Health Female Adda
1 year ago
You Have a Coldâ€"Now What?!

1/8 ,
Suck It Up

Unless you work with extra-vulnerable young kids or elderly people, a cold isn't enough of a reason to call in sick (sorry!). If you're otherwise healthy, you can suck up a little sniffling and sneezing. (But do a symptom check when you get in: If you feel extremely fatigued, head home.)


2/8 ,
Get OTC Relief

Make a beeline for a drugstore. Colds are more apt to cause runny or stuffy noses than the flu, so stock up on saline spray, decongestants, or antihistamines. Take just one med at a time, and don't fall back on a kitchen-sink approach (in other words, avoid drugs that pack headache, sore throat, cough, and congestion relief if you have only a dripping nose). Skip spending on vitamin C—it doesn't work for cold relief. 


3/8 ,
Be Respectful

Once at work, do your best to not spread your germs around (you're most contagious when your nose is runniest). Make sure you practice strict cold etiquette: Sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as often as you can, and wipe down shared surfaces (doorknobs, phones) with an alcohol-based disinfectant after you touch them.


4/8 ,
Drink Up

You should be drinking about 16 ounces more water per day than you normally would. The extra fluid will help loosen, then expel, mucus. Green tea can also be beneficial. And as with the flu, you'll want to eschew sinus-clogging dairy.


5/8 ,
Rest Up

On day one, head home early and aim for at least two additional hours of sleep. The more you rest, the better your immune system can slay cold cells.


6/8 ,
Couch Surf

If you share a bed with someone, they might want to camp on the couch. You're more likely to spread germs through uncovered coughing and sneezing while you sleep.


7/8 ,
Exercise Control

It's also OK to have a glass of wine after work. A little alcohol won't make your infection worse, but a lot of it can weaken your immune system. So pass on happy hour and boozy dinners; you'll be tempted to guzzle more and stay out late.


8/8 ,
See a Doctor

The average cold lasts no longer than one week, but don't stop wiping up after yourself. You could still be contagious–sans any symptoms–for a few more days. If you're still sniffling seven days out, your cold may have morphed into a sinus infection (since colds cause inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages, which can back up your sinuses), so see your doctor.

Sources: Tanya Edwards, M.D., medical director for the Center for Integrative Medicine at Cleveland Clinic; Brian Currie, M.D., M.P.H., infectious-disease specialist, Montefiore Medical Center; Frank Lipman, M.D., founder and director of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York City

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