Cold Explained – Causes and Symptoms: If the virus invades the nasal cavity and throat (upper respiratory tract), then this symptom is called a cold. There are many viruses that can cause a cold.

How common is a Cold?

Colds are very common, and children under 6 years of age are more likely to suffer from it. Even so, healthy adults may experience two to three colds in a year. With more attention, you can reduce risk. If you need further information, discuss it with your doctor.

Symptoms of a Cold

Symptoms of a cold include:

  • Runny nose, nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling
  • Minor pain or headache in the body
  • Low fever
  • Physical discomfort
  • Cold snot may become thicker and appear yellow or green. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is a bacterial infection.
  • Not all symptoms are listed above, please contact your doctor if you have any concerns.

When to see a doctor for cold?

Adult:

  • Fever exceeds 38.5 degrees celsius
  • Fever lasts more than 5 days
  • Reoccuring fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gasping
  • Severe sore throat, headache or sinusitis

Children:

  • Newborns over 12 weeks of high fever exceeding 38 degrees celsius
  • Children of any age have fever or persistent fever for more than 2 days
  • No improvement or deterioration of symptoms
  • Severe cold symptoms such as headache, cough
  • Gasping
  • Earache.
  • Extremely difficult to handle (emotional instability)
  • Unusual drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite

If you have any problems with the above symptoms, please discuss with your doctor. Everyone’s body response is not the same, please consult a doctor and have the most appropriate care.

Causes of colds

Many types of viruses can cause colds, but most of them are caused by Rhinovirus. Colds are contagious and the virus enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. It can also be transmitted by droplets, such as coughing, sneezing or talking. Viruses can also be spread through close contact or contact with contaminated things, and if they come across contaminants or in a viral environment. Touching your nose, mouth, eyes can directly give you the virus.

Risk factors for colds

The following are the risk factors for colds:

Age

Children under 6 years of age are more likely to suffer from illness, especially in child care centres.

Weak immune system

People with a weak immune system are at higher risk due to chronic disease or other conditions.

Season

It is easier in autumn and winter to catch a cold, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t get cold during summer or spring.

Smoking

If you have a habit of smoking, the chance of a cold is increased.

Exposure to the population

The more crowded the place is, the more likely you are exposed to a cold virus.

Diagnosis and treatment of colds

The following information is not a substitute for regular medical care. Please consult your doctor for more information.

How to diagnose a cold

Most colds can be diagnosed by symptoms. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection or other disease, you may be asked to perform additional tests to confirm.

How to treat a cold

There are no effective anti-viral drugs available to treat colds. Therefore, doctors will use the following alternative methods to relieve cold symptoms:

Painkillers

Many people choose Acetaminophen or other mild painkillers for fever, sore throat and headaches. However, the shorter the time it takes to use acetaminophen, the better. Do not give Aspirin to children and adolescents if the symptoms of chickenpox or flu have not recovered, as aspirin may cause Reye’s Syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition. Consider using non-prescription painkillers designed specifically for infants or children to relieve symptoms such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen.

Dehyperemia nasal spray

Adults can use decongestant drops or nasal sprays for up to 5 days, with prolonged use there will be a rebound. Children under 6 years of age should not use with de-rinsing drops or any nasal sprays.

Cough syrup

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics are strongly against giving non-prescription cough and cold medicines to children under 4 years of age. No research has been conducted to confirm that these medicines are beneficial and safe for children.

If you are giving a cough or cold medicine to an older child, please follow the instructions indicated in the medicine. Do not give your child 2 drugs of the same ingredient, such as antihistamines, deceptifiers, or painkillers at once. Excessive use of drugs of the same ingredient can lead to accidental overdose. Consult your doctor before taking any medications.

Lifestyle adjustment for colds with home remedies

The following lifestyle adjustments or home remedies can help improve colds:

  • Wash hands frequently: avoid the spread of the virus.
  • Healthy Diet: Make sure your diet contains a variety of nutrients such as dark green, red and yellow fruits and vegetables. Ensure lean protein, good fat and complex carbohydrates to keep your immune system at its best.
  • Quit smoking: Cigarettes reduce the body’s ability to resist colds.
    Alcoholic abusers are prone to complications due to colds.

If you have any concerns, consult a physician for the best possible care.

Read: Childhood Asthma Explained – Causes and Symptoms