Common Cold: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

What is Common cold?

It is actually a minor form of infection in which the microorganisms attack the upper part of the respiratory tract. the symptoms are generally prominent after two days the individual has been exposed to the microorganism causing the infection. The body parts getting affected in common cold maybe nose, throat, sinuses, and larynx.

The symptoms include cutting, painful throat, runny nose along with fever and sneezing. It may also cause a headache. Common cold can generally last up to maximum 10 days or a week.

If the symptoms get worse, contact your doctor and soon as possible. In severe cases, it may turn into pneumonia. The common cold is contagious. Complications for that can occur like otitis media for infection of the middle ear, Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinuses.

The body undergoes attack from the foreign virus. Rhinoviruses are the most common strain which causes the common cold.

How does the common cold affect the body?

Common cold can have flu-like symptoms. The respiratory system undergoes attack from a foreign virus. Symptoms include runny nose, breathing trouble. It can also facilitate mucus formation along with coughing and tiredness.

Fever can also occur as a response from the body’s immune system. Other symptoms can also be noted like sneezing and wheezing. The microorganism generally targets the nasal tissue of throat tissue and sinuses.

What are the causes of Common cold?

  • Among 200 strains of microorganisms, rhinoviruses are most prevalent in causing the common cold. The virus can enter through the oral or nasal cavity.
  • It is considered highly contagious. It is capable of spreading through contact, sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid contamination and it’s sources.
  • Avoid contact with people having cold. Avoid sharing their everyday essentials.

What are the risk factors?

  • Age: infants are more exposed towards the virus. Children under 6 years of age are at high risk.
  • Lack of immunity: persistent syndrome may cause a decrease in immunity. The body is more susceptible in case of an autoimmune disorders.
  • Season: people are now likely to have a cold during winter. The climate can have a significant effect in this matter.
  • For smoker: smokers are more likely to conduct cold more.
  • Exposure: avoid exposure to sick people and crowded places. It may be spread around more in closed surroundings.

What are the symptoms of Common cold?

  • The common symptoms include runny or stuffy nose. Other signs are coughing, body pain, sneezing.
  • The moderate Side Effects include congestion of the nasal cavity. It can headache, fever and tiredness.
  • The severe symptoms like persistent coughing can turn into pneumonia. Contact your doctor if there is severe pain in the throat, breathing trouble continues.
  • Take Precautions if you have the long lasting fever for more than 5 days.
  • In children : symptoms to consider are fever with more than 100.4°F in infants. Contact the doctor if there are persistent symptoms which cause drowsiness or lack of appetite.

What is the diagnosis of a common cold?

  • There are signs and symptoms that can be associated with the common cold. If it is a case of bacterial infection, it may require chest X rays and other tests.
  • Generally, the signs of common cold will include runny nose, stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing and body and joint pain.
  • Symptoms which are persistent can turn into pneumonia.
  • The common cold needs to proceed in its natural course. The symptoms will go away gradually. Generally, people recover within 7 to 10 days. In rare cases, it might take up to three weeks.

What are the preventions and control or cure for a common cold?

The measures that should be undertaken to prevent the spread of common cold are:

  • Wash your hands and feet, face after returning home from outside.
  • Sanitize and after using today.
  • Avoid contaminated sources and avoid street food as much as you can.
  • Avoid crowded places and people having a common cold.
  • Use hand sanitizer frequency.
  • Eat, sleep, exercise properly.
  • Stay clean

What are the treatment and options for Common cold?

  • In allopathic medication, the treatment is otc med. Otc or over the counter medication include decongestants like ortrivin. It can help in the decongesting the nose. Pain relievers like Dispirin are available over the counter to stop the minor headache. Antihistamines can also be used.
  • Homoeopathic remedies include homemade treatments. The use of Ginger is done for ginziberole. Other treatments include the use of beverages like hot tea, hot milk, hot coffee and yoghurt. It helps in the relieving of mild-to-moderate headache.
  • In children, rest and hydration is needed to fight the common cold. Proper diet is required along with salt Gargling and a warm bath.

What are the lifestyle tips for Common cold?

The lifestyle tips for common cold are given as below:

  • limit your exposure to microorganisms.
  • Avoid coming in contact with sick people.
  • Get enough of exercise and proper sleep.
  • Maintaining a proper diet is necessary. It helps in the increase in immunity in the body.
  • Stay clean and use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid crowded places or hospitals.

What is the recommended exercise for Common cold?

  • There are not any particular exercise which are needed to be done. Regular workout is required.
  • It is important to stay active. Then only, the virus will Retreat. Your body will generally return to its normal state.

What are the interactions with diseases and pregnancy?

  • In the case of pregnant mothers, the risk of the common cold is increased.
  • Pregnant mothers generally acquire seasonal common cold.
  • Do not administer over the counter medication. The effects of such drugs on the foetus are not entirely known. Therefore it is best to avoid the intake of such drugs during pregnancy. Let the cold Run its course naturally.
  •  In patients with HIV common cold can also be degrading. Consult the doctor as soon as possible.

What are the common complications of the common cold?

The common complications of cold are given down as below:

  • it can cause otitis media or infection of the middle ear.
  • It can cause asthma a respiratory disorder.
  • It can cause throat infection.
  • It can cause Bronchitis or inflammation of the bronchus.
  • In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia.
  • It can cause bronchiolitis.
  • It can cause croup or has cough in children.
  • It is capable of producing Insomnia or lack of sleep at night.


Q. How long after being exposed to the virus or bacteria to show the signs of a cold?

The signs and symptoms will start to show within 24 to 72 hours in general. However, the virus causing cold is quickly spreading. It is also contagious. So, take precaution.

Q. Does being in cold weather affect the symptoms if you already have a cold?

If you already conduct a cold, you will have the symptoms like stuffy nose and runny nose. However, it is a myth that people in colder countries develop colder. It depends on your immune system and contact with the virus.

Q. How to stop the occurrence of the frequent common cold?

Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause colds can live on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.

Q. What are the quick remedies of cold?

The quick remedies of cold include staying hygienic, avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding contaminated sources of food and water, washing your hands properly, using sanitizer. Maintain a healthy diet and drink hot beverages.

Q. Why do the symptoms of cold become worse during the night?

At night, there is less cortisol in your blood. As a result, your white blood cells readily detect and fight infections in your body at this time, provoking the symptoms of the infection to the surface, such as fever, congestion, chills, or sweating. Therefore, you feel sicker during the night.


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