Will a common cold clear up on its own?
Common colds generally improve on their own within a couple of days to a week.
Author: Joanne Van der Velden
First answered: 17 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2/5 Votes: 823
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A common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. The cold can cause a sore throat, a stuffy or runny nose, coughing and sneezing. A common cold is typically not very serious and generally improves without treatment within a couple of days to a week.
The main symptoms of a common cold include a stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, coughing, sneezing and a headache. These symptoms can last from a couple of days to around a week.
A common cold is caused by viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract and affect the nose, sinuses, throat (pharynx) and voice box (larynx). There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a common cold, although rhinoviruses are the most common cause.
There is no cure for a common cold. Getting plenty of rest and drinking fluids may help recovery from a cold. Some over-the-counter pain relief medications and decongestants can also help to relieve some of the symptoms.
A common cold can sometimes be confused with the flu as they can have similar symptoms, such as a sore throat, runny nose and a cough. However, the flu is caused by an influenza virus which can lead to more severe symptoms such as a …
Common colds are contagious as they are caused by viruses, which are easily spread by droplets from coughs and sneezes of an infected person.
Although common colds occur more frequently during the winter months, you cannot catch a cold just from being cold. Colds are caused by an infection with a virus.
While there are no certain ways of preventing a common cold, you can lower your chances of infection and of infecting others by washing your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people who have a cold.