A cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by a virus that remains localized.

How You Get It

You catch a cold by coming into contact with someone who has one.

Symptoms

The typical symptoms are a runny, stuffed nose and a low-grade temperature. You may also experience a sore throat, cough, and body aches.

Treatments

— Claritin — This is an antihistamine that is taken once daily to dry up runny noses and stop sneezing, huffing and puffing. It does not cause heavy sedation, so you can drive safely while taking it, and focus on your work better.

— Benadryl — This could be a choice instead of Claritin, but only if the person wants to sleep too, because it is extremely sedative.

— Cold EEZE Lozenges — This contains zinc, which has been clinically proven to safely and effectively reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms by 42 percent. It does this by increasing production of T-lymphocytes, which defend the body, and by latching onto the rhinovirus and annihilating it. Taking zinc at the first sign of symptoms will reduce the severity of the cold because it stops the rhinovirus from replicating

— Organix Cough & Sore Throat Lozenge (by the makers of Cold EEZE) — This contains menthol, which is derived from peppermint oil, and suppresses coughs, along with pectin, which soothes a sore throat. This lozenge is zinc-free, and the first and only certified organic brand on the market

— Vitamin C replenishes collagen that is lost when mucus is expelled, and may sweep away free-radical chemicals that cause disease.

— Fresh Garlic contains natural chemicals that are believed to protect against infection from bacteria, virus, fungus and protozoa.

— Green tea contains an amino acid L-theanine, which is calming and relaxing.

— A microwaveable heating pad can relieve chest pains associated with colds and flu.

— A humidifier thins the mucous and helps you breathe easier. It also moistens the air, which feels good if you are stuffed up, or if you are taking antihistamines, which can irritate and dry the nasal passages. Raising the bed or propping yourself up with pillows also helps you to breathe better.

— A light diet of carrot, celery, or apple juice, fresh water and steamed greens will help your immune system fight off the virus. That’s because half of your immune cells live in the gastrointestinal tract. If they aren’t busy digesting heavy meals, they can work on ridding the body of the virus.

Duration

The average cold lasts anywhere from 2 to 5 days.