Overview Of Colds
- A cold is the result of an infection caused by a virus. It generally lasts for up to three days and does not cause severe disorders for those who are healthy.
- Symptoms consist of a runny or congested nose, coughing, headache, slight fever, sneezing, slight earache, aching throat and red, soggy eyes.
- At times colds are confused with influenza (‘flu’). Influenza is a much more severe condition, particularly in older people and individuals with other health complications.
- Many flu symptoms are comparable to those of a cold, but there is generally a higher fever with flu. Other symptoms include chills, exhaustion, sore muscles and joints with flu, and some individuals have breathing problems.
- If you usually suffer from runny nose or sneezing during certain seasons this might be hay fever and not a cold.
See Your Doctor
- If you are experiencing a high fever;
- If you have trouble breathing or your chest is wheezing;
- If you have sinus pain or a serious earache;
- If your cold has carried on for more than a week; and
- If you have a rash, nausea or neck pain.
Not all cold medications will be appropriate for everybody. Ask your chemist for advice:
- If the person with the cold is an infant or a child;
- If you have asthma, heart complications, abdominal or indigestion complications, kidney problems, high blood pressure or diabetes;
- If you are expecting a baby or breastfeeding; and
- If you are taking medication for other disorders.
Avoid transmitting the cold to others:
- Close your mouth when coughing or sneezing;
- Throw away any tissues when blowing your nose;
- Rinse your hands regularly with soap and warm water, particularly after you cough or sneeze; and
- Try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes since germs are easily transmitted that way.
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