The common cold is a self-limited contagious illness that can be caused by a number of different types of viruses. The common cold is medically referred to as a viral upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms of a common cold may include a cough, sore throat, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. More than 200 different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold, with rhinovirus causing approximately 10-40% of all adult colds. Other commonly implicated viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus. Because so many different viruses can cause the common cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop, the body never builds up resistance against all of them.
HOW IS COLDS DIAGNOSED?
A physician or healthcare professional will generally diagnose the common cold based on the description of the symptoms and the findings during the physical exam. Laboratory testing and imaging studies are generally not necessary unless there are concerns about another underlying medical condition or potential complications of the common cold
HOW IS COLDS TREATED?
There is no cure for the common cold. It is a self-limited illness that will resolve spontaneously with time and expectant management. Home remedies and treatments are directed at alleviating the symptoms associated with the common cold while the body fights off the infection. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help with fever, sore throat, headache and body aches. Homeopathic and ayurvedic medications heal common cold faster. The treatment for infants includes nasal drops, plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Medication can be taken for pain. Cough syrups may also be used.
DID YOU KNOW?
A cold can be a symptom of a larger ailment or disease as well.