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Common cold: symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The common cold is an infection caused by several viruses, including rhinovirus, which is easily contagious and causes congestion and runny nose, sneezing, headache, and other annoying symptoms that we encounter several times throughout life. This infection, generally benign, occurs mainly in autumn, winter and spring, that is, the times of the year with more climatic changes. The cold is usually transmitted through physical contact and nasal or mouth secretions from the infected person. In this FastlyHealarticle we explain the symptoms and treatment of the common cold, and we give you some tips to avoid suffering from it.

Symptoms of the common cold

The symptoms of colds, usually of contagion, appear to have occurred about 2 or 3 days later because the virus has an incubation period of between 24 and 72 hours s. However, it can sometimes take up to a week to detect symptoms, which are usually the following:

  • Nasal congestion and obstruction.
  • Sneezing and a runny nose.
  • Throat irritation, cough, and throat clearing when speaking or swallowing.
  • Headache, malaise, and muscle aches.
  • Decreased appetite.

Generally, a cold does not cause a fever, but it can raise the body temperature by a few tenths in some cases. On the other hand, the nasal mucus becomes thicker as the days go by, which means that the immune system is fighting the virus. The cold does not usually present complications, but it is advisable to see a doctor if you have asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions that may be worsened by the virus.

Treatment of the common cold

There is no specific treatment aimed at eliminating the virus from the body. Cold therapy aims to relieve symptoms caused by infection until the body fights the virus on its own. Some measures are as follows:

  • If fever, headache, and general malaise occur, it is advisable to take paracetamol, ibuprofen, or acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). The latter should not be administered to children under 12 years of age. Viral diseases, such as the common cold, should not be treated with antibiotics since they are indicated in cases of bacterial infections.
  • In pharmacies, you can find several products aimed at reducing nasal congestion and facilitating breathing. The topical decongestants are not recommended since their effect is short, requiring ever-greater doses, i.e., a rebound effect. For this reason, we advise you to opt for vahos; inhalations of water vapor with eucalyptus are very useful to decongest.
  • Coughing is one of the most annoying symptoms of a cold. In the case of cough with mucus, it is best to drink plenty of fluids to facilitate mucus discharge and, if desired, obtain mucolytic or expectorant drugs. There are antitussive drugs that ease the urge to cough for unproductive or dry coughs.

Home remedies for the common cold

Another way to treat a cold is with home remedies; here are some recommendations:

  • Steam vapors: in a pot with water, place some eucalyptus leaves; when it starts to boil, turn it off, place a towel on your head, and bring your face to the steam. This will help you decongest and remove excess mucus.
  • Onion and ginger: prepare an infusion with half a red onion and a piece of ginger. Please bring it to a boil and remove it from the heat. Put it in a cup and add honey and lemon; this natural remedy will help you calm your cough.
  • Honey and lemon: boil a cup of water, squeeze a lemon and add a teaspoon of honey. These two ingredients will soothe an itchy throat; drink them twice daily.

Prevention is the best way to avoid catching colds:

  • Try to wash your hands frequently.
  • Use tissues.
  • Avoid charged environments and contact with people with a cold.
  • Protect yourself well from cold and temperature changes.
  • Always stay well hydrated.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Common cold: symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Ear, nose and throat category .

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