Does rest help a cold: The Do’s and Don’ts of Easing Cold Symptoms
The Do’s and Don’ts of Easing Cold Symptoms
At the first sign of cold symptoms, you may look to stock up on any number of remedies. But what actually works? While there is no cure for the common cold, there are some proven ways to treat your symptoms. Here’s a guide to what works and what to avoid.
Stay hydrated. Whether its tea, warm water with lemon or broth, drinking warm liquids can be soothing, prevent dehydration and ease congestion. Avoid salty foods, alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks, which can be dehydrating. Ice chips are another simple way to stay hydrated and calm a scratchy throat.
Gargle with salt water. A saltwater gargle with about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water can help reduce the pain and swelling of a sore throat.
Over-the-counter medications : Over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines and pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can reduce some cold symptoms. Children younger than 6 should not use over-the-counter medications. Talk to your doctor for more details.
Humidify the air . Cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Dry nostrils are more prone to viruses, and if you’re already sick, dry air can worsen a sore throat. Try using a humidifier. If you don’t have one, leave a shallow bowl of water out, particularly near a heat source. As the water evaporates, it’ll slowly humidify the room.
Rest : This is the time to recharge your body’s immune system. Rest and sleep are the best ways to do that. Make sure you’re sleeping between eight to 10 hours at night. This is also a great chance to take a break from strenuous exercise for two to three days.
What to Avoid
Zinc. There’s little evidence to support zinc’s cold-fighting reputation.
Antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, not viruses.
Vitamin C . At the first sign of cold symptoms, many people turn to vitamin C. However, there’s little evidence that it has an effect on the cold virus. While some studies suggest regular intake of vitamin C can help reduce the duration of cold symptoms, it has no effect if taken after you have cold symptoms.
Smoking . Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke can further irritate your nose, throat and lungs.
Call Your Doctor If:
- Your symptoms last longer than two weeks.
- Your symptoms worsen or you develop new symptoms, as you could have another type of infection.
- You have a sore throat or fever higher than 100 degrees for longer than three days.
- You’re experiencing intense chest pain and shortness of breath.
Learn more about the common cold.
Why Rest is Important When You Have the Flu: Prima Medicine: Internal Medicine
With November’s arrival, it’s official: We’re now in the heart of the cold and flu season. About 10-50 million Americans get the flu each year, and with the COVID-19 global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy and strong.
At Prima Medicine, our providers want to help you stay healthy and flu-free. But we also understand that no matter how many preventive measures you take, you can still sometimes come down with the flu.
Our practice, with locations in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, offers comprehensive internal medicine services and urgent care. So we can give you a flu shot to help keep you from getting the flu, and if you do get the flu, we can give you treatment. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to get over the flu faster.
One of the most important steps you can take when you have the flu is to get plenty of rest. Take a moment to learn more about the flu and why rest is key when you’re sick.
All about the flu
Most of us refer to influenza as “the flu.” However, this respiratory illness isn’t one virus. “The flu” is an umbrella term for different strains and types of influenza viruses. You can get the flu during any season of the year. But since the number of flu cases increases in the fall and winter months, this time of the year is usually called the “flu season.”
The flu can affect both your upper and lower respiratory tracts and is extremely contagious. The good news is that most people recover from the flu without serious complications.
Very young children, people over age 65, and those who have compromised immune systems or preexisting respiratory conditions, however, do have a higher risk of developing complications.
People who get the flu don’t always have the same symptoms. While symptoms can vary, they usually include fever, body aches and fatigue, and cold-like symptoms, such as:
- Sore throat
- Congestion and/or cough
Since the flu is caused by viral strains, not bacteria, antibiotics can’t help. Sometimes an antiviral medication can alleviate your symptoms and shorten the flu’s duration, but it depends on the type of flu you contract. Your provider at Prima Medicine can run a test to make this diagnosis.
The flu vs. COVID-19
Although COVID-19 and the flu share several symptoms, they’re not the same illness. Influenza is caused by various types and strains of influenza viruses. COVID-19, on the other hand, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Since they’re both viral, antibiotics can’t treat COVID-19 or the flu. The treatment for both involves addressing the symptoms, so your body can better fight off the virus. One of the best steps you can take for both illnesses is to get plenty of rest.
Rest is key to recovering from the flu
If you get the flu, be sure to stay hydrated. You can also take medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help reduce the severity of your symptoms, such as fever and body aches.
Hydration and symptom management aren’t enough, however. The key to recovering from the flu as fast as possible is to get plenty of rest. By resting during the day, your body will be able to devote more resources to fighting the virus.
Sleep is also important. Sleep gives your body the opportunity to focus on strengthening your immune system. Research tells us that your body uses the time you sleep to develop key proteins in your brain. These specialized proteins are designed to boost your immune system so you’re better equipped to fight off infections.
Help for flu patients
If you want a flu vaccine, your provider at Prima Medicine can provide you with a flu vaccine to help keep you healthy. If you currently have symptoms of the flu, schedule an appointment.
Our team can get you the treatment you need to alleviate your symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. We offer same-day appointments at our urgent care clinics in Fairfax and South Riding.
To learn more about the flu and how you can treat it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
Common cold – NHS
You can often treat a cold without seeing a GP. You should begin to feel better in about 1 to 2 weeks.
Check if you have a cold
Cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:
- a blocked or runny nose
- a sore throat
- muscle aches
- a raised temperature
- pressure in your ears and face
- loss of taste and smell
The symptoms are the same in adults and children. Sometimes symptoms last longer in children.
Telling the difference between cold and flu
Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.
|Appears gradually||Appears quickly within a few hours|
|Affects mainly your nose and throat||Affects more than just your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal (for example, go to work)||Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal|
How you can treat a cold yourself
To help you get better more quickly:
- rest and sleep
- keep warm
- drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is OK) to avoid dehydration
- gargle salt water to soothe a sore throat (not suitable for children)
A pharmacist can help with cold medicines
You can buy cough and cold medicines from pharmacies or supermarkets. A pharmacist can advise you on the best medicine.
- ease aches or lower a temperature with painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen
- relieve a blocked nose with decongestant sprays or tablets
Decongestants should not be given to children under 6. Children aged 6 to 12 should take them for no longer than 5 days.
Be careful not to use cough and cold medicines if you’re taking paracetamol and ibuprofen tablets. Cough and cold medicines often also contain paracetamol and ibuprofen so it can be easy to take more than the recommended dose.
Some are not suitable for children, babies and pregnant women.
There’s little evidence that supplements (such as vitamin C, echinacea or garlic) prevent colds or speed up recovery.
Call a pharmacy or contact them online before going in person. You can get medicines delivered or ask someone to collect them.
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:
- your symptoms do not improve after 3 weeks
- your symptoms get suddenly worse
- your temperature is very high or you feel hot and shivery
- you’re concerned about your child’s symptoms
- you’re feeling short of breath or develop chest pain
- you have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes, or a heart, lung or kidney condition
- you have a weakened immune system – for example, because you’re having chemotherapy
GPs do not recommend antibiotics for colds because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections, and colds are caused by viruses.
How to avoid spreading a cold
Colds are caused by viruses and easily spread to other people. You’re infectious until all your symptoms have gone. This usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading a cold:
- wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible
How to prevent catching a cold
A person with a cold can start spreading it from a few days before their symptoms begin until the symptoms have finished.
The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:
- washing your hands with warm water and soap
- not sharing towels or household items (like cups) with someone who has a cold
- not touching your eyes or nose in case you have come into contact with the virus – it can infect the body this way
- staying fit and healthy
The flu vaccine helps prevent flu but not colds.
See how to wash your hands correctly
Video: How to wash your hands
Watch this video to find out the best way to wash your hands.
Media last reviewed: 30 March 2020
Media review due: 30 March 2023
Page last reviewed: 04 February 2021
Next review due: 04 February 2024
Colds – Better Health Channel
Colds (or upper respiratory tract infections) are the most common cause of illness in children and adults). Most colds are caused by a virus. There are more than 200 types of viruses that can cause the common cold, which is why it’s not possible to be immunised against a cold.
What causes colds?
Colds are more common in the winter months. Cooler weather by itself does not increase the chance of getting a cold.
People are in closer contact with each other at this time of year because they stay indoors, and so are more likely to infect each other.
The viruses that cause colds are spread by sneezing, coughing and hand contact.
Symptoms of colds
The symptoms of a cold include various combinations of:
- A stuffy or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Red eyes
- Swelling of lymph glands
- Fever (occasionally)
- There may be loss of appetite and, sometimes, nausea and some vomiting.
Symptoms will vary from person to person and from illness to illness. Usually, symptoms last from a few days to a week or more and you will recover fully without any ongoing problems.
If symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, schedule an appointment with you GP.
Relieving the symptoms of colds
There is no cure for the common cold and no specific treatment that will make the cold go away more quickly.
Symptoms can be relieved in several ways:
- Paracetamol can be given in appropriate doses if fever is present.
- Warm drinks will ease a sore throat and dry mouth.
- Nasal drops or spray will ease a blocked nose.
- Lozenges – the cheapest ones are equally as good as the expensive ones.
Children with a cold don’t need bed rest
There is no need for bed rest if your child has a cold, however it is important to limit the amount of activity the child participates in, as well as ensuring they are following the correct prevention measures.
By doing this, there is less chance of the cold spreading to other people.
Although children are unlikely to be hungry, make sure they drink lots of fluids. Appetite will return as the child starts to feel better.
To prevent the spread of a cold it is important children who are sick stay home from school and don’t participate in any group activities.
Don’t use medications
These treatments are not necessary and should be avoided:
- Antibiotics – colds are caused by a virus and antibiotics will not help, even though they are often prescribed.
- Cough medicines – these are of no benefit. The cough is caused by irritation of the trachea (windpipe) or excess mucus, and cough medicine does not affect either of these symptoms.
- Cold remedies and tablets – preparations that can be bought over the counter at the chemist are usually not helpful and should be avoided.
- Aspirin – do not give children aspirin as it may lead to a serious acute illness called Reye’s syndrome.
When to see the doctor
Almost all upper respiratory tract infections get better without any specific treatment. See the doctor if you or your child:
- Refuses to drink fluids.
- Vomits frequently.
- Complains of intense headache.
- Is pale and sleepy.
- Has difficulty breathing.
- Has a high fever that does not respond to paracetamol.
- Shows no improvement in 48 hours.
- Shows any other signs that you are worried about.
Prevention of colds
While it can be difficult to avoid getting a cold, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid passing it on to others.
There are some ways you can try to prevent getting a cold.
Wash your hands:
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Wash your hands when you get home, arrive at other people’s homes, at venues or at work.
- Wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet.
Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands:
- Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not share drink bottles, glasses, crockery or cutlery other than with people you live with.
- Keep your distance – stay 1.5 metres away from people where you can.
- Do not go to work or school if you are sick.
Watch this video about hand hygiene.
The symptoms of colds can be similar to the symptoms of COVID-19.
If you have any of the symptoms listed below, however mild, you should seek advice and get tested immediately.
To get further advice, call the 24-hour coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 or see your general practitioner.
The symptoms to watch out for are:
- Loss or change in sense of smell or taste
- Chills or sweats
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Runny nose.
Some people may also experience headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Where to get help
Symptoms, Cold vs. Flu, How Long It Lasts, Treatment
What is a cold?
A cold is a contagious upper respiratory infection that affects your nose, throat, sinuses and trachea (windpipe). More than 200 different viruses can cause a cold, but most colds are caused by a rhinovirus.
How common are colds?
As its name implies, the common cold is widespread. You’ll probably have more colds in your lifetime than any other illness. Adults catch two to three colds a year, while young children come down with a cold four or more times a year.
Are colds contagious?
Colds spread from person to person. For you to become infected, the virus has to get to one of your mucous membranes — the moist lining of the nostrils, eyes or mouth. That happens when you touch a surface or breathe moist air that contains the cold virus.
For example, when a sick person sneezes or coughs, droplets of fluid containing the cold virus are launched into the air. If you breathe in those droplets, the cold virus takes root in your nose. You can also leave virus particles on surfaces you touch when you’re sick. If someone else touches those surfaces and then touches their nostrils, eyes or mouth, the virus can get in.
Why do colds occur in the winter?
You can catch a cold any time of year, but it’s more likely during colder months. In winter, people stay indoors and are in closer contact with each other.
A recent study in mice suggests cold temperatures may also affect your immune system’s response. Researchers found that when cooler air lowered nose temperature, mouse immune systems had a harder time stopping the rhinovirus from multiplying. The same may be true in humans.
Why do children get more colds?
Because young children haven’t been exposed to viruses before, they get more colds than adults. Their immune systems have to learn how to recognize and deal with these new germs. By the time you become an adult, you’ve had many colds. It’s easier for your immune system to identify and attack similar viruses.
Children are also in close contact with other children. Kids typically don’t cover their coughs and sneezes or wash their hands before touching their faces — steps that prevent the virus from spreading.
Symptoms and Causes
What causes the common cold?
Rhinoviruses cause up to 50% of common colds. There are more than 100 different rhinoviruses. But other types of viruses can also cause cold symptoms.
What are the symptoms of a cold?
Within one to three days of picking up a cold virus, you’ll get symptoms like:
How can you tell the difference between a cold and flu?
It can be hard to tell whether you have a cold or flu, since many of the symptoms are the same. Both are widespread during the colder months and affect the upper respiratory system (nose, throat and trachea). But different viruses cause cold and flu. The flu comes from the influenza virus, while many other types of viruses cause colds.
The main difference between cold and flu is that you’re more likely to have a fever and chills with flu. Adults don’t usually get a fever with a common cold, although kids sometimes do.
The flu also causes body aches and more severe symptoms than a cold. Although both the cold and flu can lead to complications, flu complications can be life-threatening.
What’s the difference between a cold and COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus)?
You might have heard that the common cold is a coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause upper respiratory infections. While rhinoviruses cause most types of common cold, a few are caused by different coronaviruses. Most people recover quickly from these common colds.
Coronaviruses may also travel into the lungs and lead to pneumonia and other complications that can be fatal. A new (novel) type of coronavirus, discovered in late 2019, causes a specific disease known as COVID-19. Early symptoms that make COVID-19 different from the common cold include:
- Chills and shaking.
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of taste or smell (anosmia).
What’s the difference between the common cold and a chest cold?
A chest cold, or acute (short-term) bronchitis, causes irritation and a buildup of mucus (snot) in the lungs. Common colds turn into chest colds when the virus travels from the nose and throat to the lungs. Occasionally, bacteria cause chest colds.
You can have a cough with a common cold or a chest cold. But chest colds produce a wet cough, meaning you may feel or cough up phlegm. You may also have:
- A cough that keeps you up all night.
- Shortness of breath.
- A sore chest.
Does having a cold affect pregnancy?
Having a cold during pregnancy isn’t usually dangerous. But you do need to be careful with what cold medications you take to treat symptoms. Your healthcare provider can let you know which ones are safe to use during pregnancy.
If you think you may have flu, or if you develop a fever, you should contact your healthcare provider right away. You may need immediate treatment. Fever during early pregnancy is associated with birth defects.
Diagnosis and Tests
How is a cold diagnosed?
Typically, an exam is enough to determine if you have a cold. During a physical exam, your healthcare provider will check for signs such as:
- Swelling in the nostrils.
- Stuffy nose.
- Red, irritated throat.
- Swollen lymph nodes (lumps) in the neck.
- Clear lungs.
You may need tests if your provider suspects you have the flu or another condition. Your provider may give you a nasal swab test (cotton swab rubbed inside your nose) to test for the flu virus. Chest X-rays rule out bronchitis or pneumonia.
Management and Treatment
How are colds treated?
There’s no cure for a cold. You have to let it run its course. Over-the-counter medications can reduce your symptoms to keep you more comfortable until you recover.
Why can’t antibiotics cure a cold?
Antibiotics are medications that fight infections caused by bacteria. Because viruses cause colds, antibiotics don’t work for colds.
What cold medicines relieve symptoms?
Over-the-counter medications to treat cold symptoms are widely available. But some of these medications aren’t safe for children. Check with your healthcare provider before giving your child over-the-counter medications. Be careful not to combine medicines that treat multiple symptoms. If you do, you could wind up overdosing (getting too much) of some ingredients, which could cause other health problems, including organ damage.
Medications that relieve cold symptoms include:
- Pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil®) relieve headaches and fever.
- Decongestants: Drugs like pseudoephedrine (Contac Cold 12 Hour® and Sudafed®) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE®) are intended to reduce stuffiness.
- Antihistamines: Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) and other antihistamines stop sneezing and a runny nose.
- Cough suppressants: Medications such as dextromethorphan (Robitussin® and Vicks DayQuil Cough®) and codeine reduce coughing.
- Expectorants: Guaifenesin (Mucinex®) and other expectorants thin and loosen mucus.
What are the best cold remedies?
You may have heard that supplements and herbal remedies, such as zinc, Vitamin C and echinacea can treat and prevent colds.
Researchers haven’t found that any of those remedies can prevent colds. But zinc may shorten the illness and reduce symptoms. However, it may cause permanent loss of smell, especially when you use it in nasal sprays.
