Are you making your cold worse?

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- A lot of what we believe about the common cold is myth. When you’re sick, some common mistakes can make your cold symptoms worse, according to a report on WebMD.

Here are seven things that could make your cold worse.

1. Pretending you’re not sick.  You can’t ignore a cold.  If you try to push through a cold, especially if you have a fever, you’ll exhaust yourself.  Especially don’t exercise when your fever is above 100.

2. Not sleeping enough.  Sleeping less than seven hours a night almost ripples your risk of getting a cold in the first place. 

3. Getting stressed.  It turns out that stress can make you more likely to get a cold.  Stress hormones can stop your immune system from working normally.

4. Drinking too little.  You need to drink a lot of fluid when you’re sick.  Any fluids will help.  Water, juice, hot tea, and soup are all good.

5. Drinking alcohol.  Too much alcohol can leave you dehydrated and worsen cold symptoms such as congestion.  It can also suppress your immune system and interact with cold medications.

6. Overusing decongestant sprays.  Be careful with nasal decongestant sprays.  If you use them for more than three days, your stuffy nose will get worse when you stop.

7. Smoking.  Smokers get more colds than nonsmokers.  They also get worse colds that last longer.  Smoking damages cells in the lungs.  If you’re sick with a cold, don’t smoke.

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