Just as its name implies, the common cold is widely spread. Adults catch two to three colds a year, while children catch it four or more times a year. 

A cold is a respiratory infection that affects your nose, throat, sinuses, and trachea. The first sign of a common cold is a stuffy nose, sneezing, and a scratchy throat. 

 

The common cold is a viral infection. These viruses can easily spread from person to person. But most people with common colds can recover in about 7-10 days.  

 

SYMPTOMS 

Symptoms for common colds can include: 

  • Sore throat 
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose 
  • Loss of smell or taste 
  • Postnasal drip 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Headache 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Coughing 
  • Sneezing 
  • Headaches 
  • Body aches 
  • Chills 
  • Fatigue or general tiredness 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Low grade fever 

 

CAUSES 

There are different respiratory viruses that can cause common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common cause. This virus can also trigger asthma attacks. Other causes can include: 

  • Respiratory syncytial virus 
  • Human parainfluenza virus 
  • Adenovirus 
  • Human metapneumovirus 

 

TREATMENT 

Usually, you won’t need a doctor’s appointment for having a cold. But it is recommended that you stay at home so you can rest up and recuperate. Here are some precautionary measures that you can take note so you can protect yourself: 

  • Avoid sharing of cups and utensils with an infected person. You can also stay away from people with colds 
  • Practice good hygiene as germs can easily spread by sneezing and coughing 
  • Make an effort in disinfecting things that might have been touched by other people 
  • Always cover your mouth when sneezing and/or coughing 
  • Drink lots of liquids, it can speed up your recovery 

Although you don’t usually need to make an appointment to your primary care doctor when you have colds, please consider seeking medical assistance especially if you develop a fever. Watch out for other red flags that could indicate that you need to see your primary care doctor, these can include: 

  • Severe sore throat 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fever that lasts more than five days 
  • Ear pain 
  • Lack of appetite 

Always ask your primary care doctor before taking any form of medication. Your doctors may prescribe antibiotics if he/she suspects that it is more than just a viral infection. Never self-medicate and follow your doctor’s advice, especially if you are not sure of your condition. 

For urgent medical emergencies, you can visit Doral Health and Wellness Urgent Care. We provide urgent and comprehensive care for most health problems. For more info, visit us at http://www.urgentcareclinicbrooklyn.com/ or call at 718-971-1144.