Lifestyle Patient Awareness

Common Cold: All You Need to Know About It

Common Cold
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The common cold is one of the most easily found infectious viral diseases. It infects the upper respiratory system. Adults suffer from cold roughly about two to three times while children could get a cold as much as twelve times in a year.  Read on to find out more about the common cold.

Causes

  • The species of coronaviruses and rhinoviruses cause the common cold.
  • Research says that more than 200 types of viruses can cause the common cold and that’s why it is difficult to develop resistance.
  • It spreads from person to person through airborne droplets or direct contact with infectious secretions.

Symptoms

The symptoms of the common cold are due to the body’s efforts to fight off the virus. The infection causes a chemical release which leads to the blood vessels leaking. This triggers the mucous glands to get into action.

Here are the usual symptoms of the common cold.

  • A runny nose
  • Dry, itchy throat
  • Soreness
  • A cough
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Blocked nose
  • A headache- can vary from mild to severe
  • Watery eyes
  • Appetite reduction
  • Muscular aches and pain

Many people do not experience any symptoms while suffering from this infection due to good immunity.  Bacteria can cause a secondary infection due to the viral infection. Antibiotics can treat this.

Prevention

A vaccine is impossible to develop for the common cold because there are so many variants of viruses that cause it. To prevent infection, following precautions must be taken.

  • Avoid contact with the infected person as much as possible.
  • Improve immunity by eating fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamin C.
  • Cover your face with tissue or mask when meeting the infected person. If you are suffering from cold, then cover your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing to stop the spread of infection.
  • Wash your hands with soap frequently as this prevents the spread of infection.
  • Keep your kitchen and washrooms clean.

Remedies

Because the common cold is a viral infection, most antibiotics and antiviral medications are ineffective. The duration of a cold is not more than ten days. Most over the counter medications for cold help alleviate the symptoms of the infection. However, there are certain things you can do to ease your infection.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink a lot of fluids to detoxify the system.
  • Rest as much as possible to help your immune system fight off the infection.
  • Do gargling with hot water and salt to ease a sore throat and cough.
  • Steam inhalation helps to remove the congestion due to mucus accumulation.
  • Have plenty of hot soups.

Those who smoke, have weak lungs, low immunity or children less than six years of age, they are susceptible to develop complications like acute bronchitis or pneumonia because of the common cold. Ensure you take plenty of rest to avoid that.

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