The weather is warm, and your social life is packed. There is no time for a silly summer cold. However, colds happen, and even in the summer, you can get dragged down by fatigue, sore throat, earache, headache, and stuffy nose. Be careful not to mistake your summer cold for allergies. While allergies happen, so do summer colds.
What is the difference between a summer cold and allergies?
While colds and allergies have many things in common, they also have enough difference to generally tell them apart. Colds and allergies both often present with sneezing, runny nose, sore and itchy throat, and congestion. However, a cold will also include additional symptoms such as sweating, swollen glands, coughing, and fever.
In addition, a summer cold will usually run its course in a couple of weeks while allergies are more persistent, lasting much longer. If you have a cold, your symptoms generally start out rather mild and get worse before they get better. With allergies, the symptoms are predictable and consistent.
If you have a cold, you will most likely notice the symptoms coming on one at a time and compounding your discomfort. Allergies tend to be an all in one package. If you travel from one region to another, allergy symptoms will likely improve or get worse while cold symptoms will stay steady.
You will know a cold by your snot. Although it sounds gross, mucous discharge from a cold will be murky or yellow while allergy discharge is generally clear.
Summer cold remedies
The remedies for a summer cold are identical to those for a winter cold and include:
Rest: Although you may want to be frolicking at the beach or camping or hiking, resist the urge and stay home and rest. It is more difficult to rest when the weather is nice, but it is equally important. Avoid any activities that will put too much stress on your immune system. Take a couple of days off of work and watch some of your favorite movies. Many people try to push through a cold and often end up sicker than they were to start with. Your body needs rest so that it can give energy to tackling your cold.
Hydration: Water, herbal tea, and non-dairy fruit smoothies are a great way to stay hydrated with a summer cold. Avoid alcohol, energy drinks, and coffee – beverages that can dehydrate you. Sucking on a fresh lemon or adding some to your water is a great way to boost your vitamins and minerals. Make some fruit water using your favorite berries and even add in a cucumber. This hydrating water will also help supercharge your immune system
Humidifiers or steam bath: While humidifiers and steam will not eliminate your cold, they will help you manage your symptoms, especially if you live in a dry climate. Exposure to a warm and moist air can help with coughing, runny nose and congestion and a sore throat.
Herbal remedies: Support your immune system using echinacea, garlic, elderberry, and licorice root. One of the best ways to use herbs for a summer cold is to make a tea.
Preventing summer colds
Of course, it is always best to support your body so that it can defend the germs that cause a summer cold. Here are a few tips to help reduce your risk of missing that next summer bash because of a crappy summer cold.
- Get plenty of rest – Your body needs sleep and lots of it. When you are sleeping, the body is hard at work, repairing things and taking care of business to make sure all systems are functioning optimally. A lack of sleep stresses the entire body and makes you more susceptible to catching a summer cold.
- Eat well – If you want to avoid a cold any time, lay off the junk food. Eat whole foods with plenty of leafy greens and other veggies. Power-packed foods will help to keep your immune system running smoothly.
- Wash your hands – Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Don’t skimp on time under the water and always, always, wash when you use a public restroom and after grocery shopping. Do you know how many germs are actually on that cart handle? It’s probably best not to think about it.
- Avoid sick people – Some people just don’t seem to care about who they expose to their germs. If your co-worker has the sniffles – best to stay clear. In fact, it is best if you suggest that she take the afternoon off and get some rest. That may seem bullish, but you are actually doing a good thing to prevent a lot of people from getting sick. Germs can travel a long way in a sneeze or cough! Many people try to push through a cold when what they really need is rest.
- Manage stress – Life is stressful; that is the truth. However, doing your best to mitigate the stress in your life will leave energy for your immune system to protect you when you are exposed to germs. Try spending some time daily focusing on reducing the stress in your body. Deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are all good ways to let down and recharge.
-The Alternative Daily