Welcome summers – the season of the sun and Ice cream. You would want to eat your favorite ice creams under the cool of the air conditioner. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well, it is but everything has its pros and cons. And one of the most uncomfortable cons of enjoying a spine – chilly ice cream or cold drink is the common cold. Sadly, one is prone to the risk of catching common cold even in the summer season. Let’s understand more about the common cold symptoms, causes, treatments, prevention and more. And do not let it disrupt our summer fun.
The Common Cold – What Is It?
As the name suggests, the common cold is a very popular and common infectious disease. It is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat). It is also called viral rhinitis.
It is the most typical reason why one misses school or work.
Some important facts about the common cold:
- Viruses are the reason behind this infection.
- It is a contagious illness.
- It is mostly a mild infection.
- It generally improves without strict treatment.
- Children more easily catch this infection compared to adults.
Common Cold Causes – How Is It Caused?
It is the outcome of infectious viruses. There are more than 200 types of viruses that are considered as common cold causes in humans.
The most common virus family out of these 200 is the Rhinovirus. More than 40% of the common cold infection is spread by rhinovirus. Scientists have found more than 99 distinct types of the rhinovirus family.
It is a transmittable virus. The common cold is caused by touching or coming in contact with the infection. It can easily spread from one person to another.
The virus enters the body through mouth, eyes or nose. It further goes on to form mucus. After the formation of mucus, the virus leads to coughing, sneezing or hoarse throat.
The virus can spread by shaking hands or touching an infected person. If you touch your eyes or nose after touching the said person, you can catch the virus even more easily. It can also spread by coming in close contact with a surface that has infected particles.
Common Cold Symptoms- How Do I Know If I Have The Infection?
This virus is so common that it is quite easy to recognize the symptoms. The common cold spreads irrespective of the season. However, humans are more prone to catching a cold during winters.
There are some signs that identify as common cold symptoms. Here is a list of such signs:
- Runny Nose
- Stuffy Nose
- Sore Throat
- Minor body ache
- Congestion in nose
- Mild Fever
- Dry throat
These symptoms are reflected in a person after two or three days of coming in contact with the virus. Some people may feel the extreme severity of the common cold symptoms. It is because they may have a weak immune system or other respiratory conditions like asthma.
Common Cold Symptoms – When to See a Doctor?
It is an easily known illness and thus, it does not require strict medical attention. The condition of the patient with a cold virus generally improves on its own with time and proper rest.
However, it may not be the case for everyone. We advise you to seek help from a medical expert if the symptoms do not go away after 10 days. You may also consult a doctor if your symptoms vary from the frequent ones mentioned above. The common cold symptoms which require medical assistance are:
- Fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- Wheezing (whistling sound while breathing)
- Shortness of breath
- Sinus pain
- Ear pain
- Severe symptoms that are not improving
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive dizziness
Common Cold Treatment- How Do I Feel Better?
It is usually said that “Man has been able to land on the moon but not cure the common cold”. The saying is true because there is no specific cure for the common cold. There are several common cold treatments to make you feel better but not a particular cure to eliminate the virus. This is because of the vast pool of infections (more than 200) that cause the common cold.
One of the best common cold treatments include drinking plenty of fluids and resting properly. You should be sufficiently hydrated when you have a cold. This is because the water will loosen the mucus.
Enough rest and sleep will help the immune system of your body to fight the infection. A good amount of relief in symptoms is the result of the treatments.
Apart from hydration and rest, some other basic common cold treatments include:
- Gargling with warm water
- Inhaling Steam
- Taking Vitamin C
- Herbal Therapy
- Taking cough syrups
Pro-tip: Do not consume alcohol or caffeine as they have drying effects and may make your symptoms worse.
Common cold treatment- What can I do to treat the virus at home?
There are some very simple steps that you can take to treat the common cold at home. The following is a list of home remedies to treat the virus. The best part about home remedies is the fact that there are no side effects of any sort.
Home Remedies to treat the common cold:
Ginger Tea- Consuming more fluids is a great solution for treating this virus. Ginger tea helps in drying up the running nose. You may be bored with drinking water. So add some tea leaves, sugar, milk, and ginger to plain water and voila! Enjoy ginger tea.
Turmeric milk- Indian households are familiar with the many benefits of turmeric. Adding it to warm milk helps in speeding up the recovery process of the common cold.
Amla- It is believed that Amla has many health benefits. It fights against many diseases. You can eat one amla and let it help you relieve your cold.
Soup- Drinking a warm bowl of soup with little spices and vegetables during a cold is as great as eating pizza. Studies have found that soup (especially chicken soup) can reduce respiratory infections.
Honey- Add honey to lukewarm water and enjoy sipping. Honey is known to ease throat pain.
Use vapor rub- Apply some amount of vapor rub on your chest and nose to open air passageways. Rubbing these ointments help reduce common cold symptoms.
NOTE: Antibiotics should NOT be taken for the common cold. Antibiotics work against bacteria and not viruses. It is recommended that the intake of any antibiotic should be avoided. They may have adverse effects if taken during a cold.
Common Cold Prevention – How Can I Prevent The Illness?
Now that we know that there is no cure for the virus, common cold prevention is obviously the better choice. There is a set of some basic prevention that can slow down the spread of the virus. The foremost step of preventing the common cold is avoiding contact with the infection.
Some other common cold prevention to follow are:
- Maintaining good hygiene- Keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Carry a handkerchief at all times.
- Wash your hands- Use soap and water to clean your hands properly. Carry a hand sanitizer with you.
- Do not touch your nose or eyes- It may be possible that you would have come in indirect contact with the virus. Avoid touching your nose and eyes. Doing this will reduce the chances of catching a common cold.
- Make a physical distance with people who are sick- Common cold is a highly contagious infection. Avoid touching people who are unhealthy.
- Do not share- Sharing is caring. But sometimes not sharing is caring more. Do not share your food or water with people if you are sick.
- Take good care of yourself- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, stay hydrated and get enough sleep.
Also, read about: Bring Down Fever With These Natural Home Remedies
What have you learnt?
Relax, we are not testing you. But we want you to remain healthy.
So in conclusion, the common cold may be a common illness but it requires sufficient attention. You should take care of yourself and your family. Make sure you follow the common cold prevention mentioned above. Understanding the common cold causes would help you keep track of the prevention.
Although common cold improves on its own, it is important that you notice any new symptoms. If the symptoms worsen, we recommend that you visit a medical doctor as soon as possible.
Also, read about: 10 Cold & Cough Home Remedies For Babies
Feeling cold in summers or noticed any symptoms mentioned above, it is advised to consult a best Internal Medicine Doctor in India or book an appointment with Credihealth.
For more information and free personalized guidance, talk to Credihealth Medical Experts.