How To Make Sense Of Otc Cold And Cough Medications
Unsure about the hundreds of cold and flu preparations on the drugstore shelves? You’re not alone. Deciding among the OTC remedies for cold, flu, or allergy symptoms can be intimidating, and a basic understanding of the types of drugs included in these medications can help you make an informed choice.
Millions of people use over-the-counter products to relieve symptoms of cold, flu, and allergy, including nasal stuffiness and congestion, sneezing, runny noses, sore throat, and cough. The common causes of these symptoms include the viruses that cause the common cold, influenza virus, allergic rhinitis , and sinus infections . Viral infections can also cause headache, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes fever. Hay fever symptoms can also include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, and watery eyes.
To benefit from OTC products for cold, flu, and allergy, it is important to understand the condition causing the symptoms, the predominant symptom one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredient in the product. Some OTC products contain a single active ingredient medication to relieve one symptom. Many others contain a combination of two, three, and even four active ingredient medications to treat several symptoms at once. Selecting the right product can be difficult at times.
Here we have categorized products for cold/flu/allergy according to the predominant symptoms they relieve:
How To Stop A Runny Nose
If you’re suffering from allergic rhinitis, the best way to alleviate symptoms is to reduce the histamine levels in your body.
That’s where antihistamine medications can help. But avoid sedating antihistamines an ingredient in multi-symptom relief products because it can have side effects including dry mouth, urinary retention, and in some cases, possible memory impairment.
If, however, you’re suffering from some form of nonallergic rhinitis, especially if you have a cold or flu, try the following.
And if your rhinitis allergic or nonallergic becomes chronic, this can increase your risk of getting a bacterial infection. If that happens, see a doctor who can prescribe you antibiotics.
Take A Shot With Red Onions
Red Onion can be used to get rid of a cold. What you have to do is make a syrup with red onion. To make the syrup, follow the steps:
- Slice two red onions and add honey in a bowl.
- Now leave it for 15 minutes and you will get a thick syrup.
- Now have a teaspoon of syrup several times a day and cure a cold.
Talk With A Doctor Or Clinician To Create A Personalized Treatment Plan
If you arent sure if its a cold or allergies, or if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, its best to connect with a care provider to get an official diagnosis and treatment plan.
If your allergy symptoms are left untreated, you could become more prone to getting sinus infections or other upper respiratory infections, or may lead to poor asthma control.
Also, a common cold can turn severe. So, if your cold has had you laid up longer than a day or two, get in touch with your doctor.
You have a couple options:
Make an appointment for face-to-face care from a primary care doctor or clinician. Whether you choose a video visit or in-person appointment, your doctor will listen to your symptoms, answer questions and work with you to create a tailored treatment plan including connecting you with an allergist or an otolaryngologist if needed.
Start a virtual visit anytime, anyplace through Virtuwell. With Virtuwell, no appointment is necessary and treatment is available 24/7. Getting started is easy. Well ask you a few questions, and youll get your diagnosis and treatment plan from a board-certified nurse practitioner. Each visit is just $59 or less, depending on your insurance.
How To Get Rid Of Common Cold And Flu
Common cold can be dated back to stone ages. It is one of the easily spread diseases by a virus and needless to say, mankind has been for ages trying to curb the symptoms and the condition altogether. It is also a fact that common cold is one of the condition for which medical attention is seldom sought after and only when the symptoms do not go away do we get it to the attention of the doctor. We as a population, usually go for over the counter medications and treatments for a common cold. However, collectively we have started to treat even the flu condition with equal apathy. Doctors worldwide do caution us that both the conditions are different and though they might carry the same symptoms each would require a different treatment altogether.
There are many treatment options available for common cold. Many of them are the over the counter products. Also you can use the help of nasal decongestants and sprays for relieving congestion. However, it is advisable to have a consultation with the doctor before you go for such products. If the condition persists do seek medical attention immediately as common cold if not treated properly can lead to pneumonia. The same goes for the flu symptoms. You may be given medications and shots for curbing the virus. Also you can look at the option of getting the flu vaccine to prevent future incidents. Consult with your doctor on its possible implications.
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What Causes A Runny Nose
There are two types of rhinitis: allergic and nonallergic. Allergic rhinitis is associated with allergies. When you have an allergy, your body releases a chemical called histamine, which triggers the mucous glands in your nose to ramp up production, causing a runny nose.
A common form of allergic rhinitis is environmental allergies from irritants such as:
- Tree pollen
- Irritants such as strong fragrances and smoke
It’s important to know what type of rhinitis is causing your runny nose because that will ultimately determine how you should treat it.
