The common cold and flu seem to develop in November when most people suffer from these infections. Viruses are responsible for the common cold as well as the flu. The common cold is caused by the Rhinovirus. The rhinovirus infects and thrives in the warm, moist environment of the respiratory tract. The respiratory tract is divided into the upper and lower sections and is prone to developing asthma, sinus or ear infections in either or both of the two sections.
The upper respiratory tract includes the sinus cavities around the nose, cheeks, mouth, forehead, larynx, and trachea. The upper respiratory tract also includes the ears. The lower respiratory tract is made up of the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs. Infections in the upper respiratory tract may include sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing and headaches as symptoms of a cold. These symptoms may also be caused by a sinus infection.
The influenza virus causes the flu. It is a more severe condition than a common cold. Although a cold and flu have similar symptoms, flu symptoms tend to be much more severe. Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and diarrhea or vomiting. Furthermore, if left untreated, influenza can progress into a more serious life-threatening infection called pneumonia.
Treatment for both infections are different. Because both infections are caused by viruses, neither condition has a cure. The goal is to reduce the severity of the symptoms. For a cold, over-the-counter medications are normally recommended. Moreover, in the case of a cold, antibacterial medications can be prescribed. All treatments seek to reduce the symptom severity by lowering inflammation, reducing pain, clearing airways and sinus cavities.
A less well-known treatment rapidly gaining popularity is called halotherapy. With halotherapy, the goals are to significantly reduce the symptoms, clear the bacteria causing the infection, and expedite the time it takes to recover. Research continues to support the effectiveness of halotherapy to treat other respiratory diseases (COPD, bronchitis, asthma, and allergies). Halotherapy works to clear the airways of mucous, reduce inflammation, improve breathing, and reduce the overall symptoms of the infection.
How It Works
Halotherapy works by introducing carefully measured quantities of microscopic sodium-chloride (salt) particles into the air. Clients simply sit in a salt room where the concentration of sodium-chloride in the air is high, but carefully regulated. Without additional effort, merely breathing the air reduces symptoms of many respiratory problems. Many clients read, write, listen to music, nap, or any number of other pastimes while breathing and receiving the anti-bacterial benefits. The watery mucous in the respiratory system attracts sodium-chloride particles. This helps clear the airways of mucous. The molecules disperse themselves within the fluid, creating a powerful anti-bacterial environment throughout the entire respiratory system. Salt therapy improves the overall effectiveness of the immune system and helps fight off foreign invaders in the future.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Key Facts About Influenza (Flu). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm
- Purushothama V. Dasaraju and Chien Liu. (1996). Chapter 93: Infections of the Respiratory System.
- Chervinskaya, A. V. (2007). Halotherapy in controlled salt chamber microclimate for recovering medicine. Balneologia Polska, 2, 133-141.