Most of us have had a cold or two in our lifetimes, so the symptoms are quite familiar. But the symptoms of a common cold can also be present when you have a more serious illness that requires treatment. Do you know how to tell the difference? If you think you have something worse than the common cold, the clinicians at Chai Urgent Care are available every day of the year until midnight to help. Here are some of the complications that can occur after you or your child catches a cold as well as ways you can promote cold prevention in your household.
Complications of the Common Cold That Require Medical Attention
If you have a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat, a cough, congestion, slight body aches, sneezing, a low-grade fever, or a general feeling of being unwell, you likely have a cold, which is caused by a viral infection of the nose and throat. Most people recover within 7 to 10 days.
You should see a doctor if you have a fever that is higher than 101.3, have a fever that lasts longer than 5 days or returns after you’ve been fever-free. You should also seek medical care if you have shortness of breath, wheezing, or severe pain in the throat, head or sinuses. Children should be seen by a pediatrician if they have a fever lasting more than two days, are showing signs of ear pain, are unusually drowsy or fussy, or aren’t eating well.
These may be signs that you or your child have:
- An ear infection, which happens when bacteria or viruses get into the space behind your eardrum.
- Acute sinusitis, or inflammation and infection of the sinuses, from a cold that hasn’t resolved itself.
- A secondary infection, such as strep throat, pneumonia, or bronchitis, which need to be treated with antibiotics.
Healthy Habits for Cold Prevention
Because the common cold is caused by a several different viruses and there is no vaccine for it, prevention is the best way to avoid catching a cold and any of the complications that may arise from it. To prevent the cold from spreading you should:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
- Disinfect household surfaces, such as kitchen and bathroom countertops and door handles and knobs
- Use tissues when you sneeze to contain the virus
- Don’t share your utensils or drinking glasses
- Avoid close contact with people who have colds
- Eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep
Visit Chai Urgent Care in New Jersey and New York
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms that may indicate you have more than just a cold, come to Chai Urgent Care to be seen by one of our experienced, compassionate clinicians. There’s no reason to continue suffering with acute sinusitis, strep throat, or an ear infection. These are easily treatable complications of the common cold, and we can have you back on your feet sooner than if they’re left untreated. We’re open until midnight every day, and there’s no need to make an appointment. Contact us online or call one of our convenient locations to learn more.