Common cold is a viral infection of upper respiratory tract-Nose and Throat.
It is a self limited contagious illness.
Preschool children are at higher risk of frequent colds ,but even healthy adults can expect to have a few colds each year.
Most people recover from a common cold in about a week or two.
It is a viral disease.More than 200 of different types of viruses are known to cause the common cold with Rhinovirus causing 30-35% of all adult colds.
Other common virus include coronavirus,adenovirus,respiratory syncytial virus and parainfluenza virus.Because so many different viruses can cause a cold and because new cold viruses constantly develop,the body never builds up resistance against all of them.For this reason colds are a frequent and recurring problem.
It is spread either by direct contact with infected secretion from contaminated surfaces or by inhaling the airborne virus after individual sneeze or cough.
Symptoms usually appear about 1 to 3 days after exposure to virus. These are-
Discharges from nose may become thicker and yellow or green in color as it runs its course.
Diagnosis is mainly based on the history of the illness such as- onset,duration,progress,modalities.
Lab tests and imaging studies are not necessary unless there is not another underlying medical conditions such as influenza,ear infection,sinus infection.
Although it is a self limited condition but some medicines are:
-Pain relievers- For fever,sore throat and headache Acetaminophen is given.
-Decongestant nasal sprays
It corrects the imbalance in the immune system rather than simply curing an infection.