Here's How to Treat a Cold Like a Doctor

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Playing Dr. Ian Smith On How He Treats a Cold
Dr. Ian Smith On How He Treats a Cold Aired March 11, 2019

From the first sneeze or tingle in the back of the throat (the worst!), what should we do when we feel a cold coming on? (Ah, the million dollar question!)

"You want to boost your immune system," Dr. Ian Smith says. "You can't kill the virus — it's a cold virus, the rhinovirus — but you can at least help prevent some of the symptoms from developing too much."

So what does Dr. Ian himself do?

First, he takes echinacea and zinc to boost his immune system. Then, he grabs a nasal spray.

"Nasal spray is very important — typically a saline nasal spray — for two reasons," the doctor says. "One, you want to thin the mucus."

Second, it can also prevent the post nasal drip. The doc says that when it comes to post nasal drip, the mucus falls down to your throat which causes problems. However, saline spray thins your mucus, keeps your nasal passages moist and prevents reinfection.

Lastly, if you want to prevent coughing, Dr. Ian recommends antitussives (a.k.a. cough suppressants).

As for his favorite thing to do when he feels a cough coming on? (Spoiler alert: It's the simplest!) He drinks water with lemon and honey to soothe his throat.

With all of this said, as always, talk to your own doctor to check any illness and decide a treatment plan.

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