What Is A Common Cold?
How To Fight A Cold
Like every normal person, at some stage, you’re going to want to know how to fight a cold.
With almost every person being subject to a cold at some time, it’s important to know the very best way to find high quality common cold relief as well as how to prevent a common cold according to science.
For such a prevalent illness, it seems there are a lot of myths about a common cold, but what exactly is it and how can your everyday person fight back?
How To Stop A Cold
A common cold might be brought on by almost two hundred and fifty various infections, so it can be the subject of much confusion and difficulty to diagnose correctly, leading to it being one of the most frequently diagnosed and misdiagnosed ailments.
It is usually a moderate to dangerous self-limiting affliction typically the result of a viral upper respiratory system illness, but can often develop into something much worse and more insidious if left unattended and undiagnosed.
Additionally, a cold may actually develop into an ear canal or sinus illness and perhaps pneumonia, which could present a very real danger to those who are inclined to shrug off common cold symptoms too hastily.
What Does This All Mean?
Even though it’s common, a cold can still develop into a more dangerous complication.
How Long Does A Common Cold Last?
The Duration Of A Cold
The typical duration of a common cold is a week according to WebMD, but typical is not always what some individuals will subject to. A cold can last weeks if the infection is serious or the immune system of the sufferer is weakened.
There have been several things proven to reduce the length of a common cold which will be discussed further down.
Depending on the immune system of an individual, the severity of a cold infection and treatments used a cold can vary wildly in length.
The duration of a common cold can be as little as a couple of days through to a few weeks in extreme cases.
So, How Long Can You Expect A Cold To Last?
A week is pretty normal, but it could be longer depending on YOUR immunity.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Common Cold?
Signs To look Out For?
Individuals with a common cold display a number of signs. some of these sign may include but are not limited to:
This includes a stuffy, runny or congested nasal passage.
A sore throat is frequently one of the first symptoms of a common cold.
A fever may be low-grade but likely not progressing from this state.
Respiratory tract (upper) infections can result in a cough, especially in later stages of a cold virus.
Jargon for sneezing. Sneezing may be the first sign of a cold in some cases.
Can include headaches and body soreness.
General unwell feeling including nauseated illness.
These symptoms of a common cold may occur in varying order but typically common cold stages follow the pattern shown in the next paragraph below.
So, What Is The Take Away Here?
Obvious symptoms of a common cold such as a blocked nose are easy to spot but fever and nausea could be confused with other ailments
What Are The Stages Of The Common Cold?
The Viral Progression
A cold has stages that occur as the sickness becomes worse and then lessens in severity.
The stages of a common cold are:
Transmission occurs when the virus is transmitted to the host via contact.
This occurs as soon as the host has caught the viral condition Once this occurs, the replication of the virus begins.
This is the initial period when a cold infects the host human’s biological system, but before symptoms manifest. Also known as the latency period.
At this point the body word to fight the virus by producing white blood cell phagocytes that envelop and destroy the viral cells.
The order of ailments usually goes: A sore throat followed by a runny nose and then ending with a cough.
After these stages of the common cold, the body recovers and should nurse back to health, assuming proper rest, nutrition, and sleep.
Cold Symptoms vs Flu Symptoms
What Are The Differences?
While the signs of illness may be very similar the biggest difference between cold vs flu symptoms is the severity of the ailments.
The temperature of a fever from influenza (flu) will likely go much higher with more intensity than that of a common cold.
Headaches are shown to be more frequently occurring in people with flu symptoms.
The nasal congestion associated with a cold is not as prominent in individuals who suffer from the influenza virus.
A cough can be worse in a person with an influenza virus than and cold sufferer and can escalate into a much worse problem.
Unlike people with flu symptoms, common cold sufferers are likely to get a sore throat.
What Can We Determine From This?
It seems like the major thing is that cold victims get a sore throat whereas flu sufferers are far less likely to (among other things)
How To Prevent A Cold According To Science
Three Important Tips
A huge step in common cold prevention is to get adequate sleep. The impact of sleep on the immune system has been proven in several studies including this one here: (1), that show that human immune responses are severely weakened in the absence of enough sleep.
Does Vitamin C Prevent Colds?
Apparently not… Unless you’re under excessive stress, at which point it’s better to have some than to not.
One study showed that under extreme stress vitamin c was very beneficial, but little evidence could support its use in reducing the duration of a cold or helping in preventing it. (2)
Hygiene has been shown to play a crucial role in not only how to prevent a cold but many other virus transmissions.
The general washing of hands and the regular sanitization of hands has been shown to be effect in reducing the risk of viral reception and the spreading of disease.
Probiotics have been proven to be (almost) effective in the strengthening of the human immune system and in the prevention of a common cold. (Source Below).
Should You Exercise When You Have A Cold?
Is It Ever Okay To Hit The Pavement?
Light exercise is considered to be okay but intense exercise has been shown to be dangerous to the immune system and increase the possibility of viral infection contingent on the degree of exercise.
Most evidence suggests exercise to be good for the immune system, but excessive training at high levels of intensity (especially combined with a lack of sleep) can put an individual at higher risk of infection. (3)
What Is The Best Treatment
Cold Cures That Work
Once you find that you have the symptoms, common cold remedies will more than likely be your next likely query, but unfortunately, there is no cure for the common cold, but there are some minor reliefs.
While a complete cure would be the best treatment cold sufferers could ask for, the closest thing science has are the following treatments:
Not shown to have any real impacting effect on a common cold.
These have been proven to have a small benefit, but mostly on the easing of nasal congestion relief.
Antihistamines have been proven to offer credible common cold relief, especially when used in combination with decongestants. (4)
Natural Remedies For The Common Cold
Natural common cold remedies that have been shown to work according to scientific evidence are:
Studies show ingestion of zinc has improved the ability to fight viruses. Though the referenced study involves children, the biological implications should be the same. (Sourced referenced above 4)
There is some evidence to suggest natural probiotics can help somewhat with the prevention and treatment of the common cold, but benefits are very small. (5)
There is little evidence to suggest that any other natural cures are probably effective.
What Is A Common Cold
Without being defeatist, common colds are unavoidable and well… Common.
It seems the good nutrition including probiotics and a combination of moderate exercise and adequate sleep may help to strength the body’s immune response to virus infections including the common cold.
While the benefits of vitamin c seem to be overstated, it might help in times of extreme stress and a cold can place the body under stress in some circumstances relative to the individual’s health, age, and immunity.
“We hope you enjoyed what is a common cold – prevention, treatment and natural remedies – if you do suspect you have an illness please seek medical attention immediately”