Wondering whether it is a cold or something else? When you sneeze frequently and feel unwell, it is easy to get diagnosed yourself with a common cold. But, cold is not always cold. You need to learn the difference between a common cold and the cold which is more dangerous. If the cold is dangerous, immediate medical attention will be needed. Common cold affecting people with asthma, HIV, diabetes, can be more serious than the usual cold. Pregnant women have to be serious if they frequently catch a cold. You may check out for the below mentioned red flags.
Is the cold more than 5 days old?
Common cold usually lasts for 2-3 days. It may clear on its own within 3 days time. If the symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, scratchy throat last for more than 5 days then you should take medical help. It may be mononucleosis or the flu. Make an early appointment with your doctor.
The symptoms keep coming back again and again
Did it happen that the symptoms of common cold went away and is again back? If you often suffer from common cold frequently, it is the cause of concern. Even after recovering from the illness, the common cold symptoms may reappear. It means that there was common cold before and since the immune system is compromised, you now have something more serious. This common cold may be due to sinus infection or pneumonia.
The common cold may be an infectious disease
Doctors feel that international travels are a red flag as you may come back with an infectious disease. If you catch a cold just after returning from your journey, visit your physician immediately for it can be something more dangerous than just a cold.
High fever accompanied by common cold is the cause of concern
Having a cold is pretty normal, but if the cold is accompanied by high fever, you must immediately visit your doctor. If the fever is more than 101 degrees, it suggests that you have strep throat. Those with strep throat tend to have a high fever in the first few days. This condition is more serious than the common cold and can cause a rheumatic fever.
Cold with low-grade fever
Having a low-grade fever for a week is something to worry about. It means that your immunity system is trying to combat some serious ailment and not the cold. Consistent low-grade fever implies that you have flu.
Stomach problems with cold
If your cold is giving you stomach issues like vomiting, nausea or diarrhea, you must know that there is something more serious to it. It can be a flu. Get medical attention for a quick recovery.
Are you having a cold with other issues like a headache and stiff neck? This suggests that you have meningitis. A headache will be worse around the nose and the eyes. Pressure headaches and aches around the nose and eyes suggest sinus infection.
So, we may say that cold is not just a cold and can be something else. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain and wheezing, it suggests that you have pneumonia or bronchitis. Get medical help at the earlier stages.