Did you not know that the common cold can be more than just a nuisance. “It’s fall, my least favorite season of the year. I keep getting colds one after another during the fall, and especially during the winter seasons. I have come to accept nuisance as being a mere fact of life, ugh!”
Well, you really should not accept the common cold as being a ‘nuisance which is a mere fact of life.’
The common cold can pose serious problems. It can even be deadly in some instances.
Before you panic after having read that, please read this article for the valuable information it contains regarding the common cold!
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I Want to Know More About The Common Cold
“I keep getting colds one after another during the later part of the year, so I want to know more about the common cold. I would appreciate more information regarding it!” Indeed, read more to learn more about this fall and winter scourge!
If you go online and read a formal definition of the common cold, you will be reading sentences worded like this, ‘another name for the common cold is the cold.
It is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, which is caused by an infectious (contagious) virus. The common cold tends to affect mostly the nose, but may affect the throat, larynx, and sinuses as well.’
“What are The Symptoms Of The Common Cold?”
“Well now that I know what the common cold is, please tell me more about its symptoms!” You should know that you can experience signs and symptoms within a few hours of contracting it because powerful viral infections cause it. The bad part about the common cold is that scientists have yet to find a cure or vaccine for it!
“How will I know if I have a common cold?”
“Since I keep getting colds one after another, I want to know how I will know if I have a common cold!”
Well, you know that you have a cold if you suddenly experience extreme fatigue (tiredness), headache, aching muscles, and appetite loss. You may experience a sore throat approximately 40% of the time.
Also, note that 50% of people who get the common cold will even cough. About half of those affected experience aching muscles. You will experience mucus almost every time you get a cold. The color may range from yellow to light green and usually affects the nose and sinuses.
“Please Explain The Causes Of The Common Cold.”
“I am finding this information interesting, but I would like to know what causes the common cold. Please explain this to me.”
This is the answer: people have a common cold when certain viruses infect their upper respiratory tract.
Approximately 30-80% of common colds are caused by rhinovirus, which is a type of picornavirus.
Viruses that cause influenza (the flu) are responsible for 10-15% of the cases, and adenoviruses, human respiratory syncytial viruses, enteroviruses, and human parainfluenza viruses cause the other 5%.
It might interest you to know that more than 200 different viruses are the culprit behind the common cold!
“How is The Common Cold Transmitted?”
Now that I have more insight as to why I keep getting colds one after another, I would love to know how they are transmitted.”
The common cold is transmitted through bodily fluids, primarily through infected mucus, saliva, or a combination of both. This body fluid is transferred from a sick person to a healthy person through airborne droplets which are also referred to as ‘aerosols.’
You can get the common cold through infected mucus (suppose a sick person wipes his or her nose with her hand and then shakes your hand.
If you put the exposed hand in your mouth, you will likely get his or her cold.) The common cold is transferred through contaminated objects which the medical and scientific community refers to as ‘fomites.’
Scientists and health professionals are unsure which method of transmission is the most important or prevalent. You should know that these viruses can survive for several hours. For example, the rhinovirus can survive for at least 18 hours.
The common cold is transferred when infected body fluids are exposed to a healthy person’s mouth, nose, or eyes. In case you were wondering where the common cold is most commonly transmitted, it is in daycare centers.
Constantly Getting Colds
There is a reason why daycares are often referred to as ‘germ factories.’ These places are breeding grounds for the common cold because the kids who attend there usually have little to no immunity, and they practice poor hygiene habits. But the weather is another critical factor. This is discussed further in the next paragraph.
“I have heard that you catch a cold by going outside in cold weather, is this true?”
Yes, this is true. While health professionals and doctors are not entirely sure why this is true, they believe that people are more likely to get the common cold when the weather is cold because colder temperatures may cause changes in the upper respiratory tract which makes it more vulnerable to the viruses causing the common cold.
They think that colder weather lowers the immune system. A weaker immune system is not as efficient in fighting and driving away viruses and germs, which cause illnesses. Drier air during the fall and winter seasons are also thought to speed up and encourage the transmission of the viruses which cause the common cold.
“Is it true that you get sick more often if you don’t get enough sleep at night?” Lack of sleep can indeed cause people to get sick more often (and stay sick longer) because it lowers their immune system. People who don’t eat enough (are malnourished) also get common colds more often and for more extended periods. Again, the culprit is attributed to a weakened immune system
“How Will My Doctor be Able to Tell If I Have a Common Cold?”
“I was always wondering how my doctor will be able to tell if I have a common cold because some of my colds are so mild I don’t even feel sick!” Your doctor will perform several diagnostic tests to determine if you indeed have a common cold. He will listen to your lungs to see if they are full of mucus. The doctor will also look at your mouth and nostrils. He or she will ask you many probing and information gathering questions about your symptoms as well. These are the main methods doctors use to determine if you have a common cold.
“How Do I Avoid Getting The Common Cold, to Begin With?”
If you asked this question, you are not alone. Almost everyone wants to know the answer to that question! Unfortunately, the only methods you can use to ensure that you don’t get the common cold are preventative physical ones. You should always wash your hands after coming into contact with a sick person, before eating, and after using the bathroom. It wouldn’t hurt to wear a face mask during the common cold seasons occasionally. Taking zinc and vitamin C supplements can sometimes help, though a direct link between taking them and not getting the common cold has never been proven! However, many people swear by vitamin C, stating that this and chicken soup help their common colds go away faster.
“What Can I Do Once I Get The Common Cold?”
“Now that I know more about the common cold, I would like to know how to treat it.” Unfortunately, no proven cure or treatment exists for the common cold. However, health professionals recommend taking over the counter medicines like Robettisun to lessen the severity of coughing. Dimetapp has proven to be effective in alleviating the annoying congestion caused by excessive mucus in the sinuses. Other effective remedies include drinking enough fluids to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated and gargling with saltwater.
Now that you know extreme instances, the cold can morph into the much more severe and deadly flu. It is for this reason that if you find yourself saying, “I hate the fall and winter seasons because I keep getting colds, one after another.” you take preventative measures to keep from getting common colds. You should also try remedies to alleviate the severity of the common cold which has been recommended based on their repeated and efficient track record!