Common Cold

Common Cold
You’ve probably had the common cold once or twice in your life. So you know what to do. But if you have symptoms for an extended period of time, if you have a fever, or if you keep getting colds, it’s time to head to your family physician. The medical team at Gadh Family Practice in Plantation, Florida is taking new patients. So before your symptoms get even worse, or for any of your medical needs, be seen by one of their caring family physicians.

Common Colds Q & A

Gadh Family Practice

How does the common cold start?

In general, when you touch something that has the cold virus attached to it — like a keyboard or phone — then touch your face, the virus can enter your body. You can also catch it by inhaling an airborne virus when you breathe near people with colds.

Once that cold virus enters your system, it sticks to the inside of your nose, sinus tract, or throat. Your immune system immediately recognizes that a foreign invader is trying to attack, so it sends out white blood cells to get rid of it. Part of that “fight” is reinforcements in the form of extra mucus. This is your body trying to get that virus out. Because all of your resources are trying to fight that virus, you’re left feeling overly exhausted and congested.

Is it true that I am more likely to catch a cold during the winter?

Sort of. Cold breezes and snowy weather, or getting wet, aren’t things that cause colds on their own. But these are conditions that can make you be a little tired as your body is trying to stay maintain your core body temperature. When you’re overly tired, stressed out, or have allergies, your body is weaker than normal, which could make you more susceptible to suffering from a common cold. This just happens because your body’s resources aren’t as strong as they normally are, leaving you more open to getting sick. In cold climates people also tend to stay indoors more in the winter so the chance of catching an airborne virus increases.

When do I need to see my doctor if I think I have a cold?

Colds often last for roughly 7-10 days. If you’re suffering from severe cold symptoms after that — especially if you have a lingering fever — or if you just don’t notice any improvement, head to your doctor for a checkup.

Treating a cold on your own can be problematic in the long run. In some cases, common colds lead to other issues. If this happens, you can wind up with a sinus infection, an ear infection, or pneumonia. These are just a few examples of how a viral cold infection can lead to a bacterial infection. If this does happen you’ll likely need antibiotic medication from your doctor.

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