The average adult gets two to five colds a year. Children suffer the worst, with seven to 10 a year. The news today is that scientists may in the near future be able to cure colds and other viruses.
But for now, only the immune system can cure a cold and in most cases, it takes four to seven days. Conventional medicines might provide relief from symptoms, but don’t work against the virus or help our immune system throw off the infection. Some don’t even do that. Standard cough medicines, for instance, have been found to be no better than placebo.
Some doctors say suppressing coughs can be a bad thing since they are nature’s way of getting rid of respiratory debris. The good news is, you can take action to help your cold without even going out.
“The common cold is a collection of different viruses and your immune system’s response to them causes the symptoms of inflamed nasal passage and lining of the sinuses – which causes sneezing, runny nose and sore eyes,” explains Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners. “The best way to reduce this inflammation is to keep the nasal passages clear. Steam is wonderful at achieving this.”