Cold Symptoms - Causes & Treatment

The common cold. You’re going to get one. It’s not a matter if you’re going to get one. Instead, it’s a matter of when you’re going to get it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that adults average two to three colds in a year while children can have even more.

Colds, which are caused by viruses and are usually contagious, are the main reason that adults miss work and children miss school.

Some symptoms of the common cold may include:

  • Body aches
  • Coughing
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes

It can take a week to 10 days for a cold to run its course and for you to feel back to normal. It’s important to treat the symptoms of a cold because a cold can lead to bronchitis, ear infection, pneumonia or sinusitis. People with asthma, weak immune systems, or respiratory conditions are especially susceptible to complications resulting from a cold.

There is no cure for the common cold but your primary care doctor or urgent care provider might recommend rest, drinking plenty of liquids, and some medications. Check with a doctor before giving any over-the-counter medicines to young children. If your cold causes a fever higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or the symptoms last longer than 10 days, seek medical attention immediately.