Do you feel like you’ve been struck by a cold truck? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people get sick every year with the common cold. While most colds are relatively minor and go away on their own within a week or two, some can be more serious. In this blog post, we will discuss eight signs that you might have a serious cold and what to do about it!
1. A High Fever.
A high fever is one of the most common signs of a serious cold. If you’re feeling hot and sweaty, your body temperature is probably above normal. A fever is your body’s way of fighting off an infection, so it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you. If you have a fever, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and monitor your temperature. If it gets too high, you may need to see a doctor. A fever can sometimes signify something more serious, like the flu. If you have a fever and are feeling very ill, it’s best to see a doctor immediately.
2. Severe Body Aches.
Another common symptom of a serious cold is severe body aches. You may feel like you’ve been hit by a truck! This is because your muscles and joints are inflamed and sore. Moving around or even getting out of bed can make it very difficult. If you’re feeling this way, it’s important to rest and drink plenty of fluids. You may also want to take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help relieve the pain. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially if you have a medical condition.
3. A Persistent Cough.
A cough is another common symptom of the cold and flu. It is your body’s way of removing mucus and other irritants from your lungs. The cough may be dry or wet (with mucus). It may also be hacking, productive (bringing up phlegm), or non-productive (dry). A cough can be annoying, but it’s usually not a sign of anything serious. However, if your cough is severe, lasts more than a week, or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, chest pain, or shortness of breath, it could be a sign of something more serious, and you should see a doctor.
4. Shortness of Breath.
One of the less well-known symptoms of the cold is shortness of breath. This can be caused by the lung congestion common with a cold and the body’s immune response to the infection. In severe cases, shortness of breath can accompany wheezing or difficulty breathing. While these symptoms can be alarming, they usually resolve themselves within a week or two. However, suppose you experience shortness of breath accompanied by chest pain or difficulty breathing. In that case, it is important to seek medical attention immediately, as this could signify a more serious condition.
5. Chest Pain.
When you have a cold, your chest may hurt in addition to your other symptoms. This pain is caused by the inflammation of your chest muscles and tissues. The pain may be sharp or dull and range from mild to severe. See a doctor if you experience chest pain, as it could signify a more serious condition such as pneumonia. However, in most cases, chest pain from a cold is not serious and will resolve independently with time. If you are experiencing chest pain, try taking ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain medication. You can also use a heating pad or take a hot bath to help relieve the pain. Rest and drink plenty of fluids to help your body heal. See a doctor immediately if your chest pain does not improve after a few days or gets worse.
6. Sore Throat.
A sore throat is another common symptom of the cold and flu. It is caused by inflammation of the throat and can make it very painful to swallow. The pain may accompany a scratchy feeling, itchiness, or burning. A sore throat can also make your voice sound raspy or hoarse. If you have a sore throat, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and suck on lozenges or hard candy to help relieve the pain. Gargling with warm salt water can also be helpful. However, if your sore throat lasts for more than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, or difficulty breathing, it is important to see a doctor.
Congestion is one of the most common symptoms of the cold and flu. It is caused by the inflammation of the nasal passages and can make breathing very difficult through your nose. Congestion can also cause a stuffy feeling in your nose, as well as a runny nose. If you are experiencing congestion, try using a humidifier or a hot shower to help moisten the air and make breathing easier. You can also use a saline nasal spray to help relieve the congestion. If your congestion is severe, you may also want to try an over-the-counter decongestant. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking any medication, as some decongestants can have side effects.
8. Runny Nose.
A runny nose is one of the most common cold symptoms. It is also one of the first signs that you have a cold. Most people with a cold will have a runny nose for at least a few days. The runny nose is caused by the inflammation of the nasal passages and is your body’s way of getting rid of the virus. While a runny nose can be annoying, it is not usually causing concern; however, if your runny nose lasts for more than a week or is accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever or sore throat.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must see a doctor to rule out a more serious condition. However, in most cases, these symptoms are signs that you have a cold and will resolve on their own with time. To help relieve your symptoms, drink plenty of fluids, get rest, and use a humidifier. Over-the-counter medications can also help reduce congestion and pain. See a doctor immediately if your symptoms last more than a week or worsen. Fast Track Urgent Care offers convenient, walk-in care for all your urgent medical needs. Our experienced and compassionate staff will provide the treatment you need to feel better quickly. Contact us today to learn more about our services, or visit us online at Fast Track Urgent Care.