What to do if I have common cold?

Almost all of us have common cold at some point in life. The common cold is one of the prevalent illnesses all over the globe and affects millions of all ages. There are various viruses responsible and there is no cure even today. Luckily, common cold is usually mild and even if it can be irritating, many individuals do not need to spend days in the bed while recovering.

There are steps that must be considered when an individual acquired the common cold. Remember that these steps might not help get over the condition any faster but can help the individual stay on top of the symptoms as well as minimize the risk for developing a secondary infection.

Proper assessment of the symptoms

The usual symptoms of common cold can also be triggered by various conditions. Just because having them does not necessarily indicate a common cold.

When to consult a doctor

Many individuals who end up with the common cold do not necessarily need to consult a doctor. The symptoms usually subside after a week and simply require rest along with over-the-counter medications if needed.

There are circumstances in which the symptoms of cold are more severe than normal and requires medical care. In most cases, they might be due to conditions more serious than common cold but you have to be familiar on what to watch out for if any of these are present:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
    Common cold

    The symptoms usually subside after a week and simply require rest along with over-the-counter medications if needed.

  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Cough

Right treatment option

Some individuals prefer to use over-the-counter cold medications but there are a lot of options to choose from. Remember that not all of them are suitable for every individual or every case of cold.

The symptoms of one individual might vary from another and one medication that is effective for one might not work for another. Nevertheless, if the individual has any chronic medical conditions or currently using medications on a regular basis, a doctor should be consulted first before using any over-the-counter medication or herbal remedy to avoid any undesirable side effects or drug interactions.

Potential complications of common cold

In most cases of common cold, recovery can last for a week without any complications. Nevertheless, some might end up with secondary infections. These are common in young children, elderly and those who have chronic medical conditions but anyone can still be affected.