The best and safest way to make a speedy recovery is to get plenty of rest. Consider taking time off from work or school for at least the first few days of illness. Not only will you have more time to rest, but you’ll avoid spreading germs to others.
Also, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids to keep your nose and throat moist. Avoid alcohol and caffeine because they have a drying effect.
How can you keep from getting a cold?
There are several steps you can take to prevent a cold including:
- Wash your hands, especially before eating or preparing food. You also want to wash your hands after using the bathroom, wiping your nose or coming in contact with someone who has a cold.
- Avoid touching your face. Cold viruses spread from your hands to your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean frequently used surfaces. Viruses can live on doorknobs and other places people often touch.
- Use hand sanitizers when you can’t wash your hands with soap and water.
- Strengthen your immune system so your body is ready to fight off germs. Get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise.
- Stay home while sick to make sure you don’t spread the cold to others.
Outlook / Prognosis
How long does a cold last?
Colds generally go away within seven to 10 days.
When can you return to work or school?
You can be contagious for up to two weeks, even spreading a cold a day or two before you have symptoms. But you’re most contagious when your symptoms are at their worst – usually the first three days you feel sick.
Can a cold kill you?
The common cold isn’t fatal. In some people, especially those with a weakened immune system, a cold could lead to other conditions that could cause severe health problems. Those complications might include:
When does a cold require a doctor’s care?
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
- High fever.
- Chest pain.
- Ear pain.
- Asthma flare-up.
- Symptoms lasting longer than 10 days or getting worse.
Seek medical care if your child:
- Develops a high fever.
- Stops eating.
- Cries more than usual.
- Has ear or stomach pain.
- Starts wheezing.
- Is sleepier than usual.
Although they cause discomfort, colds are usually harmless. You can manage the symptoms with medications. Speed up your recovery by getting plenty of rest and fluids, and avoid being around others. If you don’t feel better in 10 days, see your healthcare provider.
How long should you stay home with a cold or flu?
It makes sense to stay home when you’re sick with a cold or flu, but when is it OK to go back to work?
That timing poses a dilemma for someone who’s feeling stressed to get back but is still dealing with the sniffly remnants of a stubborn cough or flu and worried about spreading it around, said Lynora Saxinger, a University of Alberta infectious disease specialist.
For most people it’s not really practical to stay away from work for days or weeks until all symptoms are gone, she noted.
What’s smartest is to stay home for the worst of the illness-about two to four days for a severe cold and five to seven days for the flu, Saxinger said.
“When you’re feeling your worst, try not to be out and about; that’s when you are most infectious. “
While people can spread their cold or flu before they start feeling truly ill, they’re most contagious when they start coughing or sneezing, which sprays the viruses into the air for others to breathe in. Though some symptoms can be similar for both, flu usually also comes with a fever, significant cough and severe aches, Saxinger noted.
“You’re overloaded with the virus, and your body is trying to respond to the invasion. Usually after the fever breaks, you’re becoming less contagious.”
It’s commonly recommended to wait at least one or two days after the fever is gone to return to work, she added.
Precautions and treatments
To avoid catching a cold or flu, or spreading the misery, Saxinger urges people to take some simple precautions.
“Basic things can make a big difference, so don’t get fatalistic and assume you have to get sick if cold and flu is going around,” said Saxinger.
And if you’re just getting over a cold, good practices can help prevent catching another one-which is entirely possible.
“You get neutralizing antibodies from your first cold, but often there are many respiratory viruses circulating, so you can get a back-to-back cold from a different virus.”
If you feel really sick, go home
Not really sure if you’re starting to feel ill?”Use your judgment, but if you start feeling horrible, you should leave work; you’re becoming more infectious as that virus ascends in the body. Toughing it out is not the right thing to do,” said Saxinger.
Don’t spread it around
If you do have to go out while very sick-to a clinic, for instance-wear a mask, available at most drugstores. Covering your mouth and nose helps contain the virus from spreading into everyone else’s air space. If you don’t have a mask, cover your cough or sneeze.
Wipe down surfaces
“We know that viruses spread into the air after coughing or sneezing, but they can also settle,” Saxinger noted, adding they can remain infectious for up to several hours on soft and hard surfaces. Viruses in mucous droplets can last up to 48 hours, one study showed. Use a diluted bleach and water solution or a household cleaner to wipe down “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs, office furniture and computers.
Wash your hands-and keep them away from your face
Proper handwashing after touching surfaces is important to stop the spread of cold and flu, and it’s important to not touch your face, Saxinger said. “The only way for the virus that’s living on that doorknob to get into your system is by your own hands. If you have a habit of rubbing your eyes or nose a lot, be aware of that.”
See your doctor-when necessary
People who are medically at risk, including those who are immuno-compromised, elderly or chronically ill, may be able to get helpful treatment if they are showing early signs of influenza.
“There are prescription medications that target the flu virus, shorten the duration of symptoms and make complications less likely for some, but only if they’re taken within the first couple of days, so if you are at high risk get assessed right away,” Saxinger said.
The other reason for anyone with the flu to see a doctor is when it persists, she added. “If you’re getting better but then start feeling worse again, you should get checked out for a secondary bacterial infection.”
To help recover, get lots of rest and go for symptom relief
“When your body is waging immunological warfare and you’re fatigued, you don’t want to divert your resources from fighting the infection,” she said. “If your body is telling you to rest, let it rest and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.”
Cold medicines can also alleviate stuffiness and congestion, though Saxinger advises using medicines with decongestants no longer than three to five days.
“They can elevate the heart rate and cause dry mouth, and can have a rebound effect, where you worsen when you stop.”
They aren’t recommended for young children, she added. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can also help substantially with fever and aches.
Though tempting, turning to antibiotics isn’t a good idea, Saxinger noted.
“I wish we had better treatments for cold viruses, and patients and physicians alike often want to do something, so antibiotics are often prescribed ‘in case’ they might help, but the vast majority of these prescriptions are not useful. Evidence suggests that bacterial complications of viral infections are rare, so only one in 4,000 people with a viral infection would benefit from antibiotics given to prevent a bacterial complication.”
Why Do You Feel Sicker at Night?
When you have a cold, have you ever wondered why you suddenly feel ten times worse at night? It’s bad enough during the day, with the congestion, headaches, and fever, but at night your symptoms become a real nightmare.
Blame It on Hormones
Research shows that our bodies are on a 24-hour clock called a circadian rhythm. Hormone levels fluctuate, increasing and decreasing within this daily cycle. Cortisol, a hormone made by the adrenal glands, helps regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, and blood pressure. It also helps the body manage stress.
In addition, cortisol helps your immune system function properly and reduce inflammation. In other words, it helps you fight off infection and sickness.
More cortisol circulates in your blood during the day, which suppresses your immune system. This means that your white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections, are less active during the day.
At night, there is less cortisol in your blood. As a result, your white blood cells readily detect and fight infections in your body at this time, provoking the symptoms of the infection to surface, such as fever, congestion, chills, or sweating. Therefore, you feel sicker during the night.
Day versus Night
A couple of other things to consider are the natural differences we experience during the day and at night:
- Position of Your Body: Pressure in your body is continually changing. Gravity has a lot to do with how your body adapts and feels. Laying down will always cause your cold or flu symptoms to become worse.
Keeping your body upright can make a world of difference for your congestion and breathing, by helping to drain mucous from your airway. During the day you are naturally more upright, as you go about your routine, while at night you eventually lay down to sleep. Try adding an extra pillow to raise your head higher and promote sinus drainage.
- Distractions: Your daily life can be extremely hectic, with little time for yourself. Going from one task to the next doesn’t leave much time to dwell upon your symptoms. At night, however, you tend to wind down and relax, which is when your immune system kicks into gear.
As you have heard many times, the best thing to do when you are sick is to rest. Otherwise, you will be stressing out and elevating your cortisol levels.
Tips to Help You Fight Illness:
- Stay hydrated: Drinking fluids is the best thing you can do, along with getting plenty of sleep. Flushing out the infection or bacteria attacking your immune system will help you recover faster.
- Be prepared: Having all your essentials near you at night, such as tissues, medicine, and water on your bedside table, will be a lifesaver. Saving your energy and getting the most rest possible will do wonders.
- Support your immune system: For your immune system to fight off infection from colds and flu, it needs to be strong. Taking vitamin C, drinking hot tea, and getting plenty of sleep are all things that can help strengthen your immune system.
When you feel sick, turn to the doctors at Intercoastal Medical Group. One of our family practice or internal medicine providers will be happy to see you and get you on the path to recovery. You can request an appointment online now.
