Cold symptoms may be more common in people who already have a cold or the flu. They may also be more common in older adults.
If you vomit while having a cold, it’s important to seek medical attention. Vomiting while having a cold can be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Other symptoms of a cold
Cold symptoms are usually mild and may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
If you have a fever, you may have a temperature of 102 F (38.9 C) or higher.
You may also have a headache, muscle aches, or fatigue.
How to prevent a cold?
The best way to prevent a cold is to follow the cold prevention guidelines from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Follow these steps to help prevent a cold:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Stay hydrated.
- Keep your immune system from getting too weak.
- Try to avoid exposure to cold air.
- Wear a mask when you’re around people who are sick.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t use tobacco products.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Don’t share food or drinks.
How long does? cold last?
Cold symptoms typically last for 24 hours.
How long does it last?
Cold symptoms are mild and may disappear within a few days. However, if you have a cold for too long, you may get a more severe illness.
Cold symptoms can last for up to two weeks.
Cold and flu symptoms
The term “cold” can apply to either a respiratory infection or an upper respiratory infection. A cold is often the most common type of respiratory infection, affecting approximately 50 million people each year in the United States.
Other types of respiratory infections include:
- Sinus infections
- Ear infections
Influenza is an infection that can cause many different symptoms, including a runny nose, cough, and sore throat.
In addition to a runny nose and cough, other flu symptoms include:
You may also have a sore throat that is itchy and watery.
Treating a cold
Treatment for a cold usually involves a combination of home remedies and medications.
Most colds last less than two weeks.
If you have a cold and the symptoms don’t improve, you should contact your doctor. They can test for other infections, including strep throat.
If you have a cold and your symptoms don’t improve within two weeks, make an appointment with your doctor.
You may need to take antibiotics or antiviral medications to treat the common cold.
You should also avoid taking aspirin if you have a cold.
Some people may have a more severe cold, known as a sinus infection. This type of infection can be treated with a prescription medication, such as:
- Nasal sprays
When to see a doctor?
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:
- A headache that lasts more than a day
- A severe or persistent headache
- Any severe headache symptoms, such as a stiff neck
- Any symptoms that concern you
- A fever that isn’t going away
- Trouble breathing
- A persistent cough that lasts more than three weeks
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain in your chest
- A red rash with blisters
- A rash that doesn’t improve
- Red, swollen glands
- Severe stomach pain
Your doctor may have you stay home from work, school, or other activities if you have the flu.
When to seek help?
If you have any of the following symptoms, see your doctor:
- A fever that doesn’t go away
- A fever that’s higher than 102 F (38.9 C)
- A headache that is severe or that doesn’t improve
- Sore throat that doesn’t get better after three days
- Persistent cough
- Severe chest pain
- Sudden vision changes
- Severe joint or muscle pain
- Severe or persistent nausea
- Severe or persistent vomiting
Your doctor may also want to perform a physical exam and order blood tests to confirm that you have a cold or the flu.
If you think you have a serious medical condition, such as a heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot, seek immediate medical attention.
Outlook for a cold
Cold symptoms typically last for 24 hours. Cold symptoms are mild and may disappear within a few days.
However, if you have cold symptoms for too long, you may get a more severe illness.
If you develop a fever, you may have chickenpox, which is a mild infection that can last for up to two weeks.
If you get sick with the flu, you may have a mild illness for several days, but you can get a more severe illness, known as a sinus infection, which can cause a runny nose, cough, and shortness of breath.
Your outlook depends on how long the cold or infection lasts and how well you respond to treatment.
A cold and flu are both contagious illnesses. If you’re in close contact with someone who has the flu, you can also develop the flu.
The best way to avoid getting the flu is to avoid close contact with an infected person.
In addition to avoiding contact with an infected person, you can help prevent the spread of the flu by:
- Washing your hands frequently
- Coughing or sneezing into a tissue
- Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Staying home when you’re sick
- Getting a flu shot
- Washing your hands after coughing or sneezing
A good way to prevent a cold is to get a flu shot.
You can also help prevent a cold by practicing good hygiene, including washing your hands.
A more severe cold can be prevented by following these tips:
- Wash your hands often.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Don’t share food or beverages.
The bottom line
A cold is a symptom of a mild, short-term illness that’s usually caused by the common cold or the flu.
There are many different types of colds, and they can last for several days or as few as a couple of days.
You can help prevent a cold by avoiding exposure to cold air, staying hydrated, and having a good immune system.
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