Common Cold

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What is it?

The common cold is a nuisance that affects everyone daily worldwide. The common cold includes cough, head cold, chest cold, and headaches. In accordance with WebMd the common cold is a collective set of symptoms in the upper respiratory system caused by a large number of different viruses.  These viruses range to the degree in which they cause the common cold with some being more prevalent than others. The common cold is quite common, and it can begin very mild and never progress any further than just a couple days where you do not feel so well. The common cold however, can lead to various other illnesses if not treated appropriately, and can cause someone to miss an allotted time of work.

Causes

An individual catches the common cold by interacting with someone else who is carrying the virus, says WebMd. So by touching door handles, keyboards, pens, and so on and then consequently touching one’s mouth or nose.

The virus will then enter the individual and attaches itself to the inner lining of your nose and throat. Subsequently your immune system begins to attack. You then begin to form a lot of mucus here. So much energy is being devoted by your immune system to fight off the virus that your body therefore becomes strained and tired. A common misconception is that being out in the cold or rain causes one to catch the common cold – this is not true. There are however, a number of factors that make an individual more likely and vulnerable to catching the common cold. These factors include (but are not limited to): having cold allergies, being emotionally distraught, and a constantly feeling fatigued or worn out.

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Symptoms

The common symptoms that accompany the common cold are: coughing, scratchy throat, sneezing, headache, head cold, sinus inflammation and irritation, fever, nasal congestion, mucus output, feeling physically drained, watery eyed, and a loss of appetite. More severe and intensified symptoms may be perhaps an indication that the individual is suffering from the flu rather than just the common cold. Symptoms will begin approximately sixteen days after exposure to the virus, and then lasts for approximately seven to ten days; however, in some cases the common cold can last up to several weeks.

Diagnosis

One does not need to seek out a medical professional to be diagnosed with the common cold. The symptoms are very obvious and interfere with everyday functioning almost immediately; therefore one can begin treating themselves as soon as early onset occurs. It is usually impossible to identify which virus type the individual has contracted through the symptoms presented, because they are all similar. That is why self-diagnosis is common, and medication is not usually prescribed to treat the virus. The common cold is a virus, not an infection, and therefore antibiotics would not be affective.

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Treatment

There are a number of different options available when it comes to treating the common cold. As a virus there is no cure per se however, there are various home remedies and drug store medications that anyone can purchase. The most vital and influential method of treatment is rest. Do not overwork yourself, or go into work, as that will only make you feel worse and also spread the virus on to others around you. There are also decongestion and cough medications available for you. These will allow for a temporary relief and allow you to breathe better. Also, there are nasal sprays on the market that make surviving through a cold much more bearable.