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How to Prevent Common Cold Complications? Here's How

    How to Prevent Common Cold Complications? Here's How

    How to Prevent Common Cold Complications?

    The common cold, though seemingly easy to deal with with today’s medