Is it just a cold or something worse? Familiarize yourself with the warning signs

Suffering from sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat or headache? Seven signs that this is not just a cold and you may want to make an appointment with a doctor right now

Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat and headache are some of the typical symptoms of a cold that goes viral, but not only. Sometimes it is a disease that requires treatment and other treatment so that you can return to your strength. How will you know that the symptoms you are suffering from are indeed a cold or a warning sign for a slightly more complex illness?

1. Rhinitis and nasal congestion have been going on for more than five days
Your throat may be a little sore and you suffer from nasal congestion and runny nose, but when it comes to a cold, most of the symptoms should go away within five days. If it persists beyond that, it may be the flu or kiss disease (mononucleosis) so it is advisable to see a doctor for further clarification.
Tissue test: One way to test if you have a cold or a more serious infectious disease is through a runny nose: if it is clear and clear, it is probably an allergy, cold or flu. If it starts to change colors to white, yellowish or green, it means that your body is currently fighting a bacterial infection. If so, consult a doctor.

Is the sore throat caused by a virus or a bacterium? Most sore throats are caused by a virus, so there is no need for treatment beyond symptomatic treatment (painkillers, lozenges, hot tea), but sometimes it is a bacterial sore throat caused by streptococcus, which requires antibiotic treatment to prevent bacterial complications such as inflammation of the heart, kidney damage and more. . Usually in streptococcal inflammation there will be no cough, it will be accompanied by high fever, on the tonsils there will be white discharge, and many times there is a change in voice (you sound like someone talking to a hot potato in his mouth). In this case it is necessary to go for a doctor’s examination.

2. You have had a high fever for more than three days
High fever, above 38 degrees Celsius, is an expression of the body’s defense system dealing with various attackers like viruses and bacteria. When body temperature in adults does not drop within three days, there may be another infection that the body is unable to overcome. It is a condition that can sometimes indicate flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, otitis media or sinusitis (inflammation of the facial cavities) that require medical attention.

If in addition to fever, you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain and pressure, loss of speech or movement, seek medical attention immediately.
Note: Sometimes the fever can also arouse suspicion in corona, especially if the accompanying symptoms are dry cough, fatigue and loss of sense of taste and smell. If you have reason to suspect that you may have been infected with corona, go get tested and put yourself in isolation until the result is obtained.

3. You have abdominal pain and nausea
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are not side effects of colds. Therefore, when they appear along with the common cold, they may signal a more serious illness, such as the flu or digestive problems. To prevent aggravation and dehydration, it is important to drink enough and consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.

4. You suffer from a severe headache
A severe headache may indicate sinusitis. Sinusitis is usually of viral origin and does not require antibiotic treatment, but if the disease lasts for more than a week or the pain is very strong, you may be suffering from a bacterial infection and therefore require antibiotic treatment with a doctor’s prescription.

Also, an extreme headache accompanied by high fever and a stiff neck may indicate meningitis. In this case, you should contact your doctor immediately.
TIP: One of the signs that can indicate sinusitis: Bending over. If you feel the aggravation of the pain and focused pressure around the eyes and nose, it may be sinusitis.

5. You suffer from difficulty breathing and wheezing
Although a cough is a normal symptom in colds and can gradually weaken and disappear within two weeks, it should not be accompanied by wheezing (a kind of whistling caused by narrowing of the airways). This is usually due to an allergic reaction, asthma or a viral viral infection in the upper respiratory tract (pneumonia, bronchitis). If it is accompanied by pain, chest tightness and shortness of breath, it may be pulmonary embolism (blockage of a healthy blood clot), inflammation of the lung membrane or other diseases that require medical attention.

6. You have pain all over your body
Being cold is not a hit. But still in most cases (and with a few tissue packs in the bag) you can continue to perform the tasks of the day: bring the child from kindergarten or go for a walk with the dog. When colds are accompanied by weakness and pain in the muscles and joints, these simple tasks become more challenging, and the tendency is to stay in bed. If this is the case, you may have the flu. Follow the signs and contact your doctor if the condition worsens.

Did you know? Most diseases go away even without antibiotic treatment, since our body knows how to deal with these infections. Antibiotic treatment is required in exceptional cases where the disease is stubborn and more severe.

7. The “cold” appears occasionally in some places
Seasonal allergies have similar symptoms to colds, except for sore throats. Pay attention if you tend to sneeze, feel congestion in your throat and cry when you hang out with a pet or when you go out. In this case, it is advisable to monitor the symptoms for about a week: write down on a page what hours they appear and in what places. This will make it easy for you and the attending physician to identify the causative agents of the allergy and accordingly receive recommendations and preventive treatment with antihistamines.

Professional Advice: Dr. Ilan Green, Family Medicine Specialist, Director of the Department of Family Medicine at Leumit Health Services

By Editor

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