The common cold is something that people of all ages battle year after year. The number of cold cases typically increase during the winter and early spring, but they can happen during any season. Although colds are so common, there’s still plenty of false information spread around about them. These are the facts that you need to know to not only treat a cold, but to prevent it too! 

Identifying a Common Cold

Common cold symptoms include: 

  • Runny nose 
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Sneezing 
  • Throat irritation 

The common cold does not cause a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea and those symptoms are the easiest way to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Cold symptoms may come on suddenly, but more often, they come on slowly over the course of 24-48 hours.

How Long Does a Cold Last?

The exact time you’ll suffer from cold symptoms tends to vary, but the worst of it should last about 3 to 5 days. You might notice nasal congestion for up to a week after your other symptoms begin to go away. During this time, you can use over the counter cold medication and decongestants to help relieve your symptoms. Drinking plenty of water and resting as much as possible will help your body recover more quickly! 

Preventing a Cold

Colds may not be the most serious illness you can get, but they still aren’t pleasant! There are steps you can take to help reduce your risk of catching a cold. Some of the best preventative measures are:

  • Frequent handwashing 
  • Avoiding close contact with people during peak cold season – avoid shaking hands, hugging, etc. 
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands unless you have to 

When to Seek Treatment

Most colds are able to resolve on their own with over the counter medications and home remedies, but sometimes, symptoms continue to linger. If it’s been longer than a week and you feel that your cold symptoms aren’t getting better or continue to get worse, it’s a good idea to seek help from a medical professional. Cold symptoms create the perfect breeding ground for other infections such as sinus and ear infections, which may require antibiotics to treat. 

If you’re in need of treatment for your common cold that just won’t go away, visit your local urgent care today! With flexible hours of operation and affordable care, there’s no reason to continue suffering for another day!