Catch a Cold

Common Cold: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Definition of cold – The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The main affected parts are the nose, throat, sinuses and vocal cords. Symptoms will begin to appear within 2 days of exposure to pathogens, including cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache and fever. A common cold usually heals within 7-10 days, and some symptoms may last up to 3 weeks. For people with other health problems, it may develop into pneumonia.


The initial symptoms of a cold and the flu (Influenza) may be very similar. Both are respiratory diseases and may produce similar symptoms, but colds and flu are caused by different viral infections.


Colds are common, and infants, people with certain medical conditions, or people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk. However, colds are preventable, please consult your doctor for more information.


Symptoms of Cold 

Cold symptoms usually start with a sore throat, which usually disappears within 1 to 2 days, and then nose-related symptoms such as runny nose or nasal congestion appear on the 4th to 5th day, accompanied by coughing. Adults are less likely to have a fever when they have a cold, but mild fevers are still possible; children who have a cold are more likely to have a fever.


Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent cold symptoms from getting worse, so seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid symptoms. If you have any of the above symptoms or related concerns, please also consult your physician. Everyone’s body reacts differently, please consult a doctor for the most suitable diagnosis and treatment.


Cause of cold

Rhinovirus infection causes colds, which tend to affect the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, and is transmitted from others, not directly caused by cold weather.


Risk Factors for Colds

The following risk factors increase your chances of catching a cold:

  1. Living environment
    Environments where people live with many people, such as nursing homes and military camps, are more likely to cause colds.
  2. Weak immune system
    Undergoing cancer treatment, taking anti-rejection drugs (Anti-rejection drugs) or corticosteroids (Corticosteroids), infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or AIDS (AIDS), will weaken the immune system and increase the chance of catching a cold , and more likely to cause complications.


  3. Suffering from chronic diseases
    Asthma, Diabetes or Heart disease can also make people more prone to colds.


  4. Pregnancy
    Pregnant women are prone to complications from colds, especially during the 4th to 9th months of pregnancy; they are usually also prone to colds within 2 weeks after delivery.


Diagnosis and treatment of common cold

Physicians can use a person’s symptoms to determine whether it is a common cold or flu, or to order blood tests.


How to treat a cold?

Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids is usually the best treatment, but in some cases your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications. If you take the medicine as soon as symptoms appear, you may be able to shorten the time you’re sick and prevent some serious complications. Antiviral drugs may cause nausea and vomiting as side effects, but taking them with food can reduce side effects.


Relief and improvement of colds

  1. In addition to getting plenty of rest, patients can help reduce discomfort by using a humidifier to keep the air moist to relieve throat and nose discomfort.
  2. Comforting warm soups, such as chicken broth, can soothe sore and itchy throats.
  3. Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs. If it is inconvenient to wash your hands, you can carry a bottle of dry hand sanitizer with you.
  4. Use over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms.


Summer and winter are the seasons when colds are common, but there are many ways to prevent them:

  1. Adjust your hygiene habits, wash your hands frequently or carry a bottle of dry hand sanitizer with you to sterilize and prevent infection.
  2. Wash your hands frequently and clean your home regularly.
  3. Supplement vitamins and minerals with meals to boost your immune system.
  4. Build an exercise habit to strengthen your immune system.
  5. When you have a cold, you should avoid infecting others. For example, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth when coughing or sneezing to prevent germs from being sprayed with droplets.
  6. Please discard used tissues.




Related Topics



Respiratory disease – NHS

Common cold – NHS

The Common Cold – NIH

Common cold – Wiki


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