Is It a Head Cold - Or Something Serious?

While the common cold (or head cold) is typically only an annoyance, it may hinder your day-to-day activities. Sneezing, running nose, coughing, and a sore throat is only the beginning of the symptoms of a head cold.

Two or three instances of the common cold are typical for adults every year. Each year, these infections may infect children at a rate of eight or more. Children and adults alike lose the most time from school and work due to the common cold.

The average duration of a common cold is one week. Nevertheless, bronchitis, sinus infection, or pneumonia may occur due to a head cold in certain patients, particularly those with a compromised immune system.

Symptoms of a Head Cold

Signs of a head cold might help determine whether you have contracted the illness. For example −

  • Sneezing

  • Having a stuffy or a runny nose

  • Irritation of the throat

  • Mild fever

  • Common weakness

  • Cough

  • Lightheadedness or minor discomfort in the body

Signs of a head cold often manifest themselves between one and three days after the first infection. Seven to ten days is the typical duration of your symptoms.

Comparing a Head Cold with Sinus Infection

Many symptoms of a head cold are also associated with sinus infection, which include

  • Wet nose

  • Congestion

  • Headache

  • Throat pain

  • Cough

Nonetheless, the reasons for this divergence are distinct. Illnesses like the common cold are caused by viruses. An infection in the sinuses may be caused by a virus, although bacteria are more often to blame.

An infection of the sinuses occurs when microorganisms flourish in the moist air that fills the hollows behind the cheekbones, forehead, and nose. The following are some more symptoms −

  • Your nose is dripping something that looks like green

  • Mucus draining from the nose and down the back of the throat is called a postnasal drip.

  • Tenderness or discomfort in the face, particularly in the cheeks, eyes, nose, and chin

  • Eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Discomfort or pain in the tooth region

  • Impaired capacity for smelling

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Unpleasant odor of the mouth

Why do you have a Cold on Top of Your Head?

Viruses, namely rhinoviruses, are the culprits behind most of the year's colds. The common cold is caused by several different viruses, including −

  • A virus that infects people's lungs called human metapneumovirus

  • Syncytial virus of the Respiratory System (RSV)

  • Parainfluenza virus in humans

A cold cannot be attributed to bacteria. It's for this reason that antibiotics are useless against the common cold.

Someone catches a cold from someone else when the diseased person sneezes or coughs, spraying droplets into the air. You may get a virus by touching contaminated objects, including doorknobs, phones, and toys. It's possible to get the virus by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

If your immune system is compromised or you smoke, you may be more susceptible to catching a cold. The autumn and winter seasons are peak mean transmission times, whereas spring and summer are less affected.

How do you know when it's Time to see the Doctor?

The common cold is a minor sickness at most. A visit to the doctor is not necessary to treat common cold symptoms, including runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. If any of the following severe symptoms persist, you should seek medical attention immediately −

  • Severe throat pain

  • Having a hard time breathing or wheezing

  • Extreme pain in the head, often accompanied by a high temperature

  • Fever of more than 101.3o Fahrenheit (38.5o Celsius)

  • A persistent or persistent cough that won't go away

  • Rash

  • Confusion

  • Severe exhaustion

  • Discomfort in the ears

  • The pressure that won't go away in your temples, eyes, or forehead

If your symptoms haven't improved or have worsened after seven days, you should see your doctor. Some individuals who have colds suffer severe consequences, and you might be one of them −

  • Bronchitis

  • Pneumonia

  • Illness of the ear

  • Feverish Sinuses (sinusitis)


Colds are incurable and have no treatment. Cold viruses are immune to antibiotics, while bacteria are not.

After a day or two, you should feel better. In the meanwhile, try these measures to ease your discomfort −

  • Don't stress out. Give your body as much downtime as possible so that it can heal.

  • Be hydrated with plenty of water and fruit juice. Don't consume any caffeinated beverages. You'll lose even more fluids from drinking them. For the same reason, don't drink alcohol until you feel better.

  • A sore throat calls for some soothing. Several times a day, gargle a solution of half a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water. Gargle with a lozenge. Take a sip of hot tea or broth. Try a spray for a sore throat.

  • Clear your nasal passageways of any obstructions. A saline spray might help break up the mucus when you have a stuffy nose. Alternatively, you may use a decongestant spray, but you should cease using it after three days. A return of congestion is possible after using nasal decongestant sprays for more than three days in a row.

  • When you sleep, a vaporizer or humidifier might help clear up congestion.

  • Take something to ease the discomfort. An over-the-counter (OTC) pain treatment, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen, may help with minor aches and pains (Advil, Motrin). Avoid giving aspirin (Bufferin, Bayer Aspirin) to children and teenagers, although it's acceptable for adults. Reye syndrome is an uncommon but potentially fatal sickness that it may cause

Mark the box if you've ever used an over-the-counter medicine to treat a cold. Be sure you're just taking medication to alleviate the symptoms you're experiencing. Children under the age of six should not use cold medicines.

Preventive Measures

Try these tips if you want to stay healthy all year round, but especially during the colder months of autumn and winter.

  • Steer clear of anybody who seems ill. Tell them to cough or sneeze into their elbow instead of the air.

  • Only touch something once you wash your hands. When you've been in a situation where you've been shaking hands or touching shared surfaces, it's essential to wash your hands thoroughly with some warm water and soap. You may also destroy germs by using a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol.

  • Don't touch your eyes or mouth. Avoid contaminating your most vulnerable bodily openings by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

  • Stay on your own. Please use your own dishes, silverware, napkins, and other stuff.

  • Improve the body's defenses. If your immune system is robust, you will acquire colds less often. Eat healthily, get enough of sleep (ideally seven to nine hours), exercise often, and learn to manage your stress.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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