How to Stop the Onset of a Cold with your FSA
We all know that feeling all too well - the tickle in your throat, the beginnings of a congested nose. You can feel when you’re about to be hit by a cold and it’s not very pleasant. Luckily, there are some tips and tricks to fighting off that cold as soon as you sense it. And, a Flexible Spending Account can make all the difference, too!
You know this one. Staying hydrated can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of a cold and leave you better equipped to fight off disease.
Clean out your nasal passages
You can try a few things to clear out those nasal passageways.
Sprays containing phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine) or oxymetazoline shrink swollen blood vessels in the lining of your nose, allowing mucus to drain. Sprays work almost instantaneously, but you can't use them long-term.
Neti pots helps to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. Make sure you boil the water first, then let it cool to kill any bacteria that could be in it.
If you prefer to take pills, decongestant tablets can also clear your stuffiness. They can work fast, inducing a 30 percent drop in congestion after just one 60 milligram dose. The downside is that decongestant pills make some people jittery and they can keep you awake, so you should take them earlier in the day.
Turn on the humidifier
Cold viruses really like dry areas so turning on your humidifier is good way to keep your nasal passage from being dry. The added moisture in the air keep the virus from thriving.
Pause your workout and head to bed
Regular moderate exercise is healthy and boost your immune system, but once you’ve caught a cold, it’s better to take a rest. Since sleep boosts immune function, that “pre-cold” may be a good indicator that you haven’t been getting enough lately. Research shows that people who slept less than 7 hours a night were three times more susceptible to colds than those who slept 8 or more hours per night.
Control your congestion
Consider taking an antihistamine to reduce nasal secretions by about 50 percent. Also try thinning your mucus because nasal secretions grow thicker and thicker as a cold progresses. This is to help carry away viral particles and dead respiratory and immune cells. Keep things moving in your nasal passages with a mucus thinner like Mucinex (FSA eligible with prescription). It’ll also make it easier for you to blow your nose.
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