The SinuPulse Elite
Advanced Nasal Irrigation System is a top-of-the line nasal irrigation
system that delivers soothing moisture via a gentle cleansing action, to your
sinuses. This Swiss-engineered, doctor-recommended system is fully adjustable,
easy to use, and will clear congestion and drain swollen mucous membranes to
improve breathing. Saline rinses (each SinuPulse Elite comes with 30 packets of
SinuAir saline mix) not only help to relieve congestion, they also rinse out
allergens and germs, helping you fight your sickness.
A more cost-effective option for nasal irrigation, which may be the best bet
for those who do not need the bells and whistles provided by the SinuPulse
Elite, is a neti pot. Neti pots date back to ancient yoga health practices but
are gaining recent popularity. Basically, the neti pot allows you to pour
salinated water into one nostril and out the other. It may sound awful, but
anyone who's tried it properly can tell you that it's not that bad and well
worth the effort. The
Narial Nasal Cup Neti Pot and the
NeilMed NasaFlo Saline Rinse Kit are two excellent neti pot options. They
are simple to use, easy to clean up, and can even be incorporated into your
regular routine to help keep allergy symptoms - and colds and flus - at bay by
keeping your sinuses cleansed of allergens and germs.
If neti pots aren't your thing, there are other ways to deliver soothing,
cleansing saline rinses to your nasal passages. The
SaltAire Nasal Sinus Wash, for instance, is a bottle with a manually
operated pump, which allows you to control the rate of delivery. The
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit features a more traditional sinus spray application
and is preservative free, unlike many readily available nasal sprays. Lastly, the SinuAir
sinus mixes are a safe, effective mix that contains no iodine, silica or preservatives.
For more information, and for step-by-step instructions, see
Nasal Irrigation as Cold Remedy Featured on NPR.
Humidifiers Provide Soothing Moisture
The Mayo Clinic also recommends humidification in the treatment of colds:
"Adjust your room's temperature and humidity. Keep your room warm, but not
overheated. If the air is dry, a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer can moisten
the air and help ease congestion and coughing." Humidifiers ease congestion,
calm stubborn coughs, soothe sore throats, and moisturize tender mucous
membranes. By adding moisture to the air, especially during winter months when
forced-air heating systems tend to dry out your home's air, humidifiers ease a
host of allergy, cold, and flu symptoms. While the basic concept of a humidifier
is that it creates a mist, either cool or warm, and introduces it into the air
so that it can be breathed in, humidifiers are available in a number of
varieties that offer users the perfect mix of safety and convenience.
For instance, Stadler Form humidifiers use a variety of
technologies to help keep the water in the tank clean and hygienic. These range from ionic silver cubes that emit silver ions,
a natural antimicrobial, and demineralization cartridges to preheating the water and evaporative wicks. All of these work to reduce or
eliminate potential germs as well as mineral content from the water.
For placement in children's rooms, an especially good idea when they are
suffering from cold or flu symptoms,
Germ Guardian Ultrasonic Humidifiers offer exceptional features. The Germ
Guardian line of humidifiers have an array of style and built-in features that include
timers, night lights, indicator lights, digital displays, and built-in hygrostats, among others. All
Germ Guardian humidifying units use ultrasonic technology to keep operation
whisper quiet and Silver Clean technology to keep your unit from growing mold or
bacteria in the water tank - and they're all quite stylish, too!
For more help choosing the humidifier that's right for you, see the
Humidifier Buying Guide. For more information about how humidification can
benefit your household, see
Using Humidifiers for Allergy Relief and More.
Cold Symptoms vs. Flu Symptoms
Many of the symptoms caused by both the common cold and the flu are very
similar. These include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
One thing that can help distinguish between a cold and the flu is assessing
the severity of certain similar symptoms. For instance, while a cold may be
accompanied by a low-grade fever, the flu may exhibit a high fever. In addition,
muscle aches tend to be more severe with the flu as opposed to the common cold.
Fatigue is also much more pronounced when the flu is the culprit of your
Symptoms that are unique to a cold include sneezing, watery eyes, and
congestion. In addition, an itchy as opposed to a sore throat may indicate a
cold rather than the flu. Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and
diarrhea are flu symptoms but not cold symptoms. Stomach symptoms are more
likely to occur in children than in adults.
Preventing Sickness: How to Avoid Catching the Flu or a Cold
As the CDC reports, and as we all know, the flu is contagious:
"Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning one day before
symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. Children may pass the
virus for longer than seven days. Symptoms start one to four days after the
virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to
someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some
persons can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this
time, those persons can still spread the virus to others."
Interestingly, both the flu and colds are by "droplet spread," which
describes transmission of the disease from respiratory droplets that are
expelled through an infected person's cough or sneeze. These germ-filled
droplets may land on others' mouths or noses, or they may land on surfaces or
objects. Healthy individuals may come into contact with these droplets and then
touch their own mouths or noses before they wash their hands and thus become
The lessons here? Stay away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing; you
never know what they may be carrying. When in crowded conditions such as a bus,
try to cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or at the very least stay turned
away from anyone who is visibly sick. And, of course, just like your mother
always told you - WASH YOUR HANDS frequently. Be aware of not touching your
mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), especially when you are out and about. You
never know on what door handle or countertop flu germs may be lingering.
Remember: for those who are eligible, and especially for those who are at
risk of developing life-threatening complications from the flu, flu shots are
recommended as the best way to avoid contracting the flu.