Know And Avoid Your Triggers
It is absolutely simple but the question is how you can find out the triggers of your allergy. Some people even dont know what contributes to their irritating condition. It is until you recognize the causes that you are ready to remove it.
All the above home remedies for allergies are some useful tips to help your deal with some types of allergies. It is recommended that you should know some which are available for you to do at home in case the worst scenario may happen. And one more thing to keep in mind is that if you realize that you cannot control it anymore, it is time to see your doctor without hesitation.
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Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Most healthy adults can count on their immune systems to fight off infection, but even the heartiest immune system can’t fight off every infection. You can give it a little support when trying to fight off a cold by supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals. Let’s start with the first cold-fighter that comes to mind for most of us: vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, and like other antioxidants such as vitamin E, selenium and beta-carotene , it helps keep our bodies free from infection and fight off infections that do strike. Don’t consider them protection from colds, though — while there are conflicting results about the ability of vitamin C to protect you from catching a cold, the vitamin will likely only help to reduce your symptoms.
In addition to adding more antioxidant-rich foods and supplements to your cold-fighting diet, also consider zinc. While the verdict is still out, zinc may help your body produce more white blood cells, your immune system’s key infection fighters.
How Are Allergic Shiners Different From Cough Cold And Flu
Most of the symptoms of allergic shiners are the same as cold, cough, and flu.
However, they arent caused by cough, cold and flu.
So, to find the difference, check out the symptoms for some weeks if they persist, for more than two weeks, these can be allergic shiners and not the simple flu, cough, or cold.
During this period, you may experience, unusual runny nose, watering eyes, and blocked sinuses, along with bruises under your eyes, reddish pigment:
Moreover, most of the time, the shadows under your eyes appear when you wake up after sleep, just like puffy eyes.
These are dark red circles under your eyes which you usually dont get when suffering from normal cold or flu.
Also, if you are persistent with sinus blockage, red eye allergies will remain there.
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What Causes Allergies During The Winter
“You don’t have pollens in winter,” says Douglas H. Jones, MD, of the Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Group in Layton, Utah. So outdoor winter allergies arent such a cause for concern. “But you still have the indoor . And if youre spending more time indoors during cold weather, you might notice an increase in allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, wheezing, and itchy, watery eyes. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, common indoor allergens include:
- Dander Its the dander , not the hair of household pets such as cats and dogs, that can cause acute or chronic allergic reactions in people.
- Dust Mites These microscopic bugs might be the most common cause of year-round indoor allergies, notes the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Dust mites thrive in bedding, carpeting, and the upholstered furniture inside your home.
- Indoor Mold We all breathe in mold spores, but for those with an allergy, exposure can trigger sneezing, congestion, and itchiness. Mold and mildew favor damp areas, like basements and bathrooms.
- Cockroach Droppings These persistent pests can live anywhere, and while theyre not a sign of an unhygienic or unsanitary household, its important to keep food well-contained and be vigilant about cleaning up crumbs. Fixing leaky faucets and pipes and sealing up cracks and crevices in your home can help keep cockroaches away.
A Wet Hacking Cough Screams Cold
While a cough is common for both allergy flares and colds, the type of cough for each is different. A cold cough is wet and hacking, and often produces mucus or phlegm that gets progressively thicker, often taking on a green or yellow tinge.
Allergy-related coughs usually feel like you have a tickle in your throat. Thats because allergens often irritate the lining of your nose, which triggers your nasal passages to create a watery mucus. This can drip out of your nose and down the back of your throat, creating that tickling sensation.
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What Are The Different Types Of Medications For Headaches Body Aches Fever And Flu
Medications that reduce pain and fever are used to relieve headaches, body aches, and fever. The three classes of analgesics/antipyretics that are available OTC are aspirin, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
Some OTC products contain an analgesic/antipyretic as a single ingredient. Others combine an analgesic/antipyretic with a nasal , an antihistamine, or a cough suppressant. Products listed in the headaches, body aches, fever, and flu-like symptoms category contain an analgesic/antipyretic either alone or in combination with other ingredient to treat cold/flu/allergy symptoms. Examples of products in the headaches, body aches, fever, and flu-like symptoms category include the following. Note that the products described in this article refer to brand name preparations. Less expensive, generic, over-the-counter medications are available that contain the same active ingredients as many if not all of these products.