90,000 In case of illness, rest is important – Baltic Medical Center
For about three years throughout our life, we have been worried about a runny nose and sore throat. According to experts, about 200 times we suffer from colds up to 75 years of age. The most common illnesses are those of the respiratory tract, and although they usually resolve without complications, their symptoms are usually extremely debilitating. And each time the question arises: to bring down the temperature with drugs or not? Taking antibiotics? Is it too late to strengthen the immune system? There are many tips for treating coughs and runny nose, but only a few of them are really helpful.
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that affects the nasal cavity, throat and deeper respiratory tract. Common cold symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat and joint pain are debilitating and usually harmless. But the common cold should not be confused with the real flu! Influenza differs from acute colds with a sharp onset, high fever, muscle pain. Cold, sudden fluctuations in humidity and ambient temperature, taking antibiotics without consulting a doctor – all this reduces the body’s resistance to infections and weaken the immune system. To prevent colds and flu, it is very important to strengthen the body’s immune system. And in order for the immune system to be strong, you need to constantly take care of your body and check your health for prevention.
And remember that the common cold is a viral disease. Hand hygiene is the main preventive measure. If you try, you can avoid pathogens. For example, the risk of infection will be reduced if you breathe through your nose instead of your mouth on the bus or in the doctor’s office, because the villi inside your nose trap viruses.In addition, crowds do not pose as much of an infection risk compared to doorknobs, handsets, or copiers that people with a runny nose touch. And viruses easily enter the body from the fingers, for this it is enough to rub the eye or nose. So, the most important advice is to wash your hands more often. 45% of infections can be avoided by washing hands 5 times a day.
During the heating season, it is necessary to ventilate the room well and maintain a sufficient level of humidity. I recommend eating ginger, honey, garlic (if a person is not allergic to them), which stimulate the immune system.
A healthy diet, good sleep, and plenty of fluids are the best ways to prevent colds. In other words, you should adhere to the principles of a healthy diet. It is equally important to observe a rational mode of work and rest, because people often do not think about their health – they work a lot, do not get enough rest and sleep little. As practice shows, those who do not rest are more likely to suffer from colds.
Alcohol and smoking weaken the immune system.
In case of illness, it is necessary to drink plenty of fluids, rest and eat properly. Don’t consume too many vitamins and paracetamol. If before the disease there was a lack of vitamins in the body, then it is too late to take “horse” doses of vitamins during the disease. Nutrition should be varied, because in the case of monotonous nutrition, the body will not receive a sufficient amount of necessary substances.
If symptoms of discomfort appear, bed rest is recommended first of all.It is worth contacting a doctor without delay if shortness of breath appears, a cough begins, or the temperature rises (> 38.9 C). High fever, moderate to severe muscle and bone pain are more common with the flu than the common cold. If the patient has a fever, sweating, chills, a severe cough – he may have pneumonia, in which case antibiotic treatment is necessary.
It is necessary to see a doctor if cold symptoms last more than a week (to make sure that complications have not begun – a bacterial infection).In the presence of chronic diseases, the risk of complications increases, so a doctor should be consulted earlier.
An adult does not need to bring down a temperature of less than 38.5 with medication. Temperature helps the body’s immune system fight infection. It is necessary to stay in bed, drink plenty of fluids.
In the end, let me remind you of chicken soup with a slice of toasted bread, which helps to quickly cope with a cold. This old home remedy has been recognized by scientists.The fact is that chicken broth contains many useful substances: zinc, which prevents the multiplication of viruses, protein cysteine, which suppresses inflammation. Seasonings enhance the effect, such as red pepper or ginger root.
90,000 Why are we sick on vacation?
- Claudia Hammond
- BBC Future
Photo Credit, Thinkstock
We often try to redo everything at work before we go on vacation.Do we also become more vulnerable to colds? Correspondent
BBC Future found that there are several theories to explain the phenomenon.
I lost count of the people who told me how they rushed to get work done ahead of their vacation – and caught a nasty cold as soon as they left the office. This did not necessarily happen in winter: summer vacations, beach vacations, and short trips were also in jeopardy.
For such a phenomenon even a separate name was invented: “free time syndrome”.The author of the term, Dutch psychologist Ad Wingerhuts, admits that this diagnosis has not yet been described in the medical literature. However, the situation when you get sick at the very moment you figured out the work issues is familiar to many firsthand. So, is there really such a syndrome?
Is the likelihood of getting sick on vacation increased compared to working days is an open question: no extensive systematic study of this problem has been carried out. To collect more or less meaningful statistics, Wingerhuts interviewed more than 1,800 people: do they, in their opinion, suffer from the “free time syndrome”.Only a little more than 3% of respondents answered in the affirmative.
Considering how often we work hard before holidays, trying to do everything in time, we can conclude that this is not the norm, on the contrary. People were asked to decide for themselves whether something similar happened to them – and we would rather remember how the illness spoiled our vacation than how we went somewhere and remained healthy.
But if a minority is sure that they are subject to this phenomenon, is there a physiological explanation for this syndrome? Almost half of Wingerhuts’ survey participants associate what is happening with the switch between work and vacation.How? There are several theories.
The first says that once we finally have the opportunity to relax, an imbalance occurs in the body due to stress hormones that help us get the job done on time, leaving us vulnerable to infections. Adrenaline helps us cope with stress and also strengthens the immune system so that we can resist infections and feel good. In parallel with it, cortisol is produced: it also helps in stressful situations, but harms the immune system.
Photo author, Thinkstock
The transition from stress at work to relaxation on vacation can be too abrupt …
This all sounds convincing, especially in cases where the transition from stress to relaxation occurs quickly, but for confirmation There is a lack of research on this hypothesis.
It may be that people get sick from the very beginning. They are so busy and so stubbornly resisting illness until the very holidays that they don’t even notice the first symptoms until they begin to relax on vacation.
One thing is certain: our assessment of symptoms depends on what else we are doing. Psychologist James Pennebaker found out: the fewer events occur around a person, the more negatively he is inclined to assess the symptoms of his disease.
As part of his experiment, a group of students assessed how interesting 30-second film clips are. The psychologist then showed the same picture to another group of students and monitored how often they coughed. The more interesting the scene, the less they coughed.During the boring passages, they seemed to notice their sore throat and started coughing a lot (pay attention if you are a classical music performer and you are tired of the audience coughing!). However, you will surely notice that your head is splitting and running out of the nose, no matter how much work you have.
Sitting locked up
There is another version: we do not get sick as a result of work stress, but because of the stress arising from the trip. Traveling is always tiring, especially when it comes to flights, and the longer you fly, the greater the risk of contracting some kind of virus.
Photo author, Thinkstock
We sit too close to each other in the cabin
The average American catches a cold 2.5 times a year, from which the researchers conclude that the probability of catching infection during one flight should be 1 % for an adult. However, a survey of people who flew from San Francisco to Denver a week earlier showed that 20% of them had a cold. If a similar incidence rate persisted throughout the year, a person would catch a cold more than 56 times a year, that is, sniffle every week.
Air recirculation in the cabin is often thought to be the cause of this number of colds, but this factor did not play a role in this study. The researchers identified two other reasons: being in a confined space and, as a result, closer contact with infectious agents; and humidity. According to the hypothesis, under the influence of dry air in the cabin, the mucus in the nose, which traps viruses and bacteria, becomes too thick and stops flowing down the hairs through the throat into the stomach – which interferes with the neutralization of these viruses and bacteria.
Hell Wingerhuts is open to other explanations of why people get sick on vacation. There is even a version according to which illness becomes a good reason to interrupt an unsuccessful vacation. However, the lack of research in this area does not allow giving priority to any specific explanation; perhaps the truth lies in a combination of several factors.
Photo author, Thinkstock
And for some, illness is just an excuse to interrupt a failed vacation
But there is good news: this syndrome is less common than you might expect. Moreover, the older we get, the more our body is able to produce antibodies, so we start to catch colds less often – regardless of whether we are on vacation or not.
Finally, we have a reason to be glad that we are not getting younger!
Colds and flu: how viruses work and whether relaxing by the sea helps. Influenza and colds in children: where do these diseases come from?
Children with colds are an indispensable sign of the beginning of the school year and visiting kindergartens and schools.Remember, did the child catch a cold in the summer? Most probably not. We will tell you why various viruses that cause colds lie in wait for us in the cold season, what is the mechanism of the disease, and whether a summer vacation at sea helps to hurt less.
How many times have I heard: “The child has a stuffy nose, a runny nose, began to cough, the temperature rose.” Often the mother herself voices the diagnosis: “Cold again.” Indeed, the common cold is the most common illness in children, especially in preschool age. Most mammals rarely get colds. Colds are mainly the lot of a person, his reckoning for comfortable living conditions, a consequence of a decrease in adaptive reactions to unfavorable environmental factors.
