Question: How Long Is Too Long To Have A Cold?

How can you tell if a cold is viral or bacterial?

The symptoms of a bacterial infection and a virus are often very similar—fever, muscle aches, cough, and sore throat—but they require different treatments….Make an appointment if you have:Symptoms that last more than 10 days.Recurring fevers.Shortness of breath.Excessive yellow or green mucus..

How do you know a cold is ending?

Symptoms level off and fade: Cold symptoms usually last anywhere from 3 to 10 days. After 2 or 3 days of symptoms, the mucus discharged from your nose may change to a white, yellow, or green color. This is normal and does not mean you need an antibiotic.

Does coughing up phlegm mean your getting better?

Coughing and blowing your nose are the best ways to help mucus fight the good fight. “Coughing is good,” Dr. Boucher says. “When you cough up mucus when you are sick, you are essentially clearing the bad guys—viruses or bacteria—from your body.”

How long am I contagious with a cold?

The common cold is infectious from a few days before your symptoms appear until all of the symptoms are gone. Most people will be infectious for around 2 weeks. Symptoms are usually worse during the first 2 to 3 days, and this is when you’re most likely to spread the virus.

Can you shorten the duration of a cold?

Some studies show that zinc lozenges or syrup reduce the length of a cold by about one day, especially when taken within 24 to 48 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.

How long does it take for a really bad cold to go away?

In adults, the common cold typically clears up in about 7 to 10 days. Children may take slightly longer to recover — up to 14 days. There’s no cure for the common cold. Instead, treatment focuses on symptom relief.

What are the 5 stages of cold?

More videos on YouTubeStage 1: Onset. It’s roughly 1-3 days since you came into contact with a cold virus and your body is starting to show mild symptoms like mild fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, and a sore throat. … Stage 2: Progression. … Stage 3: Peak. … Stage 4: Remission. … Stage 5: Recovery.

How do you know when you need antibiotics for a cold?

You might also cough up thick, yellow or green mucus. These symptoms may also occur with a cold. But if they last for more than a week or are severe, you may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics. Only your doctor can prescribe antibiotics.

How can you tell the difference between a viral and bacterial sore throat?

Sore throat symptoms are typically caused by inflammation due to a virus like the common cold. However, about 15 percent of sore throats are caused by bacteria called streptococcus, or strep. Strep throat requires treatment with an antibiotic, while viral causes of sore throat do not.

How long should I wait to go to the doctor for a cold?

In most cases, you don’t need to see your doctor when you have a common cold. But you should call your family doctor if your cold symptoms last for more than 10 days or get worse instead of better.

Is it normal for a cold to last 3 weeks?

These symptoms usually peak in the first 3 to 5 days and then improve gradually. Most people do not have symptoms past 10 days to 2 weeks. Symptoms of a sinus infection may be more severe and can last for 4 weeks or longer.

How should I sleep when I have a cold?

Read on to learn more about how to sleep with a common cold.Drink a warm beverage. … Take an NSAID. … Use a nasal decongestant. … Try cough medicine. … Gargle with salt water. … Use a saline nasal rinse. … Stack your pillows. … Use a vapor rub.More items…•