Soothing Symptoms of a Common Cold

A scratchy throat, cough, sneezing and body aches – the common cold season is fully underway. With the ongoing pandemic, it may be difficult to know what’s really going on. The best way to determine if your symptoms are a cold or COVID-19 is to get tested. Consult with your doctor, and if the COVID-19 test is negative and diagnosed as a mild to moderate common cold, there are many ways to soothe your symptoms.

Treating the Common Cold

When we are feeling under the weather, we just want to find the best remedy for a speedy recovery and pain relief. Science has yet to discover a cure for the common cold, and because a cold is a virus, antibiotics will not help you get better.[1] There is an impressive amount of over-the-counter products for treating cold symptoms; however, in recent years, more options with natural ingredients have appeared on store shelves. Many of these natural alternatives resemble methods recognized from generations ago, including honey to soothe a sore throat or chicken noodle soup to ease congestion. No matter what you’ve heard, make sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before trying any treatment or home remedy.


Safety with Your Prescriptions

Many over-the-counter and home remedies may sound safe and comforting, but it is important to consider your prescription medications and be aware of possible interactions, such as grapefruit, which is known to interfere with certain prescription drugs.[2] Always talk to your doctor before changing your medications or taking any over-the-counter medications or supplements.

Home Remedies That Can Help

Some at-home steps you can take to help provide you with comfort and ease your symptoms without interfering with your medications include:

bed-angledRest or sleep at a 45-degree angle.

Sleep strengthens your immune system, and laying at this angle can help drain mucous and reduce inflammation.[3] Try sleeping in a recliner, propping up pillows on your bed to slightly adjust your angle or use an adjustable bed to find an optimal sleeping position.


water bottleDrink plenty of fluids.

Older adults are more prone to dehydration, so staying hydrated when you’re sick is especially important.[4] Classic broth soups, like chicken noodle soup and vegetable soup, are packed with water and are a good source of hydration.



Use a humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.

Keep the air around you moist to help soothe a sore throat, minimize coughing and reduce nasal congestion. Be sure to keep it clean, and change the water daily.


Apple-thickEat healthy foods.

You may be tempted to only nibble on crackers or drink soup but maintaining a healthy diet is important for energy and helping you recover.



salt water glass-4


Gargle with warm salt water.

Gargling with warm salt water can help curb sore throat discomfort and reduce inflammation. Try adding this to your daily routine to help get some temporary relief.



clean house iconKeep your home environment clean.

Eliminate germs and keep them away. During the winter months, people are more prone to illness because we spend more time indoors. Make sure to wash your hands often and keep high-traffic areas in your house clean on a regular basis.


Colds can come on quickly. When you start to feel sick, listen to your body and don’t over-exert yourself. There are many options to help treat your cold symptoms, but make sure to consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common Cold 

[2] U.S. Food & Drug Administration (2021). Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don’t Mix

[3] National Council on Aging. A Common-Sense Guide to the Common Cold for Older Adults

[4] National Council on Aging (2021). How to Stay Hydrated for Better Health 


S7694_21-6715_enewsletter 2021_C Reviewed 1/14/22

Elixir Insurance is a Prescription Drug Plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Elixir Insurance depends on contract renewal. For more information, please call our customer service number at 833-684-7267. TTY users call 711. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. ATTENTION: If you speak Spanish, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711). ATENCIÓN: si habla Español, los servicios de asistencia lingüística, sin cargo, están disponibles para usted. Llamada 833-684-7267 (TTY: 711).

Elixir Insurance, 2181 East Aurora Road, Suite 201, Twinsburg, OH 44087, United States


Topics: Elixir Insurance, Helpful Tips

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