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Common Cold

What is a Common Cold?

A common cold, also known as a cold or nasopharyngitis, is a viral infection that affects your upper respiratory tract. It can occur at any time of the year and is common worldwide. The common cold is usually harmless, but the infection process can cause discomfort. There are several types of viruses that cause this disease, but the most common are rhinoviruses.

The common cold is one of the most common infectious diseases spread between people. Through interactions such as sneezing and coughing, viruses spread through the air and can be transmitted to others. Symptoms appear within 2-3 hours of getting the viruses, including a runny nose, mild fever, cough, nasal congestion, red and watery eyes. It usually gets better on its own within 7-10 days.

Cold viruses lodge in the nasal mucosa and cause nasal congestion. Symptoms are caused by the immune system’s response to the infection, not by the virus damaging the tissues in the respiratory tract.

Normally, the common cold is mild, but in some cases it can lead to sinusitis, otitis media or other diseases. Symptoms may last longer in smokers.

Who Gets the Common Cold?

One of the groups at highest risk of catching a cold is children under the age of 6. But healthy adults can also catch a cold several times a year. Most people recover in a week or 10 days, but a doctor should be consulted if symptoms last longer than a week or 10 days.

Children may catch colds more often and symptoms may last longer. Babies are more protected against colds due to antibodies passed from the mother during the first 6 months.

How is the common cold transmitted?

The common cold is transmitted by inhaling virus-containing airborne droplets, swallowing them or touching infected surfaces. Viruses can live in the environment for a long time and can be transmitted to you when you rub your hand over your face. Close contact increases the likelihood of transmission. People with a low immune system can pick up the virus and pass it on to others.

Hygiene is important and measures such as hand washing, avoiding smoking environments, being careful in unhygienic places, eating and exercising to strengthen the immune system should be taken to prevent the spread of the common cold.

Causes of the Common Cold

There are many types of viruses that cause the common cold, but the most common are rhinoviruses. These viruses can enter the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. The viruses spread through airborne droplets when a sick person sneezes, coughs or talks.

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Treatment Methods

There is no directly effective treatment for the common cold. Antibiotics are ineffective against the common cold and should only be used for bacterial infections. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and shortening the duration.

Painkillers can be used for mild fever, headache and sore throat. Decongestants or saline sprays may help to relieve nasal congestion. Drinking plenty of fluids, resting and breathing plenty of water vapor can also provide relief.

To strengthen your immune system, it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep and avoid stress. This can reduce the chances of catching a cold and speed up your recovery.

It is important to consult a health professional before taking any medication to treat a cold, especially for children, pregnant women or people with chronic health conditions. Also, cold symptoms can be confused with symptoms of other serious health problems, so it is important to seek medical attention for severe symptoms or prolonged discomfort.

The common cold is a common viral infection and is usually mild. Good hygiene and healthy lifestyle habits can reduce the risk of getting a cold and make the treatment process easier.