The common cold is an infectious disease. The cold factor in itself creates the prerequisites – it reduces the child’s resistance to infection. For example, when the child’s feet or hands are cooled, there is a reflex vascular contraction and blood circulation in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat is disturbed.At the same time, their resistance decreases and their sensitivity increases both to their own conditionally pathogens inhabiting the nasopharynx and to viruses and bacteria of the environment.
Colds occur more often, the less resistant the child is to temperature changes, to the breath of the breeze, to the effects of moisture. This stability is originally inherent in the child genetically. But we, protecting children from drafts, wrapping them in blankets, maintaining an elevated temperature in our homes, consistently artificially suppress natural resistance to any changes in external conditions. If your child is accustomed to walking in any weather from early childhood, running barefoot in summer and swimming not only in heated pools, and not covering his mouth with a scarf in winter, he will not catch a cold.
Causes of colds
The immediate cause of the disease is either penetration into the body, or the activation of its own pathogenic viruses or bacteria. Usually, infection occurs by airborne droplets – from a patient or a carrier of the pathogen. Moreover, the cold factor is not always decisive.Imagine friends with children came to visit you, one of them sniffs and coughs. After a day or two, your baby also began to cough. With close contact with a sick child, a child can become infected without any cooling.
Children with weakened resistance are especially easily infected – they can get sick from short-term contact with a sick person, for example, in transport. And, in addition, there are infections with increased susceptibility, such as influenza. One way or another, it is the infection that causes inflammation of the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.
There are several dozen possible causative agents of colds. Most often these are viruses. Microscopic sizes allow viruses to scatter several meters around when a patient coughs with particles of mucus and phlegm, finding more and more victims.
Once in a child’s body, viruses penetrate into tissue cells. Moreover, different viruses give preference to different tissues. Some (for example, rotaviruses) infect the digestive tract, causing diarrhea. Others (hepatitis viruses) are the liver, but many viruses (rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, influenza viruses, parainfluenza, etc.)) prefer to penetrate the cells of the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract – they are called respiratory viruses.
Such selectivity of viruses is due to the fact that the virus is able to penetrate only into certain groups of cells and force these cells to reproduce more and more viruses. The tissue cells of the child become a virus factory, and the child – the spread of the disease. At the same time, the cells can no longer perform their own functions. The more cells are damaged and the more important functions they performed, the more severe the disease progresses.
The body is trying to suppress the aggressor. Antiviral agents – interferons, antibodies – rush to viruses. The inflammatory process begins. The production of mucus increases. A cough and a runny nose appear, which contribute to the removal of pathogens and dead cells of the mucous membrane from the body. The body temperature rises, contributing to the activation of immunity and increased metabolism.
What is the difference between ARI and ARVI
The manifestations of diseases caused by different viruses are similar, although there are still some differences.So, rhinovirus affects the mucous membranes of the nose: a child has a runny nose. Parainfluenza tends to affect the larynx: the child has a hoarse voice and a rough cough. With adenovirus infection, both the conjunctiva of the eyes and the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract become inflamed with abundant discharge. With the flu, on the contrary, the discharge is very scarce, but the child’s well-being worsens sharply. And based on such details, the doctor can assume a probable causative agent of the disease.
However, the treatment of respiratory diseases caused by different viruses does not differ significantly.Therefore, although at present there is a fundamental possibility of determining a specific causative agent of the disease, there is no practical need for this. The doctor usually makes a diagnosis: acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI) or acute respiratory disease (ARI). In the latter case, the doctor does not exclude that viruses, bacteria, and mycoplasma can be the causative agent of the disease. That is, ARI is a broader concept.
And yet, according to folk tradition, we will continue to call this entire group of diseases “colds”.
With a sufficiently clear symptomatology of the disease, the doctor can formulate a diagnosis based on the level of damage to the respiratory tract: rhinitis – inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, pharyngitis – inflammation of the throat, tracheitis – trachea and bronchitis – bronchi (as you understand, the Latin ending “it” means inflammation) …
But in some cases of acute respiratory infections, the doctor in the diagnosis still indicates the causative agent of the disease. This applies to the flu. Such a respectful attitude towards this virus is due, on the one hand, to the severity of the diseases it causes, and on the other, to the massiveness of the lesion.
It would seem that once the influenza has been transferred, it should help those who have recovered to develop resistance to it. And there is. But the peculiarity of the influenza virus is its colossal variability. And now, almost every year, new subspecies of this virus appear, capable of causing a new epidemic. And the sooner cases of influenza are detected in the total mass of acute respiratory infections, the sooner they begin and the more effective anti-epidemic measures will be. The less often during this period your children visit, the less they visit matinees and theaters, and the more time they spend in the fresh air, the less likely they are to get sick.
Causes of colds in children
There is not a single child who has not caught a cold at least once a year. Some children suffer from 5-6 or more colds per year. The reasons for this can be both the age characteristics of the body of children, and some of the nuances of their lifestyle.
It is known that resistance to viral infections is not an innate quality of a child, but is developed as the immune system matures. In a significant part of children, a significant level of maturation of protective forces is achieved by the age of three.In some children (15–20%), the maturation of the immune system occurs with some delay – by the age of 5–7 years. These are the so-called non-school children. If such a child begins to attend a children’s team prematurely, then he easily and often gets sick and sick until he has endured the entire spectrum of viral infections circulating in this team. Such children should be protected (isolated) from sick family members and, if possible, refrain from registering a child in kindergarten for a year or two.
However, along with the age-related characteristics of immunity, the living conditions that we, adults, create for our child, are most directly related to the incidence of a child.And this is not only about the possibility of hypothermia or the child’s stay in drafts. Strange as it may seem, but it is in the so-called “dysfunctional families” that children rarely get colds. They are not afraid of drafts; in cold autumn they can go to school without a jacket, in torn shoes, and in winter they can walk without mittens.
Much more often children get sick with colds, whom mothers and grandmothers strongly protect from cooling. A child who is wrapped in warm clothes, without considering that he will run during the walk and will certainly sweat, is at increased risk of illness.
Children who rarely go outside and are not used to temperature changes, cold winds, and high humidity are no less often sick. Such a child, as a rule, gets sick with a cold in the most seemingly harmless situation, not to mention the cases when he suddenly gets his feet wet.
Leisure at sea and prevention of colds in children
They often try to solve the problem of such children by taking the child to a warm region, to the sea. This is, of course, a good thing and, under certain conditions, useful.It should be borne in mind that a sharp change in climate requires 10-14 days of habituation. Therefore, in the case of short-term trips to the south, the child, having only managed to adapt to the hot climate, returns home and finds himself in a cold rainy autumn, to which he must get used again. It turns out not hardening, but loosening and a decrease in the child’s resistance to colds.
But even if the child really rested well in the summer, became hardened and strengthened, all the positive changes that have occurred in his body after 2-3 weeks are lost if the child is not systematically reinforced daily the resistance to colds acquired by him.And he gets cold easily.
A good home environment is also very important for developing resistance to colds. It is known that children living in rooms where the temperature exceeds the optimum (20–21 ° C) are much more likely to get sick.
At an air temperature of 23–25 ° C, the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx of a healthy child dry up. And this lowers their resistance to infection. The same effect on the mucous membranes of the child’s respiratory tract is exerted by tobacco smoke when smoking at home by adults.The fact that you only smoke in the bathroom or through an open window is complacency. In order to irritate the delicate mucous membranes of the child, this is enough.
90,000 How not to spoil your vacation
Although most cases of colds occur in the cold season, some viruses are especially active in summer 1. 2 . But if in the cold season ARVI occurs due to hypothermia, then in the summer the “trigger” for the disease is a temperature drop.In the heat, walking down the street is like getting into a sauna. And at home, the hand still reaches for cold mineral water or ice cream, and the temperature of the air conditioner in the office wants to be set lower. And what about the open windows of electric trains, from which it blows in a fresh breeze all the way to the dacha?
Consequences can come within a few hours: itching in the throat, the temperature rises, there is an unpleasant chill. In this case, the main thing is not to let everything take its course and take action in time.
What is the deviousness of summer colds?
Colds usually last longer in summer than in winter 3 .This is due to the fact that in winter we are more inclined to “lie down”: when there are frosts and blizzards outside, it is easier to force ourselves to lie in bed, drink hot drinks and medications. In the summer, colds seem less scary. People with colds take less care of themselves and hope that “it will pass by itself”: they continue to go to work, sit under air conditioning, not giving the body the opportunity to fight the infection.
Another reason that colds do not want to go away in summer is improper treatment. We are used to fighting the disease according to the “winter rules”.But in summer a slightly different approach is needed 3.4 .
