Every year, many people are going to get an upper respiratory infection – which is simply another name for the common cold. When cold season comes around, it is the primary cause of why people will see a doctor. The symptoms of upper respiratory infections (URIs) can make you miserable for many days, but medical help is available.
It is not unusual that people will often confuse the symptoms of a cold with the flu. Both illnesses occur mostly in the colder months, but both can also occur all year long. Generally, flu symptoms will be worse than that of a cold.
A cold will rarely include a fever and chills, but the flu usually will. The flu starts suddenly, but a cold slowly becomes worse. The flu will also often produce headaches, but it is rare for a cold. The flu will also usually be accompanied with many aches, but a cold rarely ever has this problem.
The normal symptoms of a cold are a sore throat, a cough, sneezing, feeling unwell, and a runny or stuffy nose. Congestion is also normal.
While no one wants to get a cold, several things are apt to make you more susceptible to getting upper respiratory infections. Most people can get a cold in the colder months of the year. Being around people with colds in group situations, or if you smoke, can make you more likely to get one. Having a weak immune system also makes you more susceptible.
At the present time, there is no vaccine for a cold. They will often last about 10 days. Smoking can make them last longer. You can often avoid a cold by taking some steps to ensure good health, which should include:
- Wash your hands often
- Disinfect surfaces when others near you have colds
- Avoid people who have colds when possible
- Use tissues to sneeze and cough into
- Stay healthy – eat healthy, exercise and get a good night’s rest
- Reduce stress.
Antibiotics should not be given for a cold or the flu. They really will not help. Instead, you will more likely need to take home remedies and stay at home to avoid spreading it.
Children should see a doctor if they have a fever that lasts more than two days. They also should get medical attention if they have wheezing, a lack of appetite, are unusually drowsy, or if they develop a cough or a headache.
Adults should get medical attention if they have a fever that lasts more than five days, or when there is a fever that goes higher than 101.3 F. If you develop wheezing, shortness of breath, a severe sore throat, or a headache, you should see a doctor.
The Silver Star Urgent Care clinic treats people with upper respiratory infections. All of our doctors are Board-certified. Patients may come in on a walk-in basis. All patients are seen quickly by medical professionals. In order to help you, we provide evening hours and are open every day from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm.