A cold usually begins suddenly, with a sore throat followed by the following symptoms :
- Runny nose
Most commonly, the symptoms of the cold do not go further than those that we have just stated: runny nose , sneezing , tiredness and cough . However, sometimes the common cold can be the cause of more serious infections, such as sinusitis , bronchitis , ear infection and thus need to take medications like antibiotics or other medicines.
Note that as a general rule, there is no fever with the common cold . In fact, fever and more severe symptoms may indicate that you have the flu or a bacterial infection and not a cold .
A mild cough is a symptom of the common cold and can last up to two weeks. If you have asthma or other lung problems, a cold can worsen the situation. Talk to your doctor to see if you need to change your asthma treatment or if you need further treatment.
If you spit thick or dark mucus or if you have a fever, you may have a bacterial infection . Then consult a doctor. Same advice if your cough does not improve after a few weeks.
Cold symptoms usually begin between one and three days after being infected with the cold virus . As a rule, a coldlasts between three and seven days. But you may feel “cluttered” for a week or more.
It is during the first three days of the cold that you are the most contagious, even if a cold is contagious throughout the first week. Clearly, this means that you can spend ( contaminate ) the virus of the common cold to those with whom you come in contact.
It is sometimes easy to confuse the symptoms of the common cold with those of an allergic rhinitis , also known as hay fever .
If the symptoms developed begin quickly and do not exceed one to two weeks, it is probably a cold and not an allergy .
On the other hand, if the symptoms last more than two weeks, you have certainly developed an allergy .
The allergies are caused by an overactive immune system . For some reason, your body reacts excessively to substances such as dust or pollen . It releases chemicals such as histamine . This can cause swelling in the nasal passages , runny nose , coughing and sneezing . The allergies are not contagious , unlike the common cold .
Call a doctor in case of colds
Except for newborns, a cold is not dangerous.
The symptoms usually disappear within a week or two without specific treatment. Unfortunately, the common cold can use the resistance of your body, making you more sensitive , especially to bacterial infections .
If the symptoms of the cold worsen or do not improve, consult a doctor. Your doctor will examine your throat , ears and lungs and may also consider performing a culture test of your throat with a long cotton swab. This will allow him to see, or not, a bacterial infection requiring treatment with antibiotics .
In all cases, call your doctor if you experience the following symptoms :
- An earache
- A pain around the nose and eyes (sinus) on more than one week
- A fever greater than 38.5 ° C. If your child is less than 3 months old and has a temperature of 38 ° C or higher, call your doctor immediately
- A fever that lasts more than one day in a child under 2 years or more than three days for a child over 2 years
- A cough that produces sputum for more than a week
- a breath
- A worsening of symptoms of colds
- If the symptoms of the cold last more than two weeks
- In case of difficulty swallowing
- A sore throat for more than five days
- A stiff neck
- A sensitivity to bright light
Also consult a physician if:
- You are pregnant or breast-feeding
- Your Newborn has Cold Symptoms
- Cold symptoms worsen after day three
Cold and sinusitis
A sinus infection is an inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the sinus cavities.
This inflammation affects the mucus glands in the sinuses and causes a greater secretion of mucus. When the passages in your sinuses get clogged, the pressure develops and your nose gets clogged.
If the cold persists for more than a week and you start to have pain in the area of the sinuses , the headaches , the toothache , a stuffy nose , the cough , a runny yellow or thick green, … consult your doctor.
It can be a sinus infection .
The cold s are caused by hundreds of viruses different. When one of these viruses penetrate your body, your immune system defends itself. Some of the effects of this defense correspond to the classic symptoms of the common cold , such as congestion and cough .
The germs that cause a cold are contagious. You may be infected when someone sneezes, touching or squeezing an infected person, coughing, …
After a few weeks, at most, your immune system fights the cold virus and you usually stop having the symptoms of the common cold .
Allergies are caused by an over activity of the immune system . For some reason and by mistake, your body attacks harmless substances, such as dust or pollen .
Your body then releases chemicals like histamine , as it does when fighting a cold . This can cause swelling in the nasal passages, runny nose, coughing and sneezing.
Cold and bronchitis: chest cold
The acute bronchitis (also called chest cold ) is an inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
With bronchitis, you can have a cough with mucus production , which can be thick and yellow and sometimes streaked with blood.
Most people heal without medical treatment. If symptoms persist after more than 1 week or if you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath , call your doctor. Also call your doctor if you have chronic lung problems or asthma and you have any of the above symptoms.
Colds and asthma attacks
If you suffer from asthma, the common cold can make you feel congested and make you cough while you are trying to expel the mucus from the throat or lungs.
A dry cough and wheezing often suggests an asthma attack , followed by a feeling of shortness of breath , chest tightness and coughing .
If you notice a worsening of your asthma symptoms, consult your doctor.