The main symptoms include:
Less common symptoms of a cold include:
The symptoms are usually at their worst during the first two to three days, before they gradually start to improve. In adults and older children, they usually last about 7 to 10 days, but can last longer. A cough in particular can last for two or three weeks.
Colds tend to last longer in younger children who are under five, typically lasting around 10 to 14 days.
The main differences are:
Colds are generally mild and shortlived, so there's usually no need to see your GP if you think you have one. You should just rest at home and use painkillers and other remedies to relieve your symptoms until you're feeling better.
You only really need to see your GP if:
It might also be a good idea to see your GP if you're concerned about your baby or an elderly person, or if you have a long-term illness such as a lung condition. You can also phone NHS 111 for advice.
You should seek medical advice if: your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above, their symptoms last more than three weeks, they seem to be getting worse rather than better, etc.
Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Colds are caused by viruses, so do not respond to antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, where bacterial infections become less easily treatable.
The following tips may help your child cope with the symptoms of a cold: encourage your child to rest and make sure they drink plenty of fluids, liquid paracetamol or ibuprofen can help ease a fever, a warm, moist atmosphere can ease breathing, etc.
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It's very common and usually clears up on its own within a week or two. Colds are also more frequent during the winter, although it's not clear exactly why.
The symptoms of a cold include a strep throat, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, etc. They usually develop within a few days of becoming infected. The symptoms are usually at their worst during the first two to three days, before they gradually start to improve.
You can manage cold symptoms yourself by following some simple advice . You'll normally start to feel better within 7 to 10 days. The main medications used to treat cold symptoms are painkillers, decongestants and cold medicines.
Colds usually clear up without causing any further problems. However, the infection can sometimes spread to your chest, ears or sinuses. Like sinusitis, middle ear infection and chest infection.
Young children get colds quite often because their immune system is still developing. It can be worrying when your child gets a cold, but it's not usually serious and normally passes within two weeks.