Home » Topic » Common cold
 

 
What is the common cold?
What are the causes?
What are the symptoms?
What is the diagnosis?
What is the treatment?
 
Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00 +0530
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Checked by :
 
  • What is the common cold?
    What is the common cold?
    Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00
    The common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper airways including the nose, voice box, throat, windpipes and the lungs. There are more than two hundred viruses that can cause colds and are commonly known as rhinoviruses or the nose viruses. These viruses cause inflammation or swelling of the mucous membrane lining the airways. The symptoms of common cold include sneezing, a scratchy throat, a stuffy nose, coughing, etc.
  • What are the causes?
    What are the causes?
    Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00
    The cold virus is spread via air particles that are expelled while coughing or sneezing. It also spreads when someone with a cold rubs his eyes or nose and then touches an object such as a doorknob, towel, bed linen and other such commonly used articles. Colds are very contagious. The viruses are airborne and are transmitted when one sneezes or touches infected objects. Anyone can get a cold. Children are more likely to get a cold than adults because they are not immune to certain viruses that cause the cold.
  • What are the symptoms?
    What are the symptoms?
    Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00
    Symptoms generally show up about two days after a person becomes infected. Early signs of a cold are a sore, scratchy throat, sneezing, and a runny nose. Other symptoms that may occur later are:

  • Headache
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Watering eyes
  • Chills
  • Weakness
  • Cough and congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Fever and muscle ache.

    The symptoms generally last for 2 to 7 days and in some cases may last for weeks.
  • What is the diagnosis?
    What is the diagnosis?
    Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00
    There is no specific test to diagnose common cold. The diagnosis is based on the symptoms reported and the physical examination made by the doctor.
  • What is the treatment?
    What is the treatment?
    Sat,27 Mar 2004 05:30:00
    There is no cure for the common cold but managing symptoms is the best that can be done for the cold, as there is no specific treatment. Antibiotics will not cure colds, as they are caused by viruses and not bacteria. A person with a cold should drink plenty of fluids and take rest. Cold remedies are almost as common as the common cold, and many are nearly as ancient. Some cold remedies include:
    1. Water and other fluids - drinking plenty of liquids can help. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeinated sodas, which make dehydration worse.

    2. Salt water - a saltwater gargle — 1/2 teaspoon salt in a glass of warm water — can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat.

    3. Saline nasal sprays - over-the-counter saline nasal sprays combat stuffiness and congestion. Unlike nasal decongestants, saline sprays don't lead to a rebound effect — a worsening of symptoms when the medication is discontinued — and most are safe and nonirritating, even for children.

    4. Soup - scientists have found that soup does seem to help relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways. First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body's inflammatory response. Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose, helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.

    5. Over-the-counter cold medications - nonprescription decongestants and pain relievers offer some symptom relief, but they won't prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most have some side effects. If used for more than a few days, they can actually make symptoms worse. Keep in mind that acetaminophen can cause serious liver damage or liver failure if taken in high doses.

    6. Humidity - cold viruses thrive in dry conditions — another reason why colds are more common in winter. Parched air also dries the mucous membranes, causing a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. A humidifier can add moisture to your home.
  • ................... Advertisement ...................

       

    FAQ

    ASK OUR EXPERTS

    Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
    Choose Topic

    Latest stories

    Swine Flu Kills 11 In Nagpur, 4 In Indore: Tips To Prevent Swine Flu

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:00:13 IST
    As many as 11 people died of swine flu in the Nagpur division in the past two days, taking the death toll 73 for the year, whereas four deaths were reported in Indore in a matter of past 24 hours.

    Breathing Dirty Air May Lead To Kidney Failure: Study

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:00:58 IST
    Air pollution may increase the risk of chronic kidney disease, which can lead to the failure of the organ, a study has warned.

    Sexual Touch At An Early Age May Lead To Early Puberty

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:00:02 IST
    German researchers found that women who were touched on their genitals at a young age experience changes in their brain and that touch triggers puberty.

    Moderate Physical Activity For A Healthy Heart, Longer Life

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:00:23 IST
    A recent study concludes that 1 in every 12 global deaths could be prevented, if all of us adhered to at-least 30 minutes of exercise each day, or 2.5 hours in week. Read on to know moderate exercising could help prevent heart disease and help you live longer.

    11 Infants Being Treated For The E-Coli Infection At PGIMER

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:00:42 IST
    The PGIMER (Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) battles against the outbreak of E-Coli infection in its Neonatal ICU. 1 infants are getting treatment for this infection at the moment, hospital sources reveal.