When Should You See a Doctor for Your Cold Symptoms?

The next few months have so much fun to offer—fall festivals, trick-or-treating and other fall festivities! The last thing you want to do is feel under the weather.

Most adults get a cold at least a couple times a year, with symptoms mild enough to be annoying, but not dangerous. But how can you know if your symptoms mean you need medical attention? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Fountain City offers some perspective.

How Serious Is a Cold Virus?

This is a bit of a trick question. The common cold is a common illness, affecting millions of Americans each year, usually with few health consequences. It is a milder respiratory illness than the flu.

However, in some instances a cold can develop into something more serious—or your symptoms may be caused by something altogether different than a cold. If your symptoms worsen or won’t go away, see a doctor for a diagnosis.

When to See a Doctor

  • Fever greater than 100.4 F
  • Wheezing
  • Severe sore throat, headache or sinus pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual drowsiness

How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Bad Cold?

Most people are able to recover from a common cold within seven to 10 days. Some symptoms may linger, but in general, most will disappear within a week.

The good news is, most symptoms of a common cold can be treated effectively with OTC medications and other basic at-home care.

Treatment of a Common Cold

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take OTC medications to alleviate symptoms.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  • Open up nasal passages using a nasal irrigation system.

Are you feeling under the weather? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Fountain City today for a medical evaluation and treatment plan. No appointment is necessary!