The common cold is a mild, self-limiting catarrh syndrome.
The main symptoms are: nasal discharge, nasal obstruction, sore throat, headache and cough. there may also be hoarseness, loss of taste and loss of smell.
Colds are caused by a virus so therefore anti-biotic are not effected in the treatment of colds. Young children can suffer up to 12 colds a year and adults on average suffer 2-4 colds per year. Symptoms usually resolve within 7-10 days but can last 3 weeks.
Care is needed with children and the elderly as they are at greater risk of contracting pneumonia. Symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and rapid breathing should seek further help.
Sometimes allergic rhinitis and hay fever are confused for a cold. Similarly sometimes the common cold can be confused with influenza (the flu). The flu has more widespread symptoms such as fever, aches and pains and headache.
There are no treatments for the available for the common cold, however some medication can help relieve the symptoms. Paracetamol is usually the first line treatment, ibuprofen and aspirin are also used.
Saline nasal drops are useful for babies to help clear the nose, steam inhalation is also helpful to relieve symptoms.
Vitamin C may also help reduce the duration of the cold. Decongestants, both oral and nasal may also be of benefit.
Call into Miller’s Pharmacy and we will advise of the best treatment for you.