Seasonal changes are also accompanied by common cold and cough like problems. Well, getting diagnosed with the common cold is quite common and we generally ignore it because we think it might be due to drinking ice water or the AC.
But there is also an alarming stage, which means a cold isn’t always just a common cold if it persists for long. Therefore, it is important to know the differences between a common cold and something more serious.
With the knowledge of these differences, you’ll get the medical attention that’s required. For this purpose, in this article, we have listed the signs that your common cold is more serious and it’s time you see a doctor.
If you are suffering from cold, but you find out some of these unusual symptoms in you, then it means that these symptoms could signify an underlying serious condition.
These symptoms are also a point of concern, especially if you have chronic conditions like kidney disease, allergies, asthma, diabetes, HIV or autoimmune diseases. The same thing goes for pregnant women and also for those who are over the age of 65 years.
In this article, we have listed some of the crucial signs that show your cold is more serious. So, continue reading this article to know when a common cold becomes more serious.
1. If the Symptoms lasts for more than 4 Days
Common cold tends to get clear in about 3-4 days. The symptoms include a scratchy throat, runny nose, and congestion, etc. If you find these symptoms last longer, for 2 weeks or more, then you might have something more like the flu. So, don’t waste time and go see a doctor.
2. You think it’s gone but it comes back again to say hello
It generally happens when we feel that now we’ve recovered from these cold symptoms, but they bounced back again and that too shortly. If you notice this happening to you time and again then you need to give this attention. This might be a sign of rebound illness or a case of superinfection. Obviously, you don’t like your cold to come again and say hello I’m back just like your relatives. Better see a doctor.
3. Having high fever
Having a fever along with cold is not very common. But if you suffer from have a very high fever along with your cold, then this might be a sign of Strep infection in the throat. It is one of the signs that your cold is more serious.
Also, Pneumonia symptoms look quite similar to a bad cold or flu, but it’s something that is far worse. Well, you shouldn’t freak out every time you get a cough or fever, of course — you’re more likely to get a cold or flu than coming down with pneumonia. But, if a few days of rest don’t seem to be working for you, and you’re don’t see any improvement in your symptoms — especially when it comes to fever, chest pain, and phlegmy coughs — better see a doctor.
Moreover, as a secondary infection, Bacterial Pneumonia can also develop after a person catches the flu, and comes into contact with a streptococcus pneumonia bacteria while their immune system is weakened. This bacterial pneumonia can cause a permanent lung damage if you don’t seek medical attention.
4. Having stomach issues
Oh! It is so difficult to sit in the loo with that runny, irritating nose. So you think that your stomach is unwell because of cold. Umm…. You’re wrong. Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, usually don’t accompany the common cold. But if find any of these happening to you, then it’s a sign that something is more serious that you need to take care of and better rush to the doctor.
5. Severe Headaches
Having light headaches in common cold is common because of your closed nose, but it’s not a big issue as you recover from it in 3-4 days. But, it becomes problematic if you get severe headaches accompanied by fever and neck stiffness, then this might be a sign of meningitis. Having pressure headaches or headaches make you feel worse around your eyes and nose can be a sign of a sinus infection.
6. Symptoms in one part of the Body
Another sign of having a serious issue is when the symptoms are present in one location. Example, having a Strep throat makes it difficult for you to swallow, while the sinus infections hurt your head, and infection in the ear can cause pain in one ear, etc.
So, if you find the symptoms are localized, then it can mean something more serious than just a common cold.
7. Body aches
During your common cold if you’re like- oh mommy my hands are aching, sometimes you’ll be why my legs are paining, oh god! This body pain, when I’ll get rid of this cold. But dear I’ll stop you here and tell you something that common cold never cause an overall body pain and ache. It’s actually something different.
Also, the flu can make your muscles and body feel achy and weak; accompanied by fatigue and chills. This is one of the signs that show your cold is something more serious.
8. Chest pain or having trouble in breathing
Having a cough with cold is normal, but one should take care about it not being a severe one with wheezing, shortness of breath, or chest pain coming in. This can be a sign of bronchitis or pneumonia.
We generally believe that anything that involves sneezing or coughing is just a cold. But an illness whose primary symptoms are coughing, wheezing, and pain in your chest could be bronchitis. It goes unnoticed as it commonly occurs in people who have just had colds, you might not be aware that you’ve caught it.
Well, some cases of bronchitis clear up on their own, and others may require medication.
9. Having watery eyes or itching
If your running nose or irritated throat gets paired with the eyeballs that just can’t stop watering, then you might be having an allergy attack instead of a cold. Having irritation in eyes is very rare during colds, but is extremely common among those who suffer from allergies. While the nasal drip and throat scratchiness which is common among allergy sufferers can look like a cold, having watery eyes point to a different culprit.
So, if you feel sad and weep over those videos of the pets being reunited with their owners who just came back from military deployments (shocked where it came from….I know you watch them, yeah you do), better check and see if you’re coming into contact with allergy triggers, including those pollen or dander from your own beloved pet.
This can help you treat your symptoms correctly — because all the cold medicine in the world are a waste if you’re actually just allergic to your pet.
10. Having green mucus
So this last symptom goes Ewwww for everyone out there. But it’s one of the important symptoms also. Yes, I know, it feels very disgusting when blowing your nose all day. And you just close your eyes to ignore that mucus. (In my head I was also feeling yuck while typing this). But please dear open your eyes because it is something which you should not ignore. If your mucus is a color besides white or yellow, especially for a long period of time, you need to see a doctor now.
When your mucus is of yellow color, it’s because it is tinged with those white blood cells that have died fighting off your cold — then they give the stuff of a yellowish tint.
On the other hand, green mucus is that color because it is especially thick with these dead white blood cells, it is an indication that you’re sick with something more serious than the standard seasonal cold.
Also, it can be a sign of an infection, so if you’re coughing up that green gob, better talk to your doctor. You’ll feel much better than reading these last two paragraphs, I can guarantee that!
Always keep a check on your symptoms.