We treat colds correctly
- Strengthen your immune system! Summer is the perfect time for this rule. Lay on raspberries, currants, blueberries, and other berries and fruits. Eat them fresh and make fruit drinks.
- Drink warm, not hot. Both in winter and in summer, during a cold, you need to drink more. First, the body suffers from dehydration due to high temperatures and needs a lot of fluids to replenish the loss.And secondly, the liquid helps to remove the toxic waste products of viruses and bacteria from the body. But if in winter we tend to drink hotter drinks, then in summer, in the heat, the drink should be warm, not hot.
- Fresh air! Ventilate the room where you are or open the window for a long time – but so as not to lie or sit in a draft. If there is no heat, you can go for an easy walk. To do this, choose the morning or evening hours. This way, you will avoid a sharp temperature drop and save yourself from the temptation to sit under the air conditioner when you return from a hot street.
- Do not wrap yourself in warm clothes. Otherwise, you also run the risk of overheating the body and causing more harm to health than good. A sweater or shawl should be worn if you do enter an air-conditioned room. After 5-10 minutes, when the body adapts to the coolness, excess clothing can be removed.
Prerequisites for colds in summer are no less than in winter 6.7 . In order not to spoil your vacation, and the holidays for your children, make it a rule to follow basic preventive measures.
Don’t give a cold a chance
- Prefer cold drinks over icy drinks.
- Do not sit in drafts.
- Do not place air conditioners at home or in your car at minimum temperatures.
- Walk more in the fresh air.
- Eat a balanced diet with vegetables and fruits.
- Inhale essential oil vapors.
The last recommendation is not as obvious as the first five, but it has already proven to be effective.It is known that essential oils of eucalyptus, mint and other plants have a disinfecting effect and are part of many remedies for the prevention of colds and flu. So, for example, the composition of Dyshi essential oils reduces the risk of SARS infection by 65% and helps with the first symptoms of a cold. 9.10
Dyshi contains mint, eucalyptus, juniper, cajeput, vintegrin and clove oils, as well as levomenthol.
To prevent colds, simply apply 2-3 drops of oil on a pillow or clothes, you can drip it onto a napkin and put it next to you. Breathing oil will evaporate and, getting into the air, disinfect it. So pathogenic microbes will be destroyed even before they enter the body. 11
The Breathe composition can be used by adults and children over three months old. Breathe oil does not irritate and does not dry mucous membranes 13.14 , is not addictive.
Breathe Oil is available in compact but economical bottles that are easy to take with you. Let Breathe Oil always be in your medicine cabinet, especially when you are going on vacation, plan to swim a lot, and are not sure if your body can easily endure acclimatization.These simple rules will help you enjoy a cold-free vacation.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
- Catching a Cold When It’s Warm. What’s the Deal with Summertime Sniffles? NIH https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/jun2012/feature2
- Summer Colds Can be Worse Than Their Winter Counterpart. James Thompson, MD Health Pro http: // www.healthcentral.com/cold-flu/c/3989/161429/summer-winter-counterpart/
- Summer Colds Can be Worse Than Their Winter Counterpart. James Thompson, MD Health Pro http://www.healthcentral.com/cold-flu/c/3989/161429/summer-winter-counterpart/
- Catching a Cold When It’s Warm. What’s the Deal with Summertime Sniffles? NIH https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/jun2012/feature2
- Summer Colds Can be Worse Than Their Winter Counterpart. James Thompson, MD Health Pro http: // www.healthcentral.com/cold-flu/c/3989/161429/summer-winter-counterpart/
- Common Cold Center http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/common-cold-centre/the-common-cold/summer-colds
- B. Kedzia, J. Alkiewicz, E. Holderna-Kedzia, D. Zawadzka. Studies on the bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect of Olbas oil preparation on the upper respiratory tract microorganisms // Otolaryngol. Pol. 1997; 51 Suppl 27: 355-4. Polish
- E. E. Lokshina. The place of inhalation with essential oils in the therapy and prevention of acute respiratory diseases in children // District pediatrician.- 2012. – No. 5.
- Petrushina A.D., Nikogosyan A.S., Kaib I.D., Malchenko L.A., Ushakova S.A.Use of inhalation with essential oils in complex therapy and for the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections in children // Questions of modern pediatrics. – 2012. – No. 2.
- B. Kedzia, J. Alkiewicz, E. Holderna-Kedzia, D. Zawadzka. Studies on the bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect of Olbas oil preparation on the upper respiratory tract microorganisms // Otolaryngol. Pol. 1997; 51 Suppl 27: 355-4.Polish
- N. L. Chernaya, E. V. Shubina, G. S. Ganuzina, I. V. Plishkan, Yu. D. Skrobin. Experience of using aromatherapy for the improvement of children in a preschool institution // Consilium medicum. Pediatrics application. – 2012. – No. 3
- Azova E.A., Vorobieva V.A., Kulikov A. G., Mitroshina L.A., Belotserkovskaya O.E., Azov N.A., Sladkova I.V. complex therapy of acute respiratory infections in children // Pediatrician Handbook.- 2012. – No. 3. p. 55-62
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5 Unusual Ways to Deal with Colds | Culture and Lifestyle in Germany and Europe | DW
My throat is ticklish, my head is cast-iron, my joints begin to ache … Everything is clear: a serious cold or flu begins. “The real flu comes suddenly: half an hour ago, a person was working or playing sports and suddenly collapsed with a high fever, sore throat and cough,” says Professor of Virology at the Technical University of Munich Ulrike Protzer (Ulrike Protzer).It all depends on how low the immunity is, the professor emphasizes. The lower it is, the more dangerous any hypothermia.
Herbs from Hildegard of Bingen
However, even when they have occupied your body, you can fight against insidious viruses quite successfully. And it is not at all necessary to immediately go to the doctor and swallow the pills. Movement, optimal nutrition and mental balance all contribute to a speedy recovery, says Professor Procer.”Plus fresh air and medicinal herbs,” says renowned German expert on monastery medicine and herbal medicine, Johannes Gottfried Mayer. About 85 percent of people in Germany turn to traditional medicine for the treatment of colds.
Hildegard von Bingen
The recipes of the famous healer of the Middle Ages Hildegard von Bingen (Hildegard von Bingen) have not lost their relevance to this day. She highly recommended herbal medicine.“The herbal teas that she recommends contain saponins that thin phlegm in the bronchi and have an expectorant effect, as well as essential oils whose antibacterial and antiviral properties are now known to many,” explains Mayer. Rosehip, sage, chamomile, linden – these are the most common components of “herbal” medicine.
Onion syrup, garlic drops, radish juice and licorice root are no less popular. They blend harmoniously with lemon and ginger. Ginger tea with lemon and honey is a versatile antipyretic and anti-inflammatory agent.The well-known “antiangin” recipe of the great herbalist Hildegard of Bingen is wine made from shandra (or horsemint, in Latin Marrubium vulgare). It should be sipped several times a day, and the sore throat will disappear, the nun promised her contemporaries and their descendants.
To get rid of cough “naturopaths” suggest, for example, with the help of hay. A bag of hay and meadow flowers, heated over a pot of boiling water, should be placed on the chest and covered with a woolen scarf. And try to fall asleep in order to sweat thoroughly.And for pleasant dreams, you can pre-grease your temples and forehead with mint oil.
According to Johannes Gottfried Mayer and his colleagues from the research center in Würzburg for the study of monastic medicine, onions are considered the most effective remedy for the common cold – thanks to the “anti-inflammatory” sulfides it contains. Finely chopped onions are best sprinkled on your socks, put on, and go to bed. And before that, it’s good to drink tea with honey. Moreover, as studies in Germany have shown, it is best with buckwheat!
Be careful with baths
Movement (sports, walks, hikes) improves health – both adherents of “school” medicine and supporters of “natural” treatment are sure of this.Foot baths, contrast showers, douches (hydrotherapy according to Kneipp), and even just walks along the seashore strengthen our immune system, which allows it to successfully fight off viral “attacks”.
“Hot baths with the addition of essential oils are recommended for prophylaxis or for an onset of illness. But in no case if the temperature rises,” warns Professor Procer.
There is another effective way to bring your emotions into a “floating” state: this is the so-called “laughing yoga”.
There is even a special school in Munich where people come together to laugh and strengthen body and soul. Everything is quite serious and scientific. In the classroom, those present are taught a special breathing technique. When you laugh, your breathing becomes deeper, making it easier to clear your throat. That is, a cold is more easily tolerated. In addition, as Professor Procer emphasizes, when the “hormones of happiness” are produced, viruses have to retreat in a physiological sense.
