Common Cold

Overview of Common Cold

Sore throat, runny nose closely followed by coughing and wheezing are the classic symptoms of the common cold. Usually, it takes about 7-10 days to recover.

Signs and Symptoms of Common Cold

Common cold or زکام is a common disease among individuals, especially during the changing weather.
Sore throat, runny nose closely followed by coughing and wheezing
(زکام ، گلے کی خراش) are the classic symptoms of the common cold. Usually, it takes about 7-10 days to recover completely from the common cold. Washing hands regularly, avoiding close contact with sick people, and generally taking good care of your own self are some tips to steer free from the common cold.


The common cold is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It basically affects your nose and throat. Usually, it is harmless and goes away within 7-10 days but sometimes it can linger for longer periods of time and can get accompanied by fever and headaches.
Children under the age of 6 years are most vulnerable to this viral infection. A normal healthy adult is expected to have a common cold 2-3 times annually.

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Types of Common Cold

The symptoms of a common cold usually go away on their own or you can drink plenty of fluids to feel better. These signs and symptoms vary from person to person but typically involves:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Slight body chills or mild temperature
  • Headaches
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Pressure in your ears and face
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Body aches

Time to pay a visit to your doctor

Usually, you can recover from a common cold without any hassle but if you are an adult and have any of these symptoms, it's best to go see your doctor. The signs include:

  • Body temperature greater than 101.3 F
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Severe sore throat followed by headaches and sinus pain
  • Consistent fever (Fever lasting for more than 5 days or on and off fever periods.)

Usually, the children acquire colds more frequently than adults but due to their robust immune systems, they usually take less time to recover.
Immediately seek medical attention if you feel any of these signs in children:

  • Newborns having a fever of 100.5 F for up to 12 weeks
  • Increasing fever or a high fever in children of any age
  • A condition that is not improving over time
  • Condition getting more worse
  • Wheezing
  • Ear pain
  • Lack of appetite and extreme fussiness
  • Drowsiness

Risk Factors of Common Cold

The most common cause of the common cold is rhinoviruses. You can acquire this virus through your nose, mouth, or eyes. It usually spreads in the form of droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
Touching also increases the spread of this virus. Handshaking, using a sick person’s contaminated objects like utensils, towels, toys, etc also helps in spreading the virus.



The typical risk factors for a common cold are:

  • Age - children under the age of 6 years are more susceptible to catch a cold.
  • Weakened immune system - having a weakened immune system makes you more prone to catch viral infections.
  • Weather - both children and adults are more vulnerable to catch a cold in winters or during the transition of one season into another. Although you may have a cold in summers as well.
  • Smoking - smoking destroys your respiratory system and lowers down your immunity. Being a smoker, you have a high chance of catching colds more frequently.
  • Close contact - being in close contact with the infected person, will automatically make you the most vulnerable to have this infection.

Complications of the common cold

Depending upon your overall health and well being, you may recover faster or may develop more serious symptoms. Some severe complications of common cold involve:

  • Infection in ear
  • Asthma
  • Acute sinusitis
  • Chest infection


You can follow these prevention tips to live a healthy life:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Use a tissue every time you sneeze or cough and discard that tissue immediately after use.
  • Disinfect your work desk, your room, things that you use regularly.
  • Don’t share your utensils, towels, etc with your friends or family and specialty when you or someone around you is sick.
  • Rink plenty of fluids, eat fruits and consume a sufficient quantity of vitamin C.

Treatment of Common Cold | When to Consult a Doctor

The symptoms of flu and the common cold are quite similar, your doctor will generally diagnose this by running a couple of physical examination tests. He/she may prescribe you some cough syrups or soothing syrups. A number of home remedies are also beneficial in this condition. Your doctor will also advise you to stay hydrated and drink lots of fluid.

Doctors to treat Common Cold

Last updated on Wednesday 02/11/2022


Dr. Syed Noman Matloob

Interventional Radiologist, General Physician |

Lahore Consultants ClinicRs


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Highly Recommended


Dr. Faisal Amin Baig

Internal Medicine Specialist, General Physician | MBBS, FCPS

Al Razi Health Care HospitalRs 3000

The University of Lahore Teaching HospitalRs 3000


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Highly Recommended


Assist. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Israr

Diabetologist, Gastroenterologist, General Physician, Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Internal Medicine Specialist | MBBS, FCPS, MACG, FCPS

National Hospital & Medical CenterRs 2500

Omar Hospital & Cardiac CentreRs 2500

Omar Hospital and Cardiac CentreRs 2500


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