5 Ways to Manage Your Cold Symptoms at Home

5 Ways to Manage Your Cold Symptoms at Home

When you catch a cold, you can blame a virus — actually, you can blame over 200 viruses that hang out in the air you breathe and the surfaces you touch. The rhinovirus is the most common culprit, but respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and coronavirus come in a close second. 

The bad news is that there’s no medical treatment that can cure a cold; the good news is that there’s a lot you can do at home to manage your symptoms.

If you’re not sure whether your symptoms point to a common cold or something worse, don’t hesitate to come see us at Redwood Family Health Center in McKinney and Farmers Ranch, Texas. Dr. Venkata Vallury and Dr. Visalakshi Vallury understand how frustrating it is to sit at home and wonder if you need to wait it out or seek treatment. We’re here and ready to help, even if it just means confirming that you have a common cold.

Meanwhile, here are five ways you can reduce the severity of your symptoms so you can endure your cold more comfortably.

1. Seek help from your local drugstore

You may have all you need to ease your cold symptoms in your medicine cabinet. Again, no product will cure your cold, but several can make you feel better so you can get on with your day. Try these nonprescription aids.


One of the most common cold symptoms is a runny nose. If yours is leaking like a faucet, an antihistamine may help by blocking histamine receptors in your body and relieving inflammation associated with the runny nose. Antihistamine can address other common cold symptoms, such as sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion, and some have expectorant properties, which can help loosen chest congestion.


Over-the-counter decongestants can also clear up stuffy or runny noses. They work by stimulating an adrenaline-like substance that constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation in your mucus membranes, shrinking your swollen nasal passages and opening up the airways so you can breathe more easily. 

Pain relievers

If your cold comes with a side of body aches, you can ease the pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from your local drugstore. Ibuprofen (Advil® or Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), and acetaminophen (Tylenol®) are examples of nonprescription NSAIDs that can ease your aches and make your cold more tolerable. 


When you’re fighting a cold, your body needs all the help it can get. We recommend several effective supplements, such as:

Talk to Drs. Vallury for more tips about helpful supplements. 

2. Drink up

Increasing your fluid intake is one of the most effective ways to ease cold symptoms because it thins out the mucus and congestion build-up in your nose and throat and clears away respiratory irritants like dust and pollen. 

Fluids also prevent dehydration, which can make your throat feel dry or scratchy. Drinking plenty of water or other fluids will keep your airways lubricated and reduce inflammation that can lead to coughing fits or a sore throat.

3. Run a humidifier

Dry air — a common occurrence in Texas — can inflame and irritate your nasal passages, making it harder to breathe. A room humidifier can ease these cold symptoms by adding moisture to the air, which soothes your throat, reduces congestion, and relieves nasal dryness. 

Additionally, inhaling moist air from a humidifier thins out your mucus and flushes out irritants like dust and pollen that can worsen cold symptoms.

4. Try saline nasal spray

Since your nose is the site of many cold symptoms, it can help to deliver the symptom-relieving product directly to the source. 

Saline nasal sprays and drops draw out extra moisture and loosen up mucus that can build up in your nose, rinse your airways to reduce inflammation and stuffiness, and clear away excess mucus from your nose and throat.

5. Rest

Although these at-home remedies can relieve your symptoms and help you feel good enough to go to work or school and fulfill your daily duties, don’t be fooled into thinking your body is ready for life as usual. 

Rest is important when you have a cold because it allows your body to focus its energy on fighting the virus. Engaging in physical activities can put unnecessary strain on your already-weakened immune system, making it harder for your body to combat and recover from the illness. 

Taking a day or two off also limits the virus’s opportunity to spread to others. Staying home is the responsible thing to do.

If these at-home remedies don’t improve your symptoms or they persist for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment by making a request online or calling our friendly staff in McKinney or Farmers Ranch.  

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