Common Cold

The common cold is an infection that can irritate your nose and throat.

  • Causes

    The common cold is caused by a virus. There are over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold.

  • Definition

    The common cold is an infection that can irritate your nose and throat.

    Sore Throat Due to Inflammation
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  • Diagnosis

    The diagnosis is most often based on your symptoms. Generally, tests are not needed to make a diagnosis unless another condition is suspected, such as

  • Prevention

    The most important way to keep from getting or spreading a cold is by washing your hands. Wash your hands well and often. Other ways to keep from getting a cold:

    • Keep your hands away from your nose, mouth, and eyes.
    • Stay away from people who have a cold.

    • If you smoke,
      or cut down on smoking.
    • Ask your doctor if taking certain supplements may be right for you.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of a cold include:

    • Being near someone who has a cold
    • Touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with contaminated fingers

    • Decreased resistance, which can be caused by
      , second-hand smoke, or stress
    • Shorter sleep duration or poor sleep quality

  • Symptoms

    A cold may cause:

    • Sore or scratchy throat
    • Stuffy nose
    • Runny nose
    • Sneezing
    • Itchy, stuffed sensation in the ears
    • Watery eyes
    • Cough
    • Headache
    • Aches and pains
    • Low energy
    • Low-grade fever

  • Treatment

    A cold usually lasts 10 days or longer. There are no cures for a cold, but treatments can relieve your symptoms. These include: