Signs and Symptoms of a Cold

head coldAt first you were fine, but after a few days, you’ve noticed that your throat feels a little scratchy, and you have a bit of a headache.  You also feel your nose running, and you’re finding yourself constantly reaching for a tissue.  If you haven’t realized by now, you definitely have a cold.

How does a cold start?

You usually catch a cold by coming into contact with someone who I already sick, or you came into contact with a surface that’s been contaminated with germs.  You can also catch a cold from infected droplets that get realized in the air from someone coughing or sneezing.

How do you know you’re getting a cold?

Some of the signs and symptoms you’ll experience when coming down with a cold include:

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Mild headache
  • Low-grade fever

How long does a cold usually last for?

Cold symptoms usually appear within two to three days after you’ve been exposed to the virus.  People are usually the most contagious for the first few days after their symptoms begin, and they can be contagious for up to three weeks.  While some colds can last for longer than two weeks, most regular colds last for and clear up within a week’s time.

How do I know if I have the cold or the flu?

Symptoms of the cold and the flu are almost interchangeable, but while cold symptoms are usually much milder, symptoms of the flu usually come with high fever or chills, muscle or body aches, and excessive fatigue.

What should I do to relieve my symptoms?

There’s no specific treatment that can completely get rid of your cold, but you can find ways that will help you find relief until your symptoms subside.  Some ways you can alleviate your symptoms include:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Getting proper rest
  • Taking ibuprofen for muscle aches and pains
  • Use a humidifier to break up congestion
  • Use a saline rinse to thin out the gunk in your nose

Has a cold got you down?  The medical professionals at AFC Urgent Care can help.  We treat cold and flu-like symptoms on a walk-in basis, so you never need an appointment to be seen.  If you want to save time, you can also secure your spot at our urgent care center by checking in online.  We look forward to helping you feel better, sooner!