Can Isolation Make Your Cold Worse?

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They say, “Smile and the world smiles with you; cry and you cry alone.” Researchers have found that people who are suffering from a cold feel worse when they are alone. It seems that the other saying, “Misery loves company” may also be true. It was determined that it didn’t matter if you had a lot of friends or not, if you were the only one coughing and sneezing you felt worse than if others had it as well.

When you don’t feel well it doesn’t matter if you handle being ill very well with hardly any complaints or if you are the biggest baby complaining about every little thing. As soon as you are asked how you feel, you begin the litany of how bad your cold is and how much everything hurts. This is why a research team put together a clinical trial to see exactly how people feel when they are ill, and if people who are lonely feel worse.

The study gathered together a group of 159 people who were between the ages of 18 to 55 years of age. The group was asked a number of questions about feeling alone as well as about the true size of their social networks.

The group was then given the virus that contained the common cold and were kept isolated for a period of 5 days. They stayed in a hotel room and every day they were asked about their symptoms. In the end, it was determined that the people who felt that they were the most alone felt like they had the worst symptoms. It all came down to how each person really felt about how lonely they were, rather than how lonely they really were which made the symptoms worse.

By the same token, it was acknowledged that when you have a cold, you feel and look worse than usual so you more than likely want to be left alone and not socialize with anyone. Being around a larger amount of people didn’t make you any more susceptible to become ill either.
How can you pull yourself out of this funk and feel better?

Okay, so you have a cold, you are feeling lonesome – no matter how many friends you have – and you’ve wallowed as long as you can take it. Now, you’ve decided that it’s really not any fun to be sick and alone and you need to get yourself well again. Here are 10 things you can do to get rid of your cold and get yourself back into the groove again.


1. Hydrate

Make sure you keep drinking as much fluids as you can so your body can get your immune system back to its healthy range again. Keep water, broth, juice and plenty of clear liquids close by so you are always able to sip on something to drink.


2. Loosen your congestion

If you find that you are all stuffed up try using a saline spray. Using a good spray will help to rinse out your sinuses and break up the mucus you may be building up.

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Young woman with handkerchief having cold. Isolated.

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3. Soothe your sore throat

If you are really suffering from a sore throat make sure you have cough drops on hand, suppressants that will help keep you from a hacking cough, and a throat spray that will soothe your soreness right away.


4. Cut down on your pain

There are plenty of over-the-counter medications that can help cut down on your level of pain. Look for ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen to help deal with your symptoms.


5. Stop smoking and stay away from those who do

If you smoke this would be a good time to stop smoking. If you don’t smoke, stay away from people who do. Second hand smoke is a real serious condition that you do not need in addition to battling a cold.


6. Stay away from germs

So many people think nothing of coughing openly and sneezing without covering their nose or mouth while out in the stores. Stay away from unnecessary germ. Wash your hands any time you can to keep as many germs away from you as you can.


7. Try a vaporizer

If you haven’t used a vaporizer since you were a child you may be surprised at how much this simple machine can provide you with some relief in breathing. Just a few minutes at a time can help to clear up your stuffy nose and let you breathe easy again.


8. Get plenty of sleep

When you are sick and in bed it is the best time to give your body as much rest as you can in order to get well. Your body needs some time to relax and heal itself so get ready to catch up on some much-needed sleep.


9. Ice, ice baby

When people are in the hospital and they want to keep their mouth from getting dried out, they chew on ice chips. They will keep you from feeling dried out and they are cool and refreshing in your mouth.


READ ALSO: Everything About Common Cold Infographic


10. If you get worse see your doctor

If you have tried everything and you are not seeing any improvements, make an appointment with your physician and see if he or she can give you some antibiotics that can give you some quick relief. There are many prescriptions that only take a couple of days before you will begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.