A healthy mind, as you know, is in a healthy body.A healthy body needs vitamins, minerals and so on – in short, proper nutrition. For example, zinc is very important, which is necessary, in particular, for the metabolism of vitamin E. Most of the zinc is in oysters, but if oysters are not included in your daily diet, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, beef liver can easily replace them … “It is often said that for colds and flu infections it is better to starve. But contrary to popular belief, these foods will perfectly support your body,” says Ulrike Prozer.Of course, you can take zinc preparations from the pharmacy, but not everyone tolerates them well.
Onions – from seven ailments and in Germany. Only here it is best in socks …
If we talk about food for severe colds, then in Germany (as, probably, in many other countries) the list of “healing” dishes is headed by chicken broth. Spices are added to the broth: peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley roots, onions, cloves, if desired – a small piece of ginger. The favorite German soup with chicken broth – with thin homemade noodles.
The category of particularly useful “medicinal” vegetables includes, in particular, beets: scientists have recognized them as an excellent fighter against viruses and bacteria. It is recommended to eat beets in any form, but it is better to bake in the oven.
However, it is better not to eat too much at night. This is not very good for a healthy person, and even more so for a sick person. In the evening you can take a fragrant bath, eat chicken soup, put on “onion socks” – and rest.Sleeping well and getting enough sleep determines the strength of your immune system. Seven to eight hours of sleep, during which our body diligently regenerates, works wonders, experts say.
In general, enjoy your sleep, tasty treatment and a quick recovery!
90,000 Side by side with colds
Who among us has not had a cold? Did you lie under three blankets with a runny nose and a headache? The average person suffers respiratory infections three to five times a year.Moreover, the severity of their course is determined not only by the state of the immune system, but also by the type of pathogen that struck the body. In 66–75% of cases, the infection is caused by one of more than 200 different viruses of different genera, in most cases (20 to 80%) these are rhinoviruses. They live inside a person’s nasal cavity and usually cause a mild form of rhinovirus infection. The proportion of viruses that provoke a more serious course of the disease is approximately 10-15%. These include influenza viruses, parainfluenza and adenoviruses, which lead to the development of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) and affect the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.These and other pathogens can cause severe complications that sometimes lead to chronic organ damage and even death. The incidence of cold episodes caused by bacterial infection is only 5%.
First line of defense
As Lydia Aleksandrovna Soprun, assistant of the Department of Health Organization and Medical Law, Researcher of the Laboratory of Autoimmunity Mosaic at St.Thanks to its normal functioning, people can cope with many infections. In addition, there are physical obstacles (skin and mucous membranes) that are the first to prevent the entry of pathogens. The microflora on the skin has colonization resistance and does not allow foreign agents to penetrate. In the mucous membranes of a person there are class A immunoglobulins (IgA), which prevent the passage of microorganisms into the depths of tissues. Also in a person’s nose are cilia and other biological protective factors that prevent the penetration of pathogens into the respiratory tract.
If the physical barriers are ineffective, immunity enters the fight. Within a few hours, nonspecific protection against pathogens begins to work. Phagocytes absorb harmful particles, at the same time the complement system is triggered – a protein complex, which, through cascade reactions, leads to the stimulation of the protective process of inflammation. Leukocytes and lymphocytes migrate to the site of infection in large quantities, and special immune cells begin to produce interferons, which inhibit the production of viral particles.After a time after infection, elements of specific immunity appear in the blood – immunoglobulins of class M, and then G – antibodies to a certain type of infectious agent, for example, to a specific strain of the influenza virus that has infected the body. They attach to the viral particle and help killer cells recognize and destroy cells infected with it. Antibody production continues for several months and then gradually decreases. In small quantities, they will circulate in the blood of a person throughout his life, recognizing the pathogen when it is reintroduced.But if another strain of the pathogen antigenically enters the body, for example, a new type of influenza virus, the previous specific antibodies will no longer cope with it. The immune system will again follow the path of non-specific protection, and then it will form other antibodies specific to the new virus strain.
Immunity vice versa
However, sometimes malfunctions occur in the work of the immune system, which lead to serious complications. According to Leonid Pavlovich Churilov, head of the Department of Pathology, St. Petersburg State University, this is facilitated by human genetic characteristics, previous infections, as well as concomitant diseases.All this affects the targeting of immune responses, as well as the work of the systems involved in the body’s typical reaction to aggression: the acute phase response.
“An acute phase response occurs in any infectious or non-infectious disease associated with the appearance of molecules and their complexes, recognized by special TLR-receptors of cells of the innate immune system and regarded by the latter as a sign of danger or tissue destruction. It stimulates the immune system, helps the body redistribute resources and fight the disease, says the scientist.- In an acute phase response, cells of the immune system and vascular endothelium produce local signaling molecules called cytokines. It is their common action that forms the response of the acute phase. ” Cytokines regulate the interaction between cells, stimulate their growth and functional activity, and are also involved in starting both cell proliferation (the process of tissue proliferation by cell division. – Ed.), Participating in protection, and cell death – apoptosis. Normally, they coordinate the work of the immune, endocrine and nervous systems in response to a threat.
In the case of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, the outcome of the disease depends on how adequately the body’s immune system reacts to the infection. As L.P. Churilov said, if the acute-phase response proceeds in the normal mode, cytokines are formed only in the organ affected by the virus and in the amount that is necessary to repel its attack. Only the required minimum of them will enter the systemic circulation. Under their influence, there will be a restructuring of metabolism and the work of the main body systems in a protective manner.The person will feel malaise and fever, as well as other symptoms of a cold, which will be all limited.
WHO estimates that annual influenza epidemics cause 3-5 million cases of severe illness and 290,000-650,000 deaths from respiratory diseases.
If the acute phase response is excessive, cytokines and other local regulators will begin to form in excessive quantities and cross the boundaries of the foci of inflammation. Through the bloodstream, they will enter healthy organs.As a result, there will be malfunctions in the work of blood circulation and respiration, the nutrition of cells with blood and their supply with oxygen will be disrupted, which will lead to cell death. Dying cells will release even more of these signaling molecules, exacerbating the situation. In this case, the person will have a very high temperature, blood pressure may drop, and symptoms indicating organ damage may appear. For example, nausea and vomiting with damage to the gastrointestinal tract, frequent and weak pulse and interruptions in the work of the heart, choking and blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes with insufficient lung function, or confusion in case of disturbance of the nervous system.In this case, the patient will need hospitalization and treatment under the supervision of doctors.
But for most people, an encounter with influenza or ARVI viruses ends with a set of all known symptoms and a week-long sick leave without a hospital stay. In addition to our own immune system, we are helped by antiviral drugs and medicines to relieve symptoms. According to Aleksey Avenirovich Yakovlev, professor and head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Dermatovenereology, St.Their active ingredients are oseltamivir, zanamivir, peramivir, favipiravir. These drugs have passed clinical trials that meet international standards. Of the four, only the first two are approved for use on the territory of Russia.
Basically, the mechanism of action of antiviral drugs is to block the work of an important viral enzyme – neuraminidase. In this case, the influenza virus loses its ability to penetrate into healthy cells, and therefore, to multiply. The exception is the substance favipiravir, the action of which, according to some data, is directed not at neuraminidase, but at inhibiting the synthesis of the genetic component of the influenza virus – RNA, without which it is impossible to build a new viral particle.
Anti-influenza drugs are used in severe infections, when a person’s own immunity cannot cope with the pathogen without outside help. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), complications most often develop in populations at increased risk. These include doctors, pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, the elderly, as well as people with chronic and oncological diseases, metabolic disorders and immunity weakened as a result of the defeat of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or taking specialized drugs.
The rest of the people are recommended symptomatic therapy, that is, drugs to relieve breathing, eliminate cough and sore throat, headache and fever.
Most cases of influenza and SARS can be cured without the use of antiviral drugs. To do this, you need to relieve symptoms and maintain immunity while he cope with the infection himself.
Assistant of the Department of Health Organization and Medical Law, Researcher, Laboratory of Autoimmunity Mosaics, St. Petersburg State University Lidia Soprun
Symptomatic therapy is also indicated for most other respiratory infections.For their treatment, specific drugs with an action directed at the pathogen have not yet been created. The main reason for this is the high rate of mutation in viruses, as well as the long process of creating drugs. On average, a new drug hits the shelf in a pharmacy 10-15 years after scientists have discovered a suitable pharmacologically active substance. To find it, researchers must study a huge number of molecules, as well as conduct preliminary tests of the activity in laboratory animals.Which also takes a long time.
