The head buzzes, the larynx scratches, and the nose is closed: When the weather gets cold, many people have to fight the cold again. However, flu viruses are sometimes the cause of the disease – with more severe symptoms. Because the real flu from now on often sets up an apartment.
In order not to come at all, the first thing applies to the flu and cold is one thing: Hygiene.
Flu viruses are released into the air by sneezing, coughing, or talking to the person in the smallest drops, and can be inhaled by other people nearby. They also spread their hands when they came in contact with secretions that contain the virus.
If you then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, influenza viruses allow you to enter the body through the mucous membranes.
The most important tip – also as a precaution against simple colds: Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, then carefully dry them with a clean cloth. Especially if you've previously had contact with patients or touched objects that previously touched patients. It is advisable to touch the mucous membrane of the eyes, mouth and nose as little as possible.
If the mucous membranes are already invaded, nasal spray can help for two to three nights, advises Günther Hammer, owner of Regnitz's Forchheim pharmacy. "When your nose is clogged, you breathe through your mouth, especially during sleep," he says. Cleansing the nose of the spray helps to avoid catching another infection.
In the cold, his pharmacy is particularly in demand for medicines that fight the symptoms. The painkillers or mucus solvents – always in compliance with the tolerance – could reduce the patient's suffering and support recovery, as this makes the body less stressful.
If you have a cold, you do not always have to resort to many medications. "Why not drink hot milk with honey? It doesn't always have to be a chemistry club," Hammer says. Similarly, onion can cause a lot despite the intense smell or chamomile scent.
Special care in children
Children are the exception. Many of the medicines taken by adults are not suitable for children or even babies. "Infants should never give drugs to adults," Hammer says. For the youngest, there are especially medicines that are adapted for children, such as nasal drops instead of nasal sprays or baby balms, explains pharmacist Nicole Wendt. There are always herbal preparations in the house for their own offspring, as fever in children can often be very fast and very strong.
However, medication may not always be given immediately. "Is cough syrup always needed immediately?" In children who cough, lollipop often contributes to improvement and persuasion. However, if the fever persists for more than two days or the cough is extreme, the pharmacist advises that you visit your doctor to keep the cold from getting worse and, for example, lead to pneumonia.
However, the vaccine remains the best protection against real flu – despite varying efficacy from season to season. "There is no other vaccine in Germany that could save more lives," says Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute.
As a precaution against the cold, there are countless other tips in circulation. Not everyone is helpful. However, it makes sense to provide the body with a sufficiently balanced diet. "The body currently has only flaws," says pharmacist Hammer. Eating lots of fruits is the best way to provide the body with the right nutrients. "If you are honest with yourself and realize that you are not eating so well, sometimes help with a multivitamin."
Warm feet and fresh air
The advice to dress warmly so you don't get cold does not make sense. Researchers regularly confirm that the link between freezing and cold is scientifically unproven. It may be that immune cells can fight the virus even worse in cold weather. But colds and flu infections are still triggered by viruses, not cold temperatures.
Warm feet or breathing through the nose, on the other hand, make sense. Warm feet stimulate circulation throughout the body, and those who breathe in their nose filter viruses through tiny cilia and heat the air so that the mucous membranes in the throat do not dry out and defend themselves better against germs.
Fresh air is important, not just outdoors. Opening windows for ten minutes at home or in the office three times a day will reduce the number of viruses in the air and reduce the risk of infection.
Panacea, which causes all cold symptoms to disappear, does not exist, according to Stiftung Warentest. Instead of covering yourself with expensive cold medicines, experts recommend giving your body rest and plenty of sleep.