The common cold affects millions of people around the world every year. In the United States, colds are the leading cause of missed school and work days. The condition is caused by a virus and is highly contagious. Also, about 200 different viruses can cause the common cold, making it difficult to prevent.
Let’s learn more about this health condition and where you can go for the effective management of the common cold in Sarasota, FL.
What Is the Common Cold?
The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory system. It’s also known as acute coryza or acute rhinitis.
What Causes the Common Cold?
The common cold is caused by a virus. More than 200 different types of viruses can cause a cold, including rhinoviruses and coronaviruses.
How the Common Cold Spreads
The common cold has a high rate of transmission. Contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces can spread the virus.
It can also be spread through the air when someone with the condition sneezes, coughs, or talks.
What Are the Symptoms of a Cold?
The most common symptoms of a cold are the following:
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
Other symptoms include headache, body aches, chills, and fever.
How Is the Common Cold Treated?
There is no cure for the common cold. Instead, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms until the infection passes.
Here are some treatments for the common cold:
Over-the-counter medications can help reduce symptoms, such as the following:
- Decongestants – help address a stuffy nose
- Pain relievers – ease headaches, body aches, and fever
- Cough suppressants – decrease coughing
- Antihistamines – reduce a runny nose
Some home remedies may also help reduce symptoms of colds. You can try the following:
- Resting will help the body fight off the infection.
- Drinking fluids can help loosen mucus and reduce congestion.
- Gargling with salt water can help relieve a sore throat.
- Inhaling steam from hot liquids may help reduce congestion.
What Happens to Untreated Common Cold?
Most cases of the common cold can be treated at home and do not require medical attention. However, if left untreated, a cold can develop into more serious issues such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
These conditions can cause complications such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, and high fever.
Prolonged symptoms like coughing can also lead to other conditions, such as abdominal hernia. An abdominal hernia occurs when the muscles in the abdomen become weakened and start to bulge.
When left untreated, it can lead to severe pain, difficulty breathing, and even organ damage. If that happens, you can rely on Intercoastal Medical Group for hernia repair in Sarasota, FL.
How to Avoid Catching the Common Cold
The best way to avoid the common cold is to practice good hygiene and avoid contact with people exhibiting symptoms.
It’s also important to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That’s because these body parts are entry points for the virus.
The proper way to wash your hands is to use soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to clean in between your fingers and under your nails. Using face masks may also help reduce the spread of the virus.
If you already have a cold, aim to stay home and avoid contact with others until the infection has passed. Finally, staying away from crowds and practicing social distancing can help reduce the spread of the virus.
When to Go to Your Doctor
Most cases of the common cold can be treated at home. But you should seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or do not improve. You should also contact your doctor if you experience:
- A fever over 101°F
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Symptoms that last more than 10 days
You should also seek medical attention if you have any underlying health conditions that could be affected by a cold. For example, take asthma or heart disease.
Your doctor can help prevent potential complications and provide the best treatment for your particular situation.
Common Cold Treatment in Sarasota, FL
At Intercoastal Medical Group, we have a team of family practice physicians across 7 locations in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch, Florida, who are ready to serve you and your loved ones. Intercoastal Medical Group is a primary care-based multi-specialty group of more than 100 physicians across various specialties dedicated to helping you stay healthy.
To learn more about how we can help you be your healthiest, call the nearest Intercoastal Medical Group location for an appointment. Or you can also request an appointment online now.
We look forward to serving you!