How Long Do Colds Last? What You Need To Know

The Hyfe Mind


March 25, 2021
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According to one study, people in the United States collectively experience 1 billion colds per year, with children getting 6 to 10 colds a year on average. To know the answer to “how long do colds last? “and other FAQs read on. 

How Long Do Colds Last? 

A sick woman blowing her nose

Cold symptoms typically appear two or three days after being exposed to the virus. Colds are most infectious for the first three or four days after the symptoms appear, but they can last up to three weeks. Although some colds will last up to two weeks, most of them go away within a week.

Children, on average, get more colds per year than adults. In fact, when an average adult may get two to four colds per year, infants may get up to eight, and the duration of a cold in children can be up to two weeks.

What Are the Symptoms of a Cold?

A woman blowing nose

Nasopharyngitis, in layman’s terms, is referred to as a “cold.” Nasopharyngitis is a medical term for inflammation of the nasal passages and the back of the throat. Upper respiratory infection, or rhinitis, is another name for it. Depending on the stage of the cold, the symptoms may vary.

Early Symptoms

When you have nasopharyngitis, its symptoms can develop as soon as 10-12 hours after being infected. In this phase, you might notice a sore or itchy sensation in the back of your throat with a feeling of tiredness or less energy than usual which usually lasts a couple of days. 

Peak Symptoms 

After about two to three days of having the early symptoms, they will likely worsen, and you may develop additional symptoms such as: 

  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Itchy and watery eyes 
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Coughing 

During this phase, the symptoms are a lot more obvious, making it easier for you to sort countermeasures against them.

Late Symptoms 

You’ll still have nasal congestion for another three to five days after your cold has passed. You may notice that your nasal discharge has turned yellow or green during this period. This indicates that your body has been working hard to fight the infection. In some cases, you might also experience lingering cough, fatigue and coughing can even last for several weeks.

How to Treat Colds 

A man drinking hot tea with honey because of a cold

Antibiotics can not cure viral nasopharyngitis. Your doctor will instead concentrate on treating your symptoms. With rest and plenty of fluids, your symptoms may improve in a few days. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications to help alleviate pain and symptoms.

Here are some of the best ways to get rid of your cold

  • Use zinc supplements. There is evidence that it can help reduce your cold length if started early or right after the symptoms begin. 
  • Use honey. The antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties of honey can help you ease your cold and cough. Try adding one to two teaspoons of honey to warm water or tea. 
  • Lozenges. It contains menthol or honey, which eases your itching sensation in the back of your throat.

How to Prevent a Cold

  • Avoid sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, or other personal items with other people.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you don’t have water or soap available.
  • Stay away from sick people. 
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, eyes. 
  • Use a health app to monitor your health regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep your immune system in top shape. This includes exercising regularly, having a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and keeping your stress under control. Make sure you take care of your respiratory health as well!

Now that you have read this article about how long colds last and what you need to know, the next time you or your loved ones get a cold, then you’re sure to know how long colds last and how to get rid of them with ease. 

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