Battling the 'worst cold ever'? The 6 ways to ease the misery

A chilly autumnal breeze is upon us and many people have started to experience cold and flu like symptoms.

If you're suffering from a sniffly nose or a sore throat then you're not alone, as 'the worst cold ever' has been trending on social media platforms.

Not only that but Covid-19 is still circulating and experts have recently said that Covid symptoms are now starting to resemble those of the common cold.

So it's no surprise that Brits are looking for answers when it comes to why they have a cold and ways to ease the misery.

In the last seven days alone, searches for 'non-Covid cold' have increased by 700 per cent, with 'worst cold of my life' also having increased by 300 per cent, data from Google Trends has revealed.

As more and more people return to normal life, packed trains and busy offices, it's likely that we will come into contact with people who are carrying bugs and viruses.

Independent pharmacist, Rita Ghelani said there is concern that the low number of flu cases during the 2020/21 winter has led to low levels of immunity to flu viruses for the coming season.

But if you're unlucky enough to have caught a cold then there are some things you can do that might help ease the discomfort.

1. Gargle salt water

It might taste like you've just gulped a load of sea water, but Rita, who is working with XClear says that gargling salt water can actually be beneficial.

She said: "Gargling with salt water regularly to help clear away any viruses or bacteria that may have hit the back of the throat."

This is a good to do when you have a cold as it can help get rid of the bacteria, it's also a great way to prevent your cold getting worse.

2. Create a barrier

We all know that popping bit of Vaseline around our nose can help when it comes to staving off hayfever, but Rita says making a barrier similar to this can also help with your cold.

She said: "Use a nasal barrier product to help stop viruses from coming to contact with the lining of the nose."

Suffering with a cold can be harsh on your nose, so to make sure the skin doesn't chap you can continue to use Vaseline as you would during the summer.

Try to not use fragrance moisturisers on your nose as this could irritate the skin.

3. Use a nasal spray

Using a nasal spray can help ease any congestion that may have formed – helping you to get rid of that 'bunged up' feeling.

Rita said: "Using saline nasal spray daily to cleanse the nasal passages and remove any viruses or allergen particles that have lodged in the nasal mucus."

She added: "We know that inflammation in the sinuses is a leading cause of congestion. A recent study demonstrates that a combination of Xylitol and saline reduces sinus tissue volume and opens up the airway, helping people to breathe better and easier.”

4. Rest

We all have busy lives and taking some chill time might not fit in with your schedule, but the NHS says that one of the best ways to ease a cold is to rest and recover.

This could mean staying inside or just making sure you get enough sleep.

If your little one is suffering with a cold then they might need even more rest.

The NHS suggests that children aged between 3 to 5 years old get between 10 to 13 hours including naps, children who are 6 to 12 years old between 9 to 12 hours and teenagers (aged 13 to 18) 8 to 10 hours per night.   

5. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is even more important if you have a cold.

The NHS says you need to avoid dehydration and drink plenty of water – they state that mixing water with squash is also ok.

If you want to have a vitamin boost, try having a small glass of fresh orange juice.

6. Stay warm

It might seem obvious but staying warm and cosy is a great way to treat a cold.

Make sure you wear a coat or jumper if you're going outside and indoors – you can always wrap up warm with blankets.

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