The last cold was just a few weeks ago, and the next one is already approaching? Unfortunately, this is the norm for many. In winter, in particular, it is easy to get infected and struggle with a runny nose, cough, and hoarseness. And that for quite a long time.
But how long does a cold last? Shouldn’t it be over by now?! You ask yourself this question, especially at night, when you lie awake with a dry cough or blow your nose every minute. It feels like the cold lasts an eternity until all the symptoms are gone, especially when coughing is involved.
Which is mean, because colds are one of the most common illnesses! As an adult, you get sick two to four times a year. Children even up to ten times. That’s because the common cold is a viral infection transmitted by droplets. The risk of disease is therefore very high.
How long it lasts cannot be influenced by antibiotics. Since a virus causes a cold, antibiotics do not help. They can only be prescribed if bacteria are also causing another infection and the viruses.
But significantly since the new coronavirus appeared, uncertainty has also increased because corona, cold, and flu are not that easy to tell apart.
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How Long Does A Cold Last In Adults, And How Long In Children?
“The common cold comes three days, stays for three days, and goes for three days”: There is something to this wisdom. A classic cold without complications lasts seven to ten days on average. It can also last a little longer in children. They get fever more quickly and are prone to secondary infections such as bronchitis, which develops from the common cold.
Tip: Inhaling can help alleviate the symptoms of a cold and get rid of the cold more quickly.
By the way: If you get over a cold, you are not protected from another one for the next few weeks. You can get infected again immediately, as there are over 200 different viruses.
How Long Does A Cold Last With And Without Medication?
Whether with or without medication: This does not change the duration of the cold. The symptoms are alleviated by nasal spray, cough syrup, and home remedies, but unfortunately, you won’t get well sooner. These typical symptoms occur when you have a cold:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
How Long Is A Cold Contagious?
A cold is very contagious, especially in the first few days. It is even believed that you can infect others in the days before the first symptoms appear. You can be contagious for up to a week.
To keep the risk as low as possible, you should not cough or sneeze into your hands or the free space. Hold a handkerchief in front of your mouth or shield your mouth and nose with the crook of your arm. Also, wash your hands regularly and keep your distance from family, friends, and colleagues.
When Should You Go To The Doctor’s?
If you have a typical cold, you can save yourself a visit to the doctor. If there is no improvement after a week or if you suffer from a high fever, you should make an appointment. This also applies to severe sore throats with white, punctiform deposits on the tonsils.
The situation has worsened significantly since the corona pandemic, and it is no longer easy to distinguish whether you “only” have a cold or something else. This can only be reliably clarified with a test. If you have symptoms, talk to your doctor and get tested after contacting people who tested positive for corona.
How Long Does A Cold With Complications Last?
Fortunately, most colds are harmless. They usually start with a slight sore throat, followed by a stuffy nose and, if you’re unlucky, maybe a cough. Over two days, the symptoms worsen and then subside. However, if you do not take it easy during this time, you can expect the cold to last longer. The body needs more time to fight the viruses. In the worst case, the cold becomes chronic.
In addition to the common cold, you can also catch an infection with bacteria. So how long does a cold last? It varies and depends on the treatment. If the sinuses are affected, it can take several weeks. Tonsillitis is over after a week.
Note: The contents of this article are for information only and do not replace a diagnosis from a doctor. If you have any uncertainties, urgent questions, or complaints, you should consult your doctor and pharmacist.
Also Read: Corona, Flu Or Cold: What Are The Symptoms?