What is it?
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It’s very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of a cold usually develop within a few days of becoming infected.
The main symptoms include:
* a sore throat
* a blocked or runny nose
* a cough
* a hoarse voice
* generally feeling unwell
Less common symptoms of a cold include:
* a high temperature (fever) – this is usually about 37-39C (98.6-102.2F)
* a headache
* earache – severe earache may be a sign of a middle ear infection
* muscle pain
* loss of taste and smell
* mild irritation of your eyes
* a feeling of pressure in your ears and face
The symptoms are usually at their worst during the first two to three days, before they gradually start to improve. In adults and older children, they usually last about 7 to 10 days, but can last longer. A cough in particular can last for two or three weeks. Colds tend to last longer in younger children who are under five, typically lasting around 10 to 14 days.
- Include raw fruits and vegetables in the diet. They help to boost immunity and fight the infection.
- Chicken soup is good for people suffering from cold.
- Though lemon juice is prohibited by many in cases of cold, fact is that Vitamin C in large doses has been known to help to fight cold.
- Steam inhalation helps to decongest the nose.
- Warm water gargles should be done to soothe the throat.
- Regular moderate exercise, yoga, meditation help to build the immune system.
- Avoid close contact with infected people.
- Sharing of personal belongings like towels, beverages, plates, etc. with infected persons is not advisable.
- Avoid dairy foods like milk, paneer and cheese.
- Cigarette smoking and intake of alcohol should be avoided.
- Antibiotics should not be taken as they are of no use in a viral infection.
Things to watch out for
Cold can be easily treated at home. No need to contact GP unless your symptoms persist for more than three weeks or your symptoms get suddenly worse