It is a very common viral infection of the upper respiratory tract that includes the throat and nose. Cold is also a very common disease, especially in the winter season. Most individuals recover from a common cold in 7 to 10 days, Normally, you do not need medical attention for a common cold but if symptoms may occur for a long period then you should visit to a doctor for a cold.
Causes of Common Cold
Several types of viruses may cause a common cold but rhinoviruses are the most common cause of this disease. In the common cold, a virus enters the human body through the nose, eyes, or mouth. The common cold may occur when a virus can spread through droplets in the air if any person coughs, or sneezes. Common cold can also spread through hand-to-hand contact with any individual who is suffering from a cold. It can be also spread by sharing contaminated or dirty objects including towels, telephones, combs, glasses, cups, and many more. Thus, you should wear a mask to avoid the cold.
Symptoms of the common cold
After exposure to a cold-causing virus enters the body, signs, and symptoms of the common cold can normally appear in one to three days. There are several symptoms and signs of the common cold are given below –
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Sore throat
- Mild headache
- Feeling unwell
When Should You See a Doctor for the Common Cold?
The severity of a common cold is depended on the age of individuals. Children and adults have different severity conditions to visit a doctor for the treatment of a common cold. If you are suffering from a common cold and symptoms are worse day by day then you should visit a doctor for the treatment of the common cold. There are several conditions for children and adults to visit a doctor are given below –
For children – Generally, if your child is suffering from a common cold then does not need medical attention for the treatment of this disease. But should visit to doctor if your child has symptoms of
- A problem in wheezing or breathing or fast breathing
- Increasing or rising fever up to 100.4 F for a long time
- Severe symptoms including fever, cough, or throat pain for a long period
- Ear pain
- Many changes in mental state including irritability or seizures
- Unusual drowsiness
- Flu-like symptoms, which improve but return fast with a worse cough and a high fever for several days
- Worsening of chronic medical condition
- Lack of appetite for several days
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in swallow
For Adults – Normally, you do not need a visit to a doctor for the treatment of a common cold. But you should visit a doctor if you have several symptoms for a long period are given below –
- Difficulty in breathing
- Severe sore throat pain
- Certain symptoms or signs that do not improve after medications
- Rising fever of more than 100 F for a long period
- Fever rising and again rising after a few minutes
- Sinus pain
- Chest pain may be associated with severe diseases
Complications of Common Cold
There are several complications may occur when the symptoms are worse of the common cold are given below –
- Acute sinusitis – When a common cold does not treat, which may lead to pain, infection, and swelling of the sinuses.
- Acute ear infection – This type of complication occurs if viruses or bacteria enter the space behind the eardrum then many typical symptoms that includes fever or headache and is not good for your health.
- Asthma – If you are suffering from asthma then a common cold may trigger wheezing. But if you have asthma then the symptoms of the common cold may get worse.
- Other infections – A common cold may lead to other several infections that include pneumonia, strep throat, and bronchitis in children. These several infections are treated by a doctor.
There are several risk factors that may enhance the risk of getting a common cold are discussed below –
- Poor immunity – If you have a weak immune system then increases the risk of getting a cold and other infections.
- Age – If Children or kids are under the age of 6 years then it may increase the risk of getting a cold. The risk of getting a cold is high when a child is playing with other infected kids.
- Insufficient sleep – Lack of sleep or inadequate sleep may affect the immune system, which may enhance the risk of getting a cold.
- Pollution – If you are living with pollution environment then increase the chances of getting a cold are high as compared with a non-pollution environment.
- Time of year – The common cold may occur any time of year, especially in the winter season or the rainy season. You can spend time inside and outside when it is cold and wet, which enhances the risk of getting a cold.
How to protect or prevent from the cold – There are several ways to prevent or lower the risk of the common cold are given below –
- Stay away from individuals with the common cold – If you stay away or avoid contact with those people who are suffering from the common cold then it may reduce the risk of getting a cold. To protect yourself from the common cold, you can also avoid crowds, and touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.
- Do not share infected utensils – Do not share infected or used eating utensils or drinking glasses with anyone including friends and family members. If you have a cold then should not share your own glasses, or cups with someone that lower the risk of getting cold in your home or society.
- Wash hands regularly – You should wash your hands daily with water and soap for about 20 seconds that helps in lowering the risk of getting a cold. If soap and water are not available then you should use alcohol-based hand sanitizer which contains about 60 percent alcohol. Washing hands daily also helps in lowering the risk of other viral infections and is good for health.
- Wear a mask – You must wear a mask that is beneficial in reducing the risk of spreading cold and other viral infections in your home and society.
Conclusions – Cold is a very common viral infection that occurs mostly in children and also adults. It is not a very serious disease with no medical attention. If the symptoms of cold occur for a long period then you should visit to a doctor for the treatment of the cold.