Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center
Suzanna Dotson, MD
Family Medicine & Addiction Medicine located in Pembroke Pines, FL
Determining whether you’re suffering from the common cold or the seasonal flu is often confusing, especially when it comes to choosing the right over-the-counter (OTC) products to provide relief. Dr. Suzanna Dotson at Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida, knows that the best way to stop a cold before it worsens is to treat it with the right medications. That means getting the right diagnosis as soon as possible. Call Dr. Dotson today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about common colds and how to treat them.
Cold Q & A
What is the common cold?
A common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, in the nose and throat, that is usually harmless to your health. Most healthy adults can rely on over-the-counter (OTC) medications to reduce the symptoms of the common cold, which usually clear up in 10 days or less.
While your cold should not result in any serious health problems, try to rest as much as possible and drink plenty of fluids to help treat the virus at home.
What are the symptoms of the common cold?
It takes one to three days after exposure for symptoms of the virus to appear, and symptoms can vary. However, the most common warning signs to watch out for are:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches (mild)
- Low-grade fever
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to stay home and rest to avoid spreading the virus any further.
When should I seek help?
For most healthy adults, the common cold clears up on its own or with the help of OTC medications designed to treat cold symptoms. Young children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop serious complications.
If you or your child experience any of these symptoms, call Dr. Dotson right away:
- 102℉ fever in adults, 103℉ fever in children, and 100.4℉ in newborns
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Return of symptoms after five days
- Severe fatigue
- Extreme fussiness (in babies)
- Ear pain
Some adults, particularly smokers, may find that it takes longer than usual for their symptoms to clear up.
Can I prevent the common cold?
The common cold is spread through viruses that enter your body through the eyes, nose, or throat. A cold is often transferred from person to person through droplets in the air when somebody with the virus talks, coughs, or sneezes. It can also spread through hand-to-hand contact.
It’s difficult to protect yourself from a common cold if you are surrounded by people carrying the virus, but washing your hands as often as possible is a great start. If you start displaying any of the warning signs of a common cold, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home to prevent the virus from spreading any further.
To learn more about the common cold, call Mind, Body & Spirit Med Center or book an appointment online today.
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