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11 Simple Ways To Keep Yourself From Coughing And Common Colds. Photo KnowInsiders

A sore throat and runny nose are often the first signs of a cold, followed by coughing and sneezing. Most people recover in about 7-10 days. According to Medical News Today, you can't always avoid catching a cold or other respiratory infections, but the following tips can reduce your risk. Prevention is better than cure, isn’t it?

What are colds and the flu?

The common cold and the flu (influenza) are infections of the upper respiratory system - the nose, mouth, throat and lungs. The infections are caused by viruses.

What are the symptoms of colds and flu?

Photo CDC
Photo CDC





Adults-rare; children- sometimes

High fever (100°F and higher; can last 3 to 4 days)

Runny nose

Common (Nasal discharge may have a yellow- or green-colored tint)


Stuffy nose




Sometimes (usually mild)


Body aches

Sometimes (usually mild)

Common (can be severe)


Sometimes (usually mild)

Common (can last up to 2-3 weeks)



Common (at the start of flu)

Chills, sweat


Common (extreme)




Loss of appetite








Common (can be intense)

Sore throat



Chest congestion, discomfort

Common (mild to moderate)

Common (can be severe)

Watery eyes



How to avoid coughing and catching common colds

Photo medical news today
Photo medical news today

1. Avoid contact with sick people

We should maintain a safe distance from people who have a cold, flu or cough.

2. Don‘t touch your face

Cold viruses can live on your body without making you sick, but once you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes with infected hands, you’ll likely get sick. Avoid touching your face, or wash your hands before you do so.

3. Wash your hands often

You should use soap and water to remove bacteria and viruses from your skin. Parents and caregivers should teach children how to properly wash their hands. When you go out, you should bring alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when needed.

4. Use disinfectant

When a family member is sick, we should clean the kitchen and bathroom regularly with disinfectant and wash the bedsheets, towels, and soft toys with hot laundry detergent.

5. Keep hydrated

You should drink enough water, herbal teas, and other beverages to help prevent dehydration.

6. Reduce stress

Stress affects the immune system and increases the risk of diseases.

To relieve stress, we can exercise regularly, meditate, breathe deeply, and try progressive muscle relaxation techniques.

7. Get enough sleep

Photo Vinmec
Photo Vinmec

It's a good idea to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night as part of our regular self-care routine.

8. Take care of your gut

Eat plenty of bacteria-rich foods like yogurt, or take a daily probiotic supplement. Keeping your gut bacteria healthy can help boost your overall health.

9. Vaccination

Many years ago, there were not many flu vaccines. Only people at high risk are vaccinated. Now, things are easier. Anyone can get annual doses of flu.

10. Use physiological and moisturizing nasal drops

Photo healthline
Photo healthline

The colder the air, the drier the nose will be. When the mucus in the nose is dry, the ability to prevent bacteria and germs from entering the body through the respiratory tract of the cilia in the nose decreases. Therefore, you should moisten your nose by instilling a nasal moisturizer or physiological saline every 2-3 hours. In addition, keeping the body moist is also a very good way to prevent the flu.

11. Quit smoking

Smoking reduces the body's immune function, making you more susceptible to diseases than non-smokers. So if you're thinking of quitting smoking, do so as flu season approaches.

READ MORE: How to Quit Smoking Effectively?

How to protect others

When a person contracts a cold-causing virus, it can be spread to others through the air, on surfaces, and through close, personal contact. People carrying the virus can also leave virus behind on shared surfaces like doorknobs and computers.

If you‘re sick with a cold, it’s important to be a good neighbor, family member, or friend and take steps to protect those around you when possible.

Above-mentioned tips are for those who want to avoid catching colds and coughing. But when you are already infected, some following tips are useful for you to not spread the virus.

Wash your hands. Washing your hands protects you, but it also protects others. When you wash your hands, you reduce the risk of spreading the virus elsewhere in your home, school, or workplace.

Stay at home. While you’re sick or your child is sick, stay home if possible. You need the rest, and it can help prevent spreading the virus to others.

Avoid contact. Though it may be tempting to show love to another person, it’s for their own health that you avoid hugging, kissing, or shaking hands while you‘re sick. If you must greet someone, try an elbow bump.

Cough into your elbow. If you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, grab a tissue to cover it. If you don’t have one, sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hands. If you accidentally use your hands, wash them immediately.

READ MORE: What is Covid-19 Oral Drug Molnupiravir: Latest News, Treating for Patients and Results

When to see a doctor?

Colds can make you feel miserable. But you’re unlikely to need to see your doctor if you have a cold.

Most cold viruses will work their way through your body in 7 to 10 days. Symptoms are usually at their worst 5 days after you first notice them. As uncomfortable as it may be, using OTC medications and home remedies are typically the best way to deal with a typical, uncomplicated cold.

However, there are some instances when you may need to see a doctor about your cold symptoms. Consider getting medical attention in the following situations:

Severe or worsening symptoms. If your symptoms seem more severe than usual (for example, a cough or headaches that are worse than usual), it’s time to see a doctor.

Symptoms that persist. If symptoms of your cold last more than 10 days, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Difficulty breathing. If you find it hard to breathe or have shortness of breath, get care right away.

High or persistent fever. If you have a fever higher than 103°F (39.4°C) or your child has a fever of 102°F (38.9°C) or above, see a doctor. Also, get medical care if you or your child has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher for more than 3 days.

Symptoms in a child under 3 months. If your infant is showing signs of a cold, including lethargy or a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, see a doctor immediately.

High risk medical conditions. If your cold persists and you fall into a high risk medical category, you should see your doctor. In the event you have something other than a cold, you could be at risk of complications. High risk medical categories include:

→ children under age 5

→ adults over 65

→ pregnant people

→ people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease

Bottom line: You should not worry too much when you catch a cold or cough. Take proper medicine and follow some of those tips. Keep yourself a positive vibe, exercise regularly and smile everyday.

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