A runny nose is common during the winter season due to the cold weather and the greater spread of colds and flus. On top of the usual winter bugs flying around, lots of travelers wandering around means exposure is more likely. Since viruses are airborne and/or contracted by fluids it’s important to address any symptoms and prevent the spread of illness.
Ah-ah-achoo! Sneezing is caused by irritants in the nasal mucosa. When you do sneeze, it expels tiny little droplets into the air. We all know it’s best to sneeze into your elbow to avoid the spread of germs but how can you prevent sneezing from ruining your day? A nifty little hack that works for some people is to say the word ‘pineapple’ aloud when you feel the need to sneeze. This supposably distracts your brain and helps the sensation fizzle away.
Sure, you can reach for a good old tissue any time, but have you tried other ways to relieve a runny nose? When your sinuses fill with up with liquid it’s not always the best idea to blow your nose all day long. This can put strain on your nasal passages and cause inflammation. Swollen nasal passages constricts air flow and means it might take longer for your passages to clear. Try gently massaging your sinuses to bring comfort to your nose and use essential oils (like eucalyptus) to breathe easily.
A blocked nose can interfere with your entire day since it places a lot of tension in your head. A runny and stuffy nose can often be treated with similar techniques. One of our go-to remedies is a nasal saline or decongestion spray. Nasal sprays will help shrink blood vessels/tissues that are inflamed in the nose, but you should only use these a couple of times for full effect. Overusing them can cause a counteracting effect. A cool mist humidifier beside your bed can also combat congestion from dry winter air or taking a hot shower and letting the steam clear the nasal passageway.
Drip, drip, drip. When you feel like your nose just won’t give you a break it’s likely you’ll feel a headache coming on. When your sinus is playing up you can’t help but focus on it. This causes mental fatigue and drains your energy levels very quickly. A headache can be prevented or soothed via hydration. Drinking too much caffeine or consuming too much sugar will only elevate a headache. Sipping on electrolyte drinks will restore energy and help with focus. Topping up your electrolytes hydrates your entire body (including your mucous membranes in your nose), so you’ll be on route to recovery.
Itchy or Watery Eyes
Trust us when we say rubbing your eyes will only make it worse. This accelerates irritation and inflammation causing your eyes to become redder and more swollen. Inflammation can spread to your eyes when you experience nasal-related symptoms (especially ones associated with allergies). It’s not a common side affect to experience itchy eyes when you have a cold/flu but when your immune system is weakened by being unwell you can catch conjunctivitis. To avoid rubbing your eyes and spreading bacteria into this area, use antihistamines or eyes drops to wash away allergens and/or discomfort.
When you feel extra mucus dripping down the back of your throat it can cause a quite a tickle. To avoid coughing and irritating your throat, try gargling salt water or store-bought solutions. For instance, liquids that contain iodine can help swish away inflammation and bacteria. A tickle in the back of your throat can be a real pain in the neck, so by conducting a gentle gargle you will vibrate the submerged cells in your throat and draw liquids to the surface. When you spit out, you get rid of the germs that are causing irritations.
It’s funny how fatigue races in when you get sick. Feeling tired and lethargic is your body’s way of signalling you need to slow down. The best thing to do when you’re unwell is obviously to rest, but it doesn’t help when you feel restless. Gentle immune supportive tablets and formulations can help relieve symptoms and allow you to rest more easily. A little extra help when you are sick can strengthen your body’s immune system and help shorten the length of bed ridden days. Taking supplements can also prevent future sickness and other respiratory system complications.
At the end of the day…
We all pretty much know immunity is the precursor to ward off these cold and flu illnesses. We know it’s important to take Vitamin C and to wash our hands after blowing our nose. The inside goss is that zinc can be super-duper good for your immunity system (some even say better than trusty ol’ C). It’s proven to aid production of immune cells (called T-cells and white blood cells) which defend against diseases. If you feel a cold coming on, top up on your zinc straight away: taking it within the first 24 hours can lessen the severity and duration of your symptoms. It also supports your metabolism which means your body can absorb the nutrients from food better into your body.