Common Cold Symptoms
Common cold symptoms begin to appear as soon as two days after exposure to a rhinovirus, which is the virus that causes the common cold. Presently, there is no cure for the common cold but there are several treatments available to treat the symptoms. Contagious rhinoviruses are most active in the spring, summer, and early fall. A rhinovirus can live on objects like telephones and doorknobs and your skin for up to three hours making hand washing imperative during the cold season.
- Sore throat. Most colds start with a nagging tickle in the throat. Before long, that tickle can turn into a nasty sore throat known as Pharyngitis. A sore throat is caused by inflammation of the pharynx, which is located in the back of the throat between the larynx and voice box. A sore throat can be painful and often accompanied by swollen lymph nodes in the neck, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches and pains.
- Stuffy nose and sinus swelling. One of the most annoying symptoms of a common cold is a stuffy nose. A stuffy nose makes it difficult to breath and interferes with a night of healing sleep. The stuffy nose is not a matter of excess mucus. The swelling is caused by the sinus lining becoming swollen due to local inflamed blood vessels. This may also cause of ear discomfort.
- Sneezing and coughing. Sneezing and coughing are considered protective reflexes that clear the upper airways and throat of viruses. A sneeze starts when the upper nasal mucosal lining becomes irritated by a virus or irritant causing a sneeze. A cough also clears the upper airways and lungs of irritants, bacteria, viruses, and postnasal drip common to cold symptoms.
- Headache and muscle aches. The swelling of sinuses while fighting a common cold can cause intense headache symptoms. In some cases, a common cold can cause muscle aches throughout the body. Fortunately, muscle aches caused by a common cold are not a serious condition. They are just annoying and uncomfortable. Muscle aches can be easily treated with over the counter medication.
- Fatigue and Fever. A common cold can cause fatigue for several reasons. The most common cause of fatigue is a lack of sleep and the reduced oxygen supply due to a stuffy nose. Fatigue will affect cold sufferers of any age. However, fever is most common in children with a cold. Adult don’t usually experience a fever with a cold. However, a sore throat accompanied by a high fever is more serious than a common cold and should result in a trip to the doctor.