Common Cold Treatment in Gaithersburg, MD
The common cold is a term used to describe a viral infection of the upper respiratory system (nose and throat). There are over 100 different viruses that can cause a cold, but most of them are a species of the rhinovirus.
The symptoms of a cold generally last less than two weeks. While they can be extremely uncomfortable, for the most part, they are harmless. In the case of children however, frequent or long lasting cold symptoms can lead to other conditions. If you have been suffering from persistent or frequent cold symptoms, please call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
Symptoms of the Common Cold
Although there are more than 100 different types of cold viruses, there are a number of cold symptoms that commonly occur:
- Runny nose with discharge that is yellow or green
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Watery eyes
- Low fever
If your fever increases, your glands are noticeably swollen, or your sinus pain becomes severe, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
What to Do When Your Child Catches a Cold
Because their immune systems are underdeveloped, children can catch a cold several times in the same year. Frequent colds can lead to a variety of other infections, which is why it is important to see a healthcare provider if one or more of these symptoms persist:
- Fever of 101 degrees that lasts more than a day
- Unable to keep fluids down
- Chest or stomach pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent cough with a lot of mucus
- Severe sore throat
- Unusual sleepiness
- Persistent crying
- Swollen glands
Causes of the Common Cold
Cold germs can be contracted through the air or by hand to hand contact. They enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Contrary to popular belief, colds are not caused by forgetting to wear a jacket, drafts, or going outside with wet hair. The reason why more people contract the virus in cold weather is because the air is dryer, and this factor lowers your resistance to viruses. The other factor is that during the winter months, more people spend their time indoors, making it easier to spread viruses.
Cure the Common Cold
The best course of action is to prevent the common cold from ever manifesting. By building and strengthening your immune system with a healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients, sleep and regular exercise, many do not catch the common cold even after exposure to the virus. Over-the-counter treatments like cough syrups and home remedies such as humidifiers can relieve most cold symptoms. Acupunture, vitamins and herbs like zinc, Echinacea and vitamin C, are natural remedies to reduce cold symptoms. However, if the cold persists, or if the symptoms become severe, call your healthcare provider immediately. Untreated cold symptoms can progress into:
- Ear infections
- Sinus infections
- Strep throat
- Croup and bronchiolitis
If you're noticing an increase in colds or cold-like symptoms in you or your child, please call (410) 204-2254 or contact Dr. Karen Clarke-Bennett online.
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