Common Cold – Your Health Is Your Wealth

 

Common cold is a contagious viral infection. It affects the upper respiratory tract which includes the nose and throat. It usually results in runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, sore throat, cough and headache. Common cold is usually harmless except in newborns. Preschoolers and children are at greater risk. Symptoms usually take a week or two and may go away without any special medication. It is the most common viral infection in the united states. There is usually no fever associated with common cold. A fever or severe symptom may indicate a flu instead.Common cold is the number one reason why children go to the doctor. It very contagious during the first 3 days of getting the virus .If your cold symptoms gets worse, seek a medical practioner

CAUSES

More than 100 viruses are responsible for common cold but the most common is rhinovirus. They spread as droplets in the air when an infected person sneezes,coughs or talks and it is highly contagious. Touching your nose, mouth or ears after hand to hand contact or sharing items with an infected person can make you catch the common cold.Rhinoviruses can infiltrate the protective lining of the nose and throat causing an immune response such as sore throat , headache and making it hard to breadth.

SYMPTOMS

Different viruses are responsible for the common cold therefore symptoms may vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms include

  • sore or itchy throat
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • congestion
  • sneezing
  • watery eyes
  • mild headache
  • feeling tired
  • mild fever
  • muscle ache
  • loss of appetite

RISK FACTORS

The viruses that cause common cold are always in the environment but certain factors can increase your  chances of getting it

AGE

Common cold is much common in infants and preschooler. This is because they have an immature immune system. They also have not yet developed immunity against many of the common cold viruses.Kids play with other children a lot and if these people are infected they can easily get the virus too.

TIME OF THE YEAR

Both adults and children are more susceptible to common cold in the winter and fall . This is because children are in school where it is very easy to get infected when someone has the virus because of the large population. A lot of people also spend a lot of time indoors and this makes it easy for the virus to spread from one person to the other.

 WEAK IMMUNE SYSTEM.

 Even if you’ve developed immunity against many cold viruses, you can still get the cold if your immune system is compromise in any way.

TREATMENT

There is no cure for common cold. Antibiotics wont cure common cold, it will only make symptoms worse. Over the counter medications wont cure the disease either. The cold goes away after a week or two without any medication. However you can take some medications to relief the symptoms

Pain Killers  Acetaminophen such as Tylenol can be used to treat headache and fever associated with common cold. It should however not be given to children under 2 years without doctor’s permission. Follow dosing instructions carefully to prevent over dose which can damage the liver

Cough Syrup can be used to relieve cough associated with cold but should not be given to children under 2 years of age.

PREVENTION

  • wash your hands thoroughly
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue and discard right away
  • Dont share items like utensils with infected people or when you are sick
  • Use  hand sanitizers.They use alcohol to destroy germs
  • Disinfect commonly used surfaces

COMPLICATIONS

Bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat can result from common cold

Ear infection: Bacteria or viruses infiltrate the space behind the eardrum and cause ear infections.

Sinusitis: Inflammation and infection of the sinuses can be caused by unresolved common cold in adults

Wheezing can be triggered in children with asthma

HOME REMEDIES TO RELIEVE COMMON COLD

  • drink chicken soup
  • lots of fluid intake
  • a cool-mist humidifier to increase air moisture
  • use saline nasal drops
  • get some rest
  • warm bath to soothe aches and pains

 

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