Cough, Cold & Catarrh

Cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose. The throat, sinuses, and voice box may also be affected.

Causes – The most commonly implicated virus is arhinovirus

  • Insufficient sleep
  • Malnutrition
  • Weather

Transmission

The common cold virus is typically transmitted via airborne droplets (aerosols), direct contact with infected nasal secretions, or fomites (contaminated objects).

  • Hand-to-hand and hand-to-surface-to-hand contact seems of more importance than transmission via aerosols

Symptoms – The typical symptoms of a cold include

  • Cough,
  • Runny nose – catarrhal condition
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Sometimes accompanied by muscle ache, fatigue,
  • Headache, and
  • Loss of appetite.
  • The color of the sputum or nasal secretion may vary from clear to yellow to green

Progression — A cold usually begins with fatigue, a feeling of being chilled, sneezing, and a headache, followed in a couple of days by a runny nose and cough. Symptoms may begin within sixteen hours of exposure and typically peak two to four days after onset. They usually resolve in seven to ten days, but some can last for up to three weeks.

Prevention — hand washing, face masks; Zinc supplements may help to reduce the prevalence of colds, Vitamin C supplements do not reduce the risk or severity, though they may reduce its duration, Gargling with water useful.

Management and treatment — Management of cold includes

  • Getting plenty of rest,
  • Drinking fluids to maintain hydration, and
  • Gargling with warm salt water.

In allopathic there is symptomatic treatment for muscle pain, fever, nasal congestion cough, etc. antibiotics cannot work in viral infection.

The cold is generally mild and self-limiting with most symptoms generally improving in a week. Secondary bacterial infections may occur resulting in sinusitis, pharyngitis, or an ear infection.

Homoeopathic treatment— there are so many medicines which are very effective in cold cough, catarrh according to their causes, symptoms and it differs from person to person according to their individuality. Homoeopathic physician must be consulted for proper treatment of cold and to regain your immunity level faster.

  • Bryonia – It is often used for a dry, hard, and irritating cough, itching pain in the throat or chest that worsens at night. Movement will also make the symptoms worse. Other symptoms with coughs that require bryonia include splitting headaches, and a dry cough accompanied by faintness, vertigo, and nausea.
  • Antimonium Tartaricum — is often used for loose coughs— with much rattling sound without expectoration of sputum, the patient may even feel like they are suffocating, alternates between coughing and shortness of breath. Other common symptoms include nausea, vomiting mucus, weakness, drowsiness, hoarseness, and the desire to be left alone.
  • Aconitum Napellus — is often used for colds and dry, irritating coughs that come on suddenly. The person also experiences extreme anxiety to the point of fearing death. Symptoms will get better from warmth, fresh air, and movement; however, symptoms worsen from warm rooms, exposure to pollen or tobacco smoke, in the evening and at night, and during cold weather.
  • Pulsatilla — is also an effective remedy for colds and coughs. The patient may cough up thick, yellow-green (but non-irritating) mucus. Other symptoms that require pulsatilla include a white-coated tongue, sneezing, nosebleeds, and a loss of smell, taste, and appetite. The person will experience a loose cough in the morning and a dry cough at night. The person will feel better from open air, but worse in the morning, at night, and in heat.
  • Arsenicum Album — is used for coughs with a burning pain that improves with sips of warm drinks. Other symptoms include restlessness, anxiety, and fatigue, a dull throbbing headache with light sensitivity, chilliness, and nervousness. The person will also fear death and serious illnesses. The person’s symptoms will improve from warm drinks and a warm room, but they worsen from open air and cold.
  • Hepar Sulph — is used for a rattling and barking cough that starts after exposure to cold and dry air. Other symptoms include yellowish mucus, constant hoarseness, and wheezing. The person’s symptoms will worsen from lying down, walking, and drafts; however, symptoms get better from rising up and bending the head backwards, a hot compress, and damp air.
  • Causticum is another great remedy for dry, deep, and hollow coughs. The person will feel as if they can’t cough deep enough to raise mucus. Other symptoms include hoarseness, burning pains, a sore chest, and tightness. Symptoms get better from damp weather and sips of cold water; however, symptoms worsen from drafts, cold air, stooping, talking, lying, sneezing, and bending the head forward.
  • Rumex Crispus — is often prescribed for a dry cough when a person lies down. The person will feel a tickling sensation in the throat that often leads to a cough. They will also experience long episodes of a dry, hacking, and fatiguing cough. The person will get better from warm air and during the daytime; however, things will worsen from cough after eating, talking, touching the throat, deep breathing, and lying down.
  • Drosera – is used for a dry, deep, barking, whooping and spasmodic cough that may also produce gagging. The person’s coughing episodes will often last two to three hours. They will also experience vomiting, suffocative attacks, nosebleeds, cold sweats, hoarseness, and holding their sides during coughing bouts. The cough will worsen from lying down, being alone, and while drinking, singing, laughing, and talking.
  • Phosphorus — is typically used for a dry, hard, tickling cough that worsens from cold air, laughing or talking, and when lying on the left side. Other symptoms include clear or thick and yellow mucus, and a burning sensation in the chest that feels better from cold drinks. The person will experience difficult breathing, and they must sit up when they cough. The symptoms will improve from warmth and short sleep, but symptoms also worsen at night, and while eating and reading.