Overview of a Cold and Bad Cough
The common cold may be one of the most hated inconveniences in life. Thanks to a common symptom of a bad cough, this viral infection in your throat and nose can keep you feeling down for several weeks. The good news is that this cough and cold is harmless, although it does not feel at all harmless. Many kinds of viruses can lead to the common cold.
Who is at risk of contracting a cold? A typical healthy adult can anticipate coming down with even two to three of them per year. Yet children under the age of six run the greatest risks of catching them.
Symptoms of the Common Cold
There are many unpleasant symptoms to these colds. They commonly begin from one to three days after you have been exposed to the virus causing them. Symptoms and signs may be different from one cold (or individual) to the next, but they often will encompass the following:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Bad or mild cough
- Sore throat
- Mild headaches or minor body aches
- Low temperature fever
- Malaise and general feelings of unwellness
The recovery time from the common cold takes between a week to 10 days. It is possible for the symptoms to last longer in those individuals who smoke. When symptoms continue to be bad and show no signs of improvement within the 10 days, it is advisable to visit your doctor.
Causes and Complications of a Bad Cough
Many different viruses can cause you to come down with a common cold. Yet the viruses most often to blame are called rhinoviruses. These enter your body through the nose. Besides this, viruses can get in through your eyes or mouth. Viruses easily spread via airborne droplets when a sick individual sneezes, coughs, or even talks.
Another easy and common way to spread a cold is with hand contact or sharing contaminated items. These could include phones, towels, utensils, or phones. Anyone who exposes himself to the virus then touches his nose, eyes, or mouth has a great chance of coming down with the cold as well.
Complications of the Common Cold
The common cold can lead to certain sometimes severe complications. Some of these are as follows:
- Asthma – even the common cold can set off an asthma attack
- Acute sinusitis – colds that do not get resolved can cause long-lasting infection and inflammation of your sinuses, leading to sinusitis
- Acute ear infection – this can happen when the virus or bacteria get in behind your eardrum. The most common symptoms and warnings include earaches and a yellow or green discharge from your nose or a fever coming back after a cold is gone
- Secondary infections – these could be pneumonia, strep throat, bronchitis, or croup in children. Such infections as these will require a doctor’s treatment to effectively improve
Risk Factors for a Bad Cough
While every individual is susceptible to a bad cold, some factors can boost your odds of getting one. These include the following:
- Weak immune system – if you have continuous illnesses, this leads to a weaker immune system and a higher risk
- Age – children under six run the highest risk of catching colds, particularly if they go to daycare
- Time of the year – everyone is more likely to catch a cold in winter and fall, though they are around year round
- Exposure – when you are around a lot of people like on an airplane or at school, your odds of getting such a virus increase substantially
- Smoking – smokers run greater risks of contracting colds and having them be more severe
Preventing and Treating the Common Cold
- No vaccine exists to pre-treat the common cold. You can utilize sensible precautions to impede the spread of viruses which cause them. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do not have ready access to soap and water, then fall back on a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based.
While you can not treat or vaccinate against the virus, there are some methods to prevent their spread, one of which is promoting oral hygiene. Dr. Jay Davidson from MicrobeFormulas.com says that when you get a stuffy nose, the phlegm and mucus are nature’s way of keeping the toxins in a safe space until they can be expelled. You can try oil pulling to keep the bad bacteria out of your mouth. Some studies suggest that oil pulling may decrease harmful bacteria in your mouth, prevent plaque formation and improve both gum health and oral hygiene.
You should also frequently disinfect your things. This especially includes countertops in bathrooms and kitchens. Washing children’s toys from time to time is a smart idea.
You should also utilize tissues when sneezing and coughing. Immediately throw away the tissues and wash your hands. It is a good idea to teach kids to cough or sneeze in the bend of their elbow if they lack a tissue. This allows them to cover their mouths without using their hands.
Here are some other good ideas for avoiding the common cold:
- Do not share utensils or drinking glasses – instead, use your own glass or rely on disposable cups if someone else in the home is sick. Put the person’s name on the cup
- Carefully choose child care centers – it is important to find a child care center that practices good hygiene and enforces strict policies on keeping sick children at home
- Avoid colds like the plague – if you see someone with a cold, do not engage in close contact
- Take care of your general health – by getting enough rest and exercise, eating properly, and watching your stress levels, you can help to stave off colds
While you may not be able to completely stop the common cold from striking, you can significantly improve your chances of avoiding it.