Life 66 _ Common Cold _ Prevent and Treat
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Common Cold

The common cold is a contagious disease in humans and is mainly caused by a virus, causing acute rhinitis, pharynx and acute nasal discharge.

A cold is a common and most common illness in children and the elderly.

Although it is a common illness and usually not as serious as the flu, the common cold often causes fatigue and a lack of energy for the daily activities of sick people.

Moreover, in fact, there are still a lot of patients because they don’t know how to identify the symptoms of the disease as well as how to prevent and treat the common cold, so it can be embarrassing to face and manage the illnesses.

Most importantly, every time you have a cold, what medications to take? Should you take antibiotics, and if you should take antibiotics, when and how should you use them ?, etc. is still a difficult question for many people to answer, it also means that many people use drugs and treat their own colds very poorly, which leads to many unfortunate consequences. The recognizable bad consequences are long-term healing and deterioration of health. The unrecognizable negative consequences are damage to internal organs such as kidneys, liver, etc.

Common symptoms of a cold:

The common cold can have different symptoms in each person, here are some of the most common symptoms that can be mentioned. These symptoms may seem mild at first and may get worse after about 1 day. Concretely:

– Feeling tired, stiffness

– There is a feeling of chills, cold infection

– Sneezing accompanied by headache persists for several days

– Cough and sore throat, sore throat

– Loss of taste, swollen lymph nodes

– Nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, but runny or runny nose

– There is pressure in the ears and face

– And, there may be a slight fever

Symptoms such as those mentioned above may be more severe about 2 to 4 days after the onset of the disease and usually go away after more than a week.

However, there are also cases where a cold can persist for up to several weeks. In more than a third of cases of children, the disease usually lasts more than a dozen days with a persistent cough and can lead to complications of pneumonia, sinusitis, otitis media, acute sinusitis or other secondary infection, etc.

Please note that during the first 3 days, this is the most contagious time for others.

When should we go to the hospital?

Since the common cold is a common illness, not everyone who catches a cold will go to the hospital right away.

However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor or go to the hospital as soon as possible:

– The fever is above 38.5°C for 5 days or more or returns after a short period of time

– Frequent phenomenon of shortness of breath, wheezing

– Persistent sore throat and headache

– Severe sinusitis.

If this is the case with children with colds, you should pay attention to this more often, since the disease in children will be more dangerous for adults. If not treated in time, it can lead to pneumonia or bronchitis in children. So take your child to a medical facility as soon as they have the following symptoms:

– Children 1 to 4 months old have a fever of 38°C

– The fever increases or lasts more than 2 days.

– The child’s symptoms do not improve or show signs of increasing.

– Children have coughing, difficulty breathing and wheezing.

– Anorexia, fatigue.

– Ear pain, headache.

– And, abnormally sleepy, disturbed consciousness.

Causes of colds:

Colds usually occur when it’s cold and raining, or can occur during sudden weather changes. At this time, the body is susceptible to the development of pathogens such as viruses or bacteria.

Colds are viruses that cause them, the most common of which are viruses of the rhinovirus strain, or enteroviruses. The virus enters the human body primarily through the eyes, nose or mouth, or through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches infected surfaces.

Although it is a common disease and has hardly any serious effects on the health of adults, it does have a significant effect on infected children. The reason is that young children have an incomplete immune system, if they have unfavorable conditions, it can affect the respiratory organs such as the lungs and bronchi.

Preventing colds

As mentioned above, a common cold is a contagious disease caused by a viral infection. Therefore, to prevent colds, the first thing to do is to avoid infection by specific measures such as:

– Wash your hands well and often with a hand sanitizer or specialized soap

– Do not share your personal belongings with other people, especially people with colds, limit contact with sick people.

– Clean the living space, ensure that the living space is always ventilated, the furniture is regularly cleaned and disinfected with appropriate products.

– Taking care of one’s own health improves the resistance of the body through reasonable and scientific diet, adequate and on-time sleep, regular and appropriate physical exercise.