Allergies Follow A Pattern And Symptoms Tend To Stick Around Longer
If you have allergies, your symptoms will flare up at certain times throughout the year when the allergens youre sensitive to are present. For example, if you have a tree pollen allergy, your symptoms will first appear in the early spring.
This also means that your symptoms can last for several weeks until that particular allergy season has ended. To put that into perspective, colds usually only last about a week.
Cold viruses are present all year, so you can catch one at any time. However, the winter cold season is when getting sick is more likely.
Do Some Jumping Jacks
One of the best remedies for your cold would be some really vigorous exercise that involves a lot of jumping. Any sport like football or basketball can do the trick, but that would also mean that you would have to exert your body a lot.
So to make things a lot easier just stick to doing about 10 to 20 jumping jacks. When you tend to jump, the mucus in the nasal passage and the sinus passage dislodge themselves easily. This would bring out the mucus in torrents that you can be easily removed with just one blow. Every time you blow your nose, you would have to remember to wash your hands with a medicated soap so as not to infect anyone else, or yourself after some time. Jumping jacks done immediately after a nice steam bath would actually work wonders in clearing out your cold.
How To Get Water Out Of Ears
To avoid an escalation of such condition, you can learn how to drain fluid from middle ear. Once you notice any clogged ears, you can try a few of the home techniques. These include:
Swallowing: Whenever you swallow, the eustachian tube opens automatically. This is the tube connecting the back of the nose to the middle ear. You can also chew gum or suck on candy to help in opening this tube.
Yawning: You can fake a yawn to open the eustachian tube. You can do so by opening your mouth wide as you breathe in and out. You can do so several times to unclog the ears and drain the fluid out.
Valsalva maneuver: Here, you pinch your nose to close it, keep your cheeks neutral, and gently blow the air out of the nostrils. There is a pressure that is generated at the back of the nose as a result, which helps to unclog the eustachian tube.
Using a warm washcloth: You can use a warm washcloth or heating pad pressed against the ear to get rid of congestion as well as open the eustachian tube. If the ears are clogged as a result of cold, this method is very effective.
Toynbee maneuver: Here, you will need to pinch your nostrils shut and swallow. This technique is also as effective as the Valsalva maneuver. You can try the two exercises to see the one that works well for you as the results may differ from one person to another.
You can use EARDOc Pro for instant relief
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What Are Allergic Shiners:
Allergic shiners are a type of dark circles that appear under the eyes due to nasal congestion or sinus blockage. These are a different form of dark circles look like shadowy pigments, more like bruises, and caused by allergies.
As the congestion in the nose causes the blood pressure to increase at that point, blood circulation slows down and some of that gets accumulated under the eyes causing allergic shiners.
People have given different names to allergic shiners such as periorbital allergic facies, venous congestion, bags under eyes allergies, dark circle allergies, sinus puffy eyes, and allergy eye bags, etc.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies
Airborne agents , such as pollen, grass, mold, cedar, ragweed, or even some chemicals, are breathed in. Once they enter our bodies, these allergens start to wreak havoc. The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens and release a chemical called histamine into the nose, eyes, and lungs. Histamine is intended to attack harmful agents and remove them from the body. One of the main things that histamine does is cause inflammation.
The good news is there are many natural remedies you can try to control your allergy symptoms:
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Protect Your Kid’s Eyes
Itchy, red, teary eyes are one of the most aggravating symptoms of allergies. The itch stems from inflammation of the mucous membrane covering the whites of the eyes and inner eyelids. The fix: Keep pollen away from your child’s face. Edith Schussler, M.D., a pediatric allergist at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York City, advises wearing sunglasses and a hat with a brim. Kids touch their face all the time, but with these accessories on, your child will be less likely to rub their eyes.
How Does Your Nose Work To Protect Your Body
Your breathing process starts in your nose. Air gets into your lungs through your nose. It helps filter, humidify, warm or cool the air that comes through it so that the air that gets to your lungs is clean.
A special lining of mucosa, or a moist tissue, covers the area inside your nose and consists of many mucus-producing glands. As bacteria, allergens, dust or other harmful particles come into the nose, the mucus traps them. Mucus contains antibodies, or enzymes, which kill unwanted bacteria and viruses.
The mucosa lining also includes cilia, tiny hair-like structures. The cilia are continually in motion and move the collected harmful particles and the mucus that they are trapped in through your nose into the back of your throat. Its then swallowed and destroyed by the acid in your stomach. Mucus and particles can also be coughed up or sneezed out.
When outdoor temperatures turn cold, the pace of this process slows down. Many times, the mucus stays in your nose and then drips or dribbles out.
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