The common cold, including its various incarnations like the chest and head cold, is caused by a number of various cold-causing viruses. Rhinovirus is the most common, but there is a wide range of these bugs that lead to infection with what we consider a cold.
Because chest colds are caused by a virus, antibiotic treatment is not an effective treatment method because it targets bacteria, rather than viruses. The best solution for treating a chest cold is to try and ameliorate your symptoms, stay well rested and work to prevent any worsening or complications of your chest cold. These complications can include potentially serious conditions like pneumonia.
Most people with a simple chest cold are able to stay at home (no one wants someone constantly coughing in the school or office) and recover, but for people with compromised immune systems like very young children or elderly adults, it may be necessary to spend time recovering in a hospital setting.
Here we share two of the most effective and extremely simple ways to relieve your symptoms, prevent secondary infections and potentially even shorten the duration of your symptoms:
Staying warm and rested is very important to fighting a chest cold. Help your body reserve its energy for fighting off infection by resting – preferably laying down – somewhere warm, with little sensory stimulation. If you find yourself congested in the mornings, consider propping the top end of your bed up on risers, or just sleeping with a couple of extra pillows to let your respiratory tract drain while you sleep
A simple and essential step to fending off a chest cold involves simply drinking plenty of liquids all day every day. This can be in the form of good old fashioned drinking water, diluted sports drinks, hot tea with honey or even chicken soup – anything to get liquids into your body. The exceptions are caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea and sodas, and alcohol. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and asking your body to metabolize alcohol just adds extra strain on an already hard-working system.
Before you even find yourself with a chest cold, there are measures you can take to help protect yourself and your kids. Make sure to keep hands washed whenever possible, or use hand sanitizer after being in public areas. Keep hands away from your and your children’s faces, especially from nose, eyes and mouth. Don’t smoke cigarettes or expose yourself or your children frequently to environments with a lot of secondhand smoke.