Treat a cold

There is a question that worries many people: “When you have a cold, what medicine?”. Although colds often present with very normal symptoms, if not treated properly, they can lead to very dangerous complications.

Again, keep in mind that the main cause of a cold is viral, so don’t use antibiotics when you have a cold unless you have an infection and are following your doctor’s prescription.

In addition, since the pathology of a cold is not complicated, cold treatment is mainly focused on the symptoms of the disease.

First of all, the patient can also actively apply a number of simple but very effective treatments such as cleaning the nose, mouth and throat. Gargle with diluted salt water, drink lukewarm water and honey lemonade or ginger juice, etc.

If you usually need to take medication, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers, fever reducers, decongestants, cough medicine, etc.

– Analgesics: In case of symptoms of fever, sore throat and headache, acetaminophen (paracetamol) or ibuprofen and other analgesics should be used to reduce fever and pain. The use of acetaminophen for a short time and strictly according to the instructions will avoid the side effects of the drugs.

Please note that while taking these medicines, patients should not drink alcohol to avoid damage to the liver.

Also, avoid giving aspirin to children as it is linked to Reye’s syndrome – potentially fatal.

– Decongestants, alleviating the symptoms of a stuffy nose, runny nose: There are many sprays or drops to help decongest the nose, such as salts, vasoconstrictor drugs such as naphazoline, xylometazoline …

Be aware that these drugs have side effects such as insomnia or drowsiness, headache or digestive upset, even if used for a long time can lead to chronic congestion. Especially for young children, before using this nasal vasoconstrictor, the baby should be examined and directed by a doctor. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that decongestants and anti-decongestants not be used in children under 2 years of age.

– Cough syrup: people can drink syrup to relieve cough and sore throat. However, do not overuse long-term use, if your cough does not improve you should see your doctor for further diagnosis and treatment.

– Herbal: Colds can be completely cured with herbal remedies.

Are antibiotics used to treat colds?

To answer this question, we will gradually clarify each aspect so that you understand whether or not to take antibiotics during a cold!

First of all, let me repeat that most colds are caused by viruses. So if you catch a cold but don’t have an infection and take antibiotics, not only will the antibiotics have no effect on the treatment, but also cause side effects that are harmful to the body.

Common side effects such as dizziness, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea may occur. Other side effects that cause serious but rare problems can be allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, damage to the colon, etc.

The worst thing that can happen is that unnecessary use of antibiotics over time will make the drug less effective the next time it is treated. The reason is that, as in previous interviews, I made it clear that the generations of bacteria that survive over time are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which is the phenomenon of resistance.

However, you can take antibiotics if you have a cold. Some signs of infection are pain around the face and eyes, coughing up thick, yellow, or green mucus.

However, the above symptoms are also the symptoms that can be seen with a cold, so it will be difficult for you to distinguish what are the signs of the initial cold and what are the signs of infection.

To make this easy to determine, keep an eye out for two main factors:

– The degree of prolongation of the disease: if the above symptoms persist for more than a week

– And, the severity of the disease: if the condition worsens every day

So, if you have a cold that doesn’t go away for a while (i.e. more than a week but still doesn’t get better) and the condition gets worse every day, your body is probably infected with bacteria and now needs to use antibiotics. to combine treatment.

However, you should not arbitrarily or abuse the use of antibiotics without your doctor’s review and prescription.

Also, I want to note that you should not use this medicine if you are allergic to any of these antibiotics. In addition, you should also be very careful if you have taken any medication before, but the liver enzymes increase during the period of use.

Antibiotics used correctly can have a high therapeutic effect, as with bronchitis, pneumonia, pharyngitis, ear infections, and red eye pain – caused by bacteria.

In short, the cold treatment is not complicated. However, in the case of a post-cold infection and if you feel the need to take antibiotics, a medical examination and a prescription is necessary.

About Post Author

Maître VIKUDO

Docteur en Physiopathologie
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