Common Cold Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Common Cold Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Common cold is probably the most irritating disease in the world with running nose. Common cold is also known as nasopharyngitis, rihnopharyngitis, acute coryza, head cold or simply cold. It is a viral infectious disease of upper respiratory tract. It primarily effects the the nose. Common cold is transmitted by infected air borne droplets or by direct contact with infected secretions. It usually lasts for only 5-10 days. It is a self limited condition and can generally be managed at home. Adults have 2-3 colds per year and children experience 8-12 colds annually.

Common Cold Causes

Common cold is a viral infection of upper respiratory tract. More than 250 different viruses are known to cause the cold. The most common viruses are rhinoviruses causing 10-40% of colds. The other viruses include coronavirus, adenovirus, respiratory syncytial virus.  The rhinovirus is typically acquired by direct contact it binds to human ICAM-1 receptors through unknown mechanism which causes cold.

Common Cold Symptoms

The symptoms of the common cold typically begin two to three days after the infection occurs. Symptoms of the cold may also vary depending on the virus responsible for the infection and may include :

  • Nasal pain or irritation.
  • Sore throat.
  • Sneezing.
  • Cough.
  • Teary eyes.
  • Low-grade fever.
  • Headache.
  • Body aches.
  • Weakness.

How Common Cold Spreads?

  • It can spread through air and can be transmitted from air borne droplets when infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • A cold virus can live on objects such as pens, books, telephones, computer keyboards, and coffee cups for several hours and can be spreads from contact with these objects.
  • The transmission occurs when a cold sufferer rubs his or her nose and then touches or shakes hands with someone who in turn touches his or her own nose, mouth, or eyes.

Common Cold Tests

An initial diagnosis is often made from symptoms alone.

  • Usually, no blood tests or X- rays are necessary.
  • During the physical examination they will pay careful attention to the head, neck, and chest.
  • They will examine the eyes, ears, throat, and chest to help determine if a bacterial source is causing the illness.

Common Cold Treatment

There’s no cure for the common cold. Antibiotics are of no use against cold viruses. Antibiotics are almost never needed to treat a common cold. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen help to lower fever and relieve muscle aches. Drink plenty of fluids, get enough sleep and avoid smoking. Some pain relievers, nasal sprays and cough syrups are recommended to reduce the symptoms.

Common Cold Home Remedies

Garlic : Boil four to five chopped garlic cloves in a cup of water, add one teaspoon of honey and drink it 2-3 times a day to get rid of cold.

Honey : Take one teaspoon of lemon juice with two teaspoons of honey. Take it for every two hours for relief from cold and sore throat.

Milk and turmeric : Mix a teaspoon of turmeric in warm milk to relief from cold and cough.

Chicken soup : Take chicken soup daily to treat common cold.

Pepper water :  Put pepper on your food when you eat a meal or you can also gargle with a teaspoon of black pepper mixed in a glass of warm water. It helps to get relief from runny nose.

Mullein tea : To make mullein tea fill a strainer with dried mullein herb, place it in a cup of boiling water for five to 10 minutes. Add little honey to it and drink it two or three times a day.

Cinnamon tea : Mix a tablespoon of powdered cinnamon and two cloves in a glass of boiling water water. Allow it to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink it while it is still warm. Drink this tea one to three times a day.

Common Cold Prevention

  • Wash your hands daily.
  • Use mask or tie kerchief cover your nose when you go outside in cold weather.
  • Avoid close contact with the infected person.
  • Keep your surfaces clean like door knobs, light switches, telephones.


Most of the people think that common cold occurs due to change in weather but it is caused due to 250 different viruses that live in air. A typical cold exists for a week or two. With some preventive measures and personal care we can reduce affects of this infection.

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