There are hundreds of different virus causing similar cold symptoms. Mostly the symptoms of cold appear about 1-3 day after the exposure to the infecting virus. On the fourth day, symptoms are at peak and around seven day tapers off. The signs of cold includes:
- Nasal congestion
- A runny nose
- Scratchy and a sore throat
- Low-grade fever
In general, a cold lasts for 7-10 days, but in some people, it may last longer, and in patients with immune problems and other underlying health issues, it may be more severe.
Although cold is common you are unable to stop thinking about its progress. Thus, understanding stages of cold and acknowledging the warning symptoms may help you to take steps to provide relief sooner.
Stages Of Cold
Cold has five stages. Keep reading our article to learn remedies to provide you relief through each stage.
Stage 1– The first stage is the onset that happens 1-3 days after being exposed to the cold virus. There is a familiar tingling or scratchy throat. You start feeling mild fatigue with stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. Mostly people do not care enough for these symptoms. Do not ignore these warning sign, stay hydrated and take rest.
And yes, you are now contagious so always use tissue to sneeze and throw them in dustbin with lid after using.
Stage 2 – Stage 2 is progression. Cold sets as cough and congestion. This is the time to have tea, honey, chicken soup and cough drops. Include food rich in zinc such as eggs, pumpkin seeds, garbanzo beans and whole grains. Steam inhalation and nasal saline drops may help.
Stage 3 – The symptoms of cold are at the peak during this stage. There is body ache, low-grade fever. Drink lots of juices, soups, broth and stay hydrated. To relief sinus pressure and congestion use steamy showers, humidifiers and nasal decongestants sold over the counter. This stage lasts for a day or 2. There are over the counter medicines to ease the symptoms such as decongestants and cough syrups but avoid mixing combination of medicines.
Stage 4- The Fourth stage is the remission stage. Fever breaks, body ache subside and you gain your strength. It is time you need to take steps to prevent the spread of germs by throwing all your bedding and clothes into washing. Sterilize your items such as cell phones or toothbrushes.
Stage 5 – This is the recovery phase. You are healthy and back to work. There may be minor lingering symptoms such as a runny nose and cough. You may take over the counter medicines to get rid of lingering, but best will be to stick to a balanced and healthy diet.
It is not that you catch a cold due to cold weather but due to exposure to the virus that is transmitted through droplets. Thus, The best way prevention step will be to wash your hands regularly, especially before cooking, before, and after eating or coming from outside.
If the symptoms of cold do not get better even after a week or if the symptoms return than you may be suffering from sinus infection or allergies. Symptoms of sinus infection includes pressure or pain around the eyes and head, nasal congestion, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. The symptoms of allergy include runny nose, itchy eyes and nasal congestion. The symptoms of flu are similar to the symptoms of common cold and so it can be difficult to differentiate between cold and flu. However, the symptoms of flu come suddenly and includes body ache, high-grade fever, dry cough and extreme tiredness.
For complete evaluation, see your doctor.