What Are The Symptoms Of Common Cold? When To See A Doctor?

Common Cold Symptoms: The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by a virus (upper respiratory tract). It may not feel safe, but it is generally risk-free. Several different virus families are responsible for the majority of all colds. Two or three colds a year is typical for healthy folks. Young children and infants may be more susceptible to catching colds.

The typical cold recovery time is around 10 days. Individuals who are smokers may experience prolonged symptom persistence. In most cases, a common cold can be treated at home. However, you should visit a doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen.

What Are The Symptoms Of Common Cold?

The typical onset of cold symptoms is between one and three days after initial infection with a virus. Different people may experience other signs and symptoms. However, they may include the following:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches or a mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Generally feeling unwell

The nasal discharge may begin clear but thicken during a common cold and turn yellow or green. This is not usually indicative of a bacterial illness.

When To See A Doctor?

For Adults: Most cases of the common cold don’t warrant visiting the doctor. However, you should see a doctor if you:

  • Symptoms that worsen or fail to improve
  • Fever greater than 101.3 F (38.5 C) lasting more than three days
  • Fever returning after a fever-free period
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Severe sore throat, headache, or sinus pain

For Children: In most cases, a common cold may be treated at home and won’t necessitate your child’s trip to the doctor. If your child has any of the following, however, you should contact a doctor immediately:

  • Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) in newborns up to 12 weeks
  • Rising fever or fever lasting more than two days in a child of any age
  • Severe symptoms, such as headache, throat pain, or cough
  • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
  • Ear pain
  • Extreme fussiness
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Lack of appetite

When Does The Common Cold Start?

A common cold can be caused by several different viruses, although rhinoviruses are the most prevalent. The common cold virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets in the air from a sick person’s coughing, sneezing, or talking can spread the virus to others.

It can also be passed on through direct contact with an infected person or shared items, including cutlery, towels, toys, and phones. Infection is likely to occur if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Risk Factors For The Common Cold:

You might be more susceptible to developing a cold if you’re already dealing with one of these issues. Among these are:

  • Time of Year: The cold and flu season typically runs from October through March, but it can occur anytime. When it’s cold and wet, people tend to stay indoors more, which might transmit germs.
  • Environment: Illness from the common cold is more common in children younger than six. If they are in a daycare or childcare facility with other children, their risk increases even further.
  • Compromised Immune System: The likelihood of contracting rhinovirus increases in crowded settings like airplanes and concerts.
  • Smoking: Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have a higher risk of acquiring a cold and a more severe case once they do.
  • Lack of Sleep: An impaired immune system, brought on by insufficient or irregular sleep, can leave you more vulnerable to cold viruses.


Although there is currently no effective vaccination against the common cold, there are some simple measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood that you or someone you know will catch the virus:

  • Wash Your Hands: Be sure to regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have access to soap and water. Explain to your little ones why it’s so vital that they always wash their hands. Don’t put dirty hands near your face, especially your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Disinfect Your Stuff: Daily cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched areas, such as door handles, light switches, electronic devices, and kitchen and bathroom worktops, is recommended. When someone in your household has a cold, this is highly crucial. Periodically, you should clean the toys your kids play with.
  • Cover Your Cough: Using tissues when sneezing or coughing is recommended. Dispose of used tissues in the trash and give your hands a good scrub. Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue, and then wash your hands.
  • Don’t Share: Don’t use other people’s dishes and glasses at the dinner table. When you or someone you know is ill, it’s best to use your glass or disposable cups. Identify who drinks from each glass by writing their name on the container.
  • Stay Away From People With Colds: To prevent catching a cold, distance yourself from anyone who has it. Keep your distance from large groups of people. Never put your fingers in your mouth or nose.
  • Review Your Child Care Center’s Policies: Try to find a daycare with strict regulations for when children must stay home from school due to illness.
  • Take Care Of Yourself: The health benefits of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient rest are well-known.

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