The common cold is precisely that; common. It’s entirely normal for most people to have at least a few days throughout the year dealing with cold symptoms. However, COVID-19 has made us look twice at the common cold. What used to be normally excepted symptoms, now have many of us increasingly concerned.
To allay such worries, it helps to discuss the following questions: What is the difference between COVID-19 and the common cold? What precisely is the common cold? How is it spread? How do we treat it? And, Is it possible to prevent it?
What is the common cold?
Viruses, often referred to as cold rhinoviruses, can spread from person to person or from surface to person and cause what is known as the common cold. When someone who has a virus touches a door handle, anyone else who touches that same handle for a couple of days afterward might pick up the virus.
Interestingly, if you have the virus on the skin, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get sick. The virus needs to reach the eyes, nose, or mouth to get the cold.
The symptoms of a common cold usually take a few days before they appear. The symptoms rarely appear all at once but rather gradually worsen. Nasal symptoms of a common cold include sneezing, runny nose, stuffy nose, congestion, loss of smell, watery nasal secretions, or postnasal drip or drainage in the back of the throat. Head symptoms include coughing, a sore throat, a headache, watery eyes, or swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms that affect the whole body include chills, body aches, low-grade fever, chest discomfort, fatigue, general tiredness, and difficulty breathing deeply.
How is the common cold treated?
If you are suffering from cold symptoms, you can seek a remedy in either over-the-counter medicines or home remedies. The most common over-the-counter medicines include antihistamines, pain relievers, and decongestants. Common cold treatments often include a combination of all of the above.
The most effective and commonly used home remedy is resting, staying hydrated, and gargling with salt water when it comes to home remedies. Some also use herbs, such as echinacea, which help reduce the symptoms. However, such treatments don’t cure or treat the cold, but they make symptoms easier to manage and not as severe.
While you are recovering from a cold, it is recommended to stay away from beverages that contain caffeine. The same applies to alcohol, as caffeine and alcohol can increase dehydration, which is not what your body needs to recover from a cold. If you are a smoker, do your best to stop altogether or cut back until you feel better. Smoke can irritate the throat even more and increase the need to cough.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you must speak to your doctor before taking over the counter cold medicines. Some decongestant medications narrow the blood vessels, which can further increase your blood pressure and complicate your condition. Over the counter medications can lead to side effects, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, dehydration, dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
Children under the age of 4 shouldn’t take over the counter cold medication. Instead, it is recommended that common cold symptoms in children are relieved with home remedies, such as rest, hydration, warm baths, and salt gargles. Usually, children who suffer from a cold don’t feel hungry, but they need to continue getting enough calories and fluids. Smoothies and soups are considered to be great options.
Can you prevent a cold?
Although colds are generally minor, they are still inconvenient and can leave you feeling miserable. However, there are some things that you can do during the cold season that can help you prevent catching one of the viruses.
- Take Transfer Factors to boost the immune system. The first sign of a sore throat, runny nose, etc., take 2 or 3 Transfer Factors every hour until the symptoms are gone. According to research, doing so can help you ward off the flu and cold for longer periods, especially during the colder months.
- Wash your hands often. If you want to stop the spread of germs, you must wash your hands often. Soap and water are considered the best. Antibacterial gels and sprays should only be used when you don’t have a sink nearby.
- Eat healthily. What you eat makes a significant impact on your health. Eat lots of bacteria-rich foods or take a daily probiotic supplement. If you keep your gut bacteria healthy, you are helping your overall health as well.
- Keep a distance from sick people. Germs are easily shared when you are in a tight quarter, such as a classroom or an office. This is one of the reasons why those who are sick should stay at home until they feel better. If you notice that someone isn’t feeling well, do your best to keep distance and wash your hands after you’ve come into contact with them.
- Sneeze into your elbow. Just as you must keep a distance from those around you that are sick, it is also crucial that you don’t infect others. If you need to cough or sneeze, make sure to do it into your elbow and prevent spraying the germs into the environment.
What is the difference between the cold and COVID-19?
Common symptoms of a cold, such as sneezing, facial pain, and postnasal drip, are not typical symptoms of COVID-19. From what we have learned so far, the most common symptoms of the Coronavirus are tiredness, fever, and dry cough. Some patients also suffer from nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, or aches and pains.
The 11 primary symptoms of the virus are considered to be:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Fever or chills
- Muscle aches or body aches
- A sore throat
- Loss of taste or loss of smell
- Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Runny nose or congestion
Interestingly, some people don’t develop any symptoms at all, despite being infected with the virus. Such people can still transmit the virus to others, although they don’t feel sick at all. Many researchers believe that the only way of really knowing whether it is the cold or COVID is by testing. Those who are unwell must get tested and then isolate themselves, if necessary, and not spread the virus to others. If you feel symptoms of COVID, you must stay at home and arrange to test for COVID. In cases where you suffer from a high fever or shortness of breath, you must seek immediate medical care. Also, check out what Dr. Andreas Ludwig Kalcker is doing in his hospital with COVID-19 treatments. According to reports, he seems to be getting excellent results.
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