Warned and armed
In addition to drugs, there is another way to fight infection. Namely – stimulating natural immunity through vaccines. According to WHO estimates, vaccination is one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of infections. As Lydia Soprun said, there are not so many vaccines against pathogens of respiratory diseases, as well as drugs. But if antiviral drugs are not always needed, then the vaccine is needed for the majority.
Vaccines have one big and indisputable plus – they help to avoid serious complications from the flu. After vaccination, a person can get sick, but only in a mild form. The vaccine is especially needed for certain groups of people who are at risk. This is how they can protect themselves.
Assistant of the Department of Health Organization and Medical Law, Researcher, Laboratory of Autoimmunity Mosaics, St. Petersburg State University Lidia Soprun
According to the researcher, there are contraindications to vaccination.People with cancer and autoimmune diseases should consult with their doctor before getting vaccinated. Also, you cannot get vaccinated during the acute phase of any illness.
According to L. P. Churilov, the vaccine promotes the formation of active artificial immunity. It stimulates human immune cells to produce specific antibodies and lymphocytes against the causative agent of the disease, which also occurs when the body naturally collides with the pathogen. The difference is that the vaccine contains weakened pathogens or their components, which are not capable of leading to the development of the disease.In addition, according to the scientist, the vaccine helps to create and maintain herd immunity. This is a state of the population in which a high percentage of individuals have acquired personal immunity to infection and are more immune to it. Thanks to herd immunity, humanity got rid of, for example, smallpox. The last case of this disease was reported in 1978.
Of course, it is more difficult to stop the spread of influenza and SARS viruses. They mutate very quickly compared to some other types of viruses, and each time it encounters a new strain, the immune system must produce new specific antibodies.Despite this, a person has the tools to successfully resist respiratory infections and minimize the damage from them: these are drugs, vaccines, and most importantly, immunity.
Moreover, not much is needed to maintain it. According to Lydia Soprun, in order for the immune system to perform its functions correctly, it is necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle. To do this, you need to adhere to the rules of a balanced diet. It must be qualitative, quantitatively balanced, controlled, energetically complete and safe, that is, it must not contain harmful substances and dangerous microorganisms.You also need daily physical activity. And not professional sports or intense training, but moderate types of vigorous activity. For example, walking 5-10 thousand steps a day, Finnish walking or jogging. Physical activity is especially important for people with chronic diseases. In addition, it is necessary to maintain a water-salt balance, as well as maintain the level of trace elements and vitamins.
90,000 How to avoid acclimatization in a child at sea: tips
Both adults and their children are looking forward to the vacation.For most families, one of the prerequisites for a vacation is a trip to the sea. The bright sun, warm breeze and sea salt waves are not only joy and positive emotions, an even chocolate tan, but also a way to improve health and relieve accumulated stress. However, parents are often afraid that acclimatization for children at sea will be too difficult and will do more harm than good, and therefore refuse to change the climate. Especially if the vacation falls on the cold season. And they are wrong!
A change of scenery, pleasant excitement from the trip and new impressions are undoubted benefits for the nervous system.Warm sea water and humid air saturated with iodine are a means of preventing thyroid diseases, a way to get rid of muscle and joint pain. In addition, sea recreation helps to strengthen the immune system, eliminate allergies and fight against many diseases. Sea bathing helps to harden children, is a means of preventing ARVI, and dosed ultraviolet radiation helps to replenish vitamin D reserves, stimulating its formation in the skin. All this taken together is very useful for the growth and full development of children.
Acclimatization in children at sea: symptoms
Any trips with children to a climatic zone different from the usual is stress for a young organism. Therefore, it is always important to remember about acclimatization. The younger the child, the sharper and longer it takes place. The body needs time to adjust to new conditions: increased temperature and humidity, changes in diet and regime, increased doses of solar radiation. It is important for parents to know in advance how acclimatization is going on for children at sea.Any changes in the baby’s life, even such positive ones, are stressful, which leads to temporary stress in the work of the nervous and endocrine systems, changes in metabolism. In this situation, the child’s body becomes more susceptible to any external factors: viruses, microbes, allergens or toxins.
Therefore, the simplest thing that can happen in the first days at the resort is a breakdown of the regime and problems with laying down, a child’s capriciousness. The nervous system needs to cope with all the new information, “digest” it and adapt.She works in a tense mode, reacting more sharply to all external signals. It is also worth remembering how acclimatization is manifested in children at sea at an early age. A perfectly healthy baby may have a runny nose, appetite disturbances, or loose stools. These are the most common manifestations. If the parents and the baby, from the first day, plunge headlong into rest, not knowing that there is acclimatization in children at sea, the symptoms can become quite pronounced. Signs of SARS or digestive upset may appear with malaise, fever or weakness, whims and tantrums.
Treatment of the consequences of acclimatization at sea
On average, the first signs of acclimatization can appear from the second day of rest. At this time, the baby needs special attention. Parents often ask doctors and each other how long acclimatization lasts for children at sea. The exact time cannot be named, but a regularity is known – the younger the child, the longer his body adapts to new conditions (regime, insolation, food and climate). Children under three years of age are the hardest to adapt.Older babies, up to 7-8 years old, can adapt within three days. The easiest way to adapt to new conditions is schoolchildren and adolescents. Their body is already relatively mature and easily tolerates environmental changes.
But how can you avoid acclimatization with a child at sea? It is important to take into account in advance that the child will need to get used to the new conditions, and if there is such an opportunity, take a longer vacation, up to 3 weeks. Then the baby will have time to adapt and have time to fully relax.If this is not possible, and the rest is limited to 1-2 weeks, it is important not to plan excursions and significant physical exertion for the first days of vacation. You can prepare for acclimatization in advance by conducting hardening activities at home. It is worth starting a couple of months before the vacation, pouring cool water on the legs and arms of the child in the bathtub, rubbing his body and allowing him to run barefoot on the floor, often walking outside and sunbathing. It is equally important to behave correctly in the first days at sea.
How to avoid a runny nose in children at sea
Arriving at the sea, you should not immediately allow the child to swim a lot and stay in the open sun for a long time from the first day. This can lead to skin burns and hypothermia. And they will slow down the work of the immune system, provoking a runny nose in a child at sea. It is enough on the first day to walk along the beach in the evening, wet the child’s feet in the water, play with sand or pebbles.
Even with a completely favorable course of acclimatization, children may have a runny nose during or after bathing.Such a runny nose disappears after a few hours. It is not a cold, but a reflex one – this is a kind of reaction of the nasal mucous membranes to a change in temperature, increased air humidity and salt water. Therefore, you do not need to treat it using vasoconstrictor drops or sprays. They can only worsen the condition, leading to constant congestion and addiction. However, such a runny nose should not be ignored either: it is hard for the child to breathe, and constant humidity and nasal discharge, stagnation of mucus create a favorable environment for infection.It is helpful to clear mucus from the nose and use remedies to ease nasal breathing. You can use the Breathable® inhaler patch by gluing it to the T-shirt, shirt or beach blanket on which the child lies. Breathing plaster ® will not cause discomfort to the child, and at the same time will eliminate nasal congestion. The child will inhale the vapors of essential oils, which will make breathing easier, and the runny nose will disappear.
How to choose a place to stay with a child
Traveling to the sea is one of the best options for a family vacation with children.Today there is a choice: you can go both to domestic resorts, and to prefer trips abroad. Among foreign resorts, Turkey or Egypt are becoming the most optimal places for family vacations, with a rather long beach season. Cyprus and Tunisia, Greece are no less popular in summer and early autumn. The coast of the Mediterranean or Red Sea is also favorable for summer holidays, the temperature of the water and air is optimal for children. They can swim, play on the beach, and be active outdoors for most of the day.
Parents who prefer a vacation in Russia can choose the Black Sea coast from Anapa to Adler in the summer or go to the Crimea. In addition, the Sea of Azov is perfect for a vacation with kids – a shallow depth in the coastal zone, warm water and sandy beaches are an excellent combination for young children. But it is important to remember, in comparison with foreign resorts, the water temperature in the seas is slightly lower, by 3-4 ℃. For adults, this difference is not fundamental. But babies need to adapt to changing temperatures, climate change and regime.
How to assemble a first aid kit for a seaside holiday
To feel more comfortable on vacation, it is important to collect the necessary first aid kit. In it you need to put a thermometer and temperature-lowering agents suitable for age, several bags of sorbents, antiseptics, antihistamines, sunburn and skin irritation products, bandage, bactericidal plaster. It is convenient to take the already mentioned Dyshi® inhaler patch, since, unlike drops, it will not spill, has a low weight, it can be carried both in baggage and in hand luggage.
In the first days, during the acclimatization period, you need to especially carefully monitor the general condition of the child. It is important that he does not overcool when swimming and does not overheat in the sun.
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