Common Cold

Alternative Names :
Upper respiratory infection – viral; Cold
Definition :
The common cold generally involves a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms. Over 200 viruses can cause a cold.


There are at least 200 contagious viruses that cause the common cold. These viruses are easily transmitted in minute airborne droplets from the coughs or sneezes of infected people. In many cases, the viruses are also spread to the nose and throat by way of hand-to-hand contact with an infected person or by way of objects that have become contaminated with virus, such as a cup or towel.

Colds can occur at any time of the year, although infections are more frequent in the fall and winter. About half of the population of the us and europe develops al least one cold each year. Children are more susceptible to colds than adults because they have not yet developed immunity to the most common viruses and also because viruses spread very quickly in communities such as nurseries and schools.

We call it the “common cold” for good reason. There are over one billion colds in the United States each year. You and your children will probably have more colds than any other type of illness. Children average three to eight colds per year. They continue getting them throughout childhood. Parents often get them from the kids. Colds are the most common reason that children miss school and parents miss work.

Children usually get colds from other children. When a new strain is introduced into a school or day care, it quickly travels through the class.

Colds can occur year-round, but they occur mostly in the winter (even in areas with mild winters). In areas where there is no winter, colds are most common during the rainy season.

When someone has a cold, their runny nose is teeming with cold viruses. Sneezing, nose-blowing, and nose-wiping spread the virus. You can catch a cold by inhaling the virus if you are sitting close to someone who sneezes, or by touching your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by the virus.

People are most contagious for the first 2 to 3 days of a cold, and usually not contagious at all by day 7 to 10.

Symptoms :

The initial symptoms of a cold usually develop between 12 hours and three days after infection. Symptoms usually intensify over 24-48 hours, unlike those of influenza, which worsen rapidly over a few hours. The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are:
Runny nose
Nasal congestion

Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever. Young children, however, often run a fever around 100-102°F.

Once you have “caught” a cold, the symptoms usually begin in 2 or 3 days, though it may take a week. Typically, an irritated nose or scratchy throat is the first sign, followed within hours by sneezing and a watery nasal discharge.

Within one to three days, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green. This is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics.

Depending on which virus is the culprit, the virus might also produce:

Sore throat
Muscle aches
Postnasal drip
Decreased appetite
Still, if it is indeed a cold, the main symptoms will be in the nose.

For children with asthma, colds are the most common trigger of asthma symptoms.

In some people, a common cold may be complicated by a bacterial infection of the chest or of the sinuses. Bacterial ear infections, which may cause earache, are a common complication of colds.

Colds are a common precursor of ear infections. However, children’s eardrums are usually congested during a cold, and it’s possible to have fluid buildup without a true bacterial infection.

The entire cold is usually over all by itself in about 7 days, with perhaps a few lingering symptoms (such as cough) for another week. If it lasts longer, see your doctor to rule out another problem such as a sinus infection or allergies.

Treatment :
Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Over-the-counter cold remedies may help ease your symptoms. These won’t actually shorten the length of a cold, but can help you feel better.

NOTE: Some medical experts have recommended against using cough suppressants in many situations. Talk to your doctor before you or your child — especially those under age 2 — take any type of over-the-counter cough medicine, including those specifically labeled for children.

Antibiotics should not be used to treat a common cold. They will not help and may make the situation worse. Thick yellow or green nasal discharge is not a reason for antibiotics, unless it doesn’t get better within 10 to 14 days. (In this case, it may be sinusitis.)

New antiviral drugs could make runny noses completely clear up a day sooner than usual (and begin to ease the symptoms within a day). It’s unclear whether the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risks.

Chicken soup has been used for treating common colds at least since the 12th century. It may really help. The heat, fluid, and salt may help you fight the infection.
Ayurvedic Recommended Product: Curill
Ayurvedic Recommended Therapy: Nasya

Herbal Treatment of Common Cold

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Home Remedy for Cold

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Take A Foot bath & in heal Steam with little camphor 2 to 3 times a day  Best way to get rid of common cold

Most people recognize their symptoms as those of a common cold and do not seek medical advice.

The symptoms usually go away in 7 to 10 days.The common cold usually clears up without treatment within 2 weeks, but a cough may last longer.

Possible Complications:
Despite a great deal of scientific research, there is no cure for a common cold, but over-the-counter drugs can help relieve the symptoms. these drugs include analgesics to relieve a headache and reduce a fever, decongestants to clear a stuffy nose, and cough remedies to soothe a tickling throat. It is also important to drink plenty of cool fluids, particularly if you have a fever. Many people take large quantities of vitamin c to prevent infection and treat the common cold, but any benefit from this remedy is unproved.

If your symptoms do not improve in a week or your child is no better in 2 days, you should consult a doctor. if you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, although they are ineffective against cold viruses.

Ear infection
Worsening of asthma

When to Contact a Medical Professional :

Try home care measures first. Call your health care provider if:

1. The symptoms worsen or do not improve after 7 to 10 days
2.Breathing difficulty develops
3.Specific symptoms deserve a call


It might seem overwhelming to try to prevent colds, but you can do it. Children average three to eight colds per year. It is certainly better to get three than eight!

Here are five proven ways to reduce exposure to germs:

Switch day care: Using a day care where there are six or fewer children dramatically reduces germ contact.
Wash hands: Children and adults should wash hands at key moments — after nose-wiping, after diapering or toileting, before eating, and before preparing food.
Use instant hand sanitizers: A little dab will kill 99.99% of germs without any water or towels. The products use alcohol to destroy germs. They are an antiseptic, not an antibiotic, so resistance can’t develop.
Disinfect: Clean commonly touched surfaces (sink handles, sleeping mats) with an EPA-approved disinfectant.
Use paper towels instead of shared cloth towels.

Here are seven ways to support the immune system:

Avoid unnecessary antibiotics:
The more people use antibiotics, the more likely they are to get sick with longer, more stubborn infections caused by more resistant organisms in the future.
Breastfeed: Breast milk is known to protect against respiratory tract infections, even years after breastfeeding is done. Kids who don’t breastfeed average five times more ear infections.
Avoid second-hand smoke: Keep as far away from it as possible! It is responsible for many health problems, including millions of colds.
Get enough sleep: Late bedtimes and poor sleep leave people vulnerable.
Drink water: Your body needs fluids for the immune system to function properly.
Eat yogurt: The beneficial bacteria in some active yogurt cultures help prevent colds.
Take zinc: Children and adults who are zinc-deficient get more infections and stay sick longer.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose


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