In simple terms, a cold usually lasts about a week. You might experience symptoms like a cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, congestion, fatigue, and body aches during this time. These symptoms are often worse between days 3 to 5.
As your cold nears its end, around days 7 to 10, you’ll start feeling more energetic and find it easier to go about your daily routine. Some symptoms, like a runny nose, congestion, and a cough, may still linger for up to 14 days, and the mucus might turn yellow or green as your body fights the cold.
A cold typically goes through three stages:
- Stage 1 (1-2 days): Mild symptoms, usually starting with a sore throat, slight congestion, and a mild runny nose.
- Stage 2 (days 3-5): This is when you feel the sickest, with symptoms like congestion, runny nose, body aches, headache, sneezing, fatigue, and a cough.
- Stage 3 (after about a week): Symptoms become milder, often resolving completely, with only a lingering cough, congestion, and runny nose.
Blowing your nose can help relieve congestion but won’t make your cold go away faster. In fact, excessive nose-blowing can sometimes irritate your nasal passages and make things worse.
To ease your cool symptoms, you can:
- Stay hydrated by drinking fluids like tea, juices, and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Use throat lozenges to soothe your throat and reduce coughing.
- Consider over-the-counter cough and cold medications if needed.
- Try saline drops or sprays for nasal congestion.
- Use pain relievers like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation.
- Drink warm beverages like honey tea.
- Take a hot shower or use a humidifier to clear your sinuses.
Most of the time, you don’t need to see a doctor for a cold since it’s a viral infection that can’t be treated with antibiotics. However, you should consult a doctor if your symptoms persist beyond a week, worsen, you have a fever for more than four days, over-the-counter medications don’t help, symptoms come and go, they seem severe, or you become dehydrated.
In summary, a cold usually lasts around a week, and by day 7, your energy levels should improve. Home remedies, rest, and over-the-counter medications can help with symptom relief. If your symptoms persist or worsen, consult a doctor.”