Head cold is basically an upper respiratory infection that mainly affects the mucous membranes of the nasal passages. The following HealthHearty write-up provides information on this condition.
Head cold is a viral infection affecting the nasal passages. This upper respiratory tract infection usually strikes in the winter months. Though it is a harmless medical condition, it is certainly discomforting. The condition is self-limiting in nature, and usually resolves on its own in 10 – 14 days. However, one can follow a few self-care measures to manage the symptoms.
The classic symptoms of this condition include runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, fits of sneezing, watery eyes, and mild fatigue. These symptoms might be accompanied by sore throat, stuffy nose, itchy throat, body ache, and headaches. Head cold is not usually accompanied by high fever, but the affected person might have a low-grade fever (up to 39°C). Nasal discharge may become thicker, and its color might change to yellow or green.
Although the ailment does not require medical attention, if the sufferer experiences a fever of 39°C or higher, which is accompanied by chills, cough, and sweating, then this might warrant a medical checkup. Medical help must be sought, if symptoms such as swollen glands and severe sinus pain are present. Needless to say, children are more likely to get affected by this condition. If symptoms such as severe headache, vomiting, abdominal pain, breathing difficulty, ear pain, persistent coughing and fever higher than 39.5°C persist, then medical help must be sought.
Being a form of common cold, this condition is incurable, as there is no medicine which can make it go away any faster. No matter what, the infection will run its course and resolve within a span of 10 – 14 days. Antibiotics are useless as it is a viral infection, and using OTC medications could give rise to certain side effects. However, medications such as painkillers, decongestants, nasal sprays, and cough syrups can be used as they are helpful in managing the symptoms such as headaches, nasal congestion, and coughs respectively.
Resting helps a lot as it keeps the body from getting weaker. Drinking lots of fluids such as juice, broth, tea, soups, and water keeps the body hydrated and replaces the fluids lost through mucus production. Chicken soup was earlier thought to be just a way to make the sufferer feel good. However, studies have proven that it actually does provide relief from head cold.
Gargling with warm saline water and keeping the room warm and moist also helps in managing the symptoms, till the infection resolves on its own.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.