a medical expert.

5.2 Can Using a Mask Help You Prevent Getting Sick?

Yes, using a mask can assist to stop the transmission of germs and lower your chance of getting sick. Masks can be especially useful in busy public spaces or while near ill people.

5.3 How Frequently Should I Sweep Floors to Avoid the Cold from Spreading?

To stop the spread of germs, it is advised to clean commonly touched objects including doorknobs, counters, and light switches at least once every day. Additionally, you should refrain from giving others who might be ill your personal goods like towels or utensils.

  1. McHardy, F. E., and F. Chung. “Postoperative sore throat: cause, prevention and treatment.” Anaesthesia 54.5 (1999): 444-453. ↩︎
  2. Storelvmo, Trude, et al. “Lethargic response to aerosol emissions in current climate models.” Geophysical Research Letters 45.18 (2018): 9814-9823. ↩︎
  3. Jacob, Shevin T., et al. “Ebola virus disease.” Nature reviews Disease primers 6.1 (2020): 13. ↩︎
  4. Jacob, Shevin T., et al. “Ebola virus disease.” Nature reviews Disease primers 6.1 (2020): 13. ↩︎
  5. Prasher, Parteek, et al. “Plants derived therapeutic strategies targeting chronic respiratory diseases: Chemical and immunological perspective.” Chemico-biological interactions 325 (2020): 109125. ↩︎
  6. Khan, Muhammad Zahoor, et al. “Research development on anti-microbial and antioxidant properties of camel milk and its role as an anti-cancer and anti-hepatitis agent.” Antioxidants 10.5 (2021): 788. ↩︎

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Yashika Mahajan

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