Viruses are responsible for causing common colds. It affects the throat and nose. It is usually harmless.
Young children below 6 have the greatest risks. However, adults may also have 2-3 colds in a year.
Most recover in 7-10 days. If it doesn’t, one must consider approaching a physician.
They appear 1-3 days post-exposure. These may include –
- Low fever
- Body aches
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
The color of the discharge may alternate between green or yellow and turn thicker during the sick phase.
When To Approach A Doctor
Adults should consult their doctors when they have –
- Severe sinus pain, sore throat, and headache
- Shortness of breath
- Fever for 5+ days
- Fever temperature greater than around 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit
Children should be taken to doctors when they have –
- Fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit in infants below 12 weeks
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual drowsiness
- Extreme fussiness
- Ear pain
- Severe cough or headache
- No improvement in symptoms
- Fever lasting 2+ days with no respite
There may be many causes of common cold infections. Rhinoviruses are often the usual culprits.
Viruses enter your body via the nose, mouth or eyes. This can spread when someone with a cold, talks, coughs or sneezes.
It may also spread via contact with people who have a cold. Sharing various contaminated objects like telephones, toys, towels or utensils can also cause this.
Touching one’s mouth, eyes or nose after such exposure or contact may also cause you to have a cold infection.
One’s chances of having a cold can be increased by these:
- Exposure: If you have been around people or been in a public place like airplanes or school, you may have exposure to cold viruses.
- Smoking: Exposure to smoke from cigarettes can worsen your chances of catching a cold.
- Season: The winter and fall seasons are likeliest times for catching a cold. Both children and adults have equal chances here.
- Immunity System: A weak immune system has the possibility of worsening your common cold odds.
- Age: Those under 6 are more likely to catch a cold.
- Acute Sinusitis: Infection and inflammation of sinuses may occur when colds don’t go away for a long time.
- Secondary Infections: Strep throat, bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia are likely in children, which have to be handled by doctors.
- Asthma: Attacks may be triggered by colds
- Otitis Media infection: Symptoms include earaches, discharges, and fever. It happens when space behind eardrums are attacked by viruses or bacteria.
- Take Care: Get ample sleep, exercise and eat well. Manage your stress effectively as well for beating your cold.
- Choose care centers for your children wisely: Look for proper hygiene practices. Ensure they have policies on preventing sick children at the facility.
- Avoid contact with people who have colds.
- Do not share: Do not share any utensils or drinking glasses with family members. Utilize disposable cups or glasses when someone is physically sick. Label these glasses with names.
- Utilize tissues: Cough and sneeze only into tissues. Discard them and wash hands properly. Teach children how to cough or sneeze properly. This way, they can handle it effectively.
- Disinfect your items: When someone is affected by cold, clean all bathroom and kitchen countertops with strong disinfectants. Wash toys periodically.
- Always wash hands: This lesson must be taught to your children. Practice it diligently.