A cold is a contagious yet mild condition that affects the upper respiratory tract. It is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the lining of the nose, throat, sinuses, and windpipe. Several different types of viruses can cause most colds, but 10% to 40% are due to the various strains of rhinovirus.
The common cold is one of the most prevalent diseases globally, hence its name. According to the CDC, an adult can have an average of two to three bouts of colds every year, especially during the spring and winter.
Common colds do not typically result in serious symptoms and complications. Most people infected with it will only experience mild symptoms, which usually clear out by themselves after a few days.
But in some cases, a common cold may cause serious symptoms, especially for people with a weakened immune system. So when’s the right time to Google ‘urgent care near me’ and see a doctor about your cough or cold? Read on to find out.
Common cold symptoms develop gradually and may appear one to three days after exposure. Its symptoms can include the following:
A common cold usually starts with a cough or runny nose. Discharge from the nose or mouth may start as clear and watery but may become thick and yellowish over time. This condition spreads from person to person thru aerosol droplets expelled through coughing or sneezing.
It can be difficult to tell if you have a common cold or another illness with almost the same symptoms, such as flu, allergies, or COVID-19. So if you experience any of these symptoms, the best course of action is to put on a mask and isolate while you recover.
A common cold should not be a cause for concern for a fairly healthy individual. It will typically go away on its own with plenty of rest and water intake. Patients can also take OTC medications and other home remedies to manage their symptoms.
However, complications may arise for immunocompromised individuals and those with existing lung conditions (e.g., asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema). For these patients, a simple cold can cause moderate to severe symptoms, such as:
Catching a cold can also cause your existing lung condition to flare up or worsen. It may also lead to the development of other illnesses, such as strep throat, pneumonia, acute bronchitis, otitis media, and sinusitis.
A cold virus will manifest symptoms on the 2nd or third day of infection. It can last for up to seven days or more but will begin to wane down during that period.
However, if symptoms still persist, worsen, or fail to improve, it’s time to seek medical help. Some of the specific signs to watch out for include the following:
For children, seek medical help if they experience a rising fever that lasts for days, headache, wheezing, throat pain, and shortness of breath. Appetite problems, unusual fussiness, and drowsiness should also warrant a visit to the nearest urgent care facility.
Additionally, patients with a chronic or long-term illness should seek urgent care immediately at the first sign of a common cold.
There’s no definite cure to treat a cold. But there are various medications and remedies that can help relieve your symptoms. Some of the specific over-the-counter medications you can use include the following:
Going to school or work won’t affect your recovery. However, going in public spaces increases the risk of infecting others and spreading the viral infection. So, it’s best to stay at home until your symptoms clear out.
Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches is one of the leading providers of urgent medical care in the Florida area. Our board-certified physicians offer high-quality services to address various medical problems一from acute respiratory problems to diagnostic procedures like influenza a&b test.
So if you’re looking for a facility to address your minor health concern, do COVID testing, or provide flu shot in Palm Beach County, then we can help.
Contact us or visit one of our convenient locations near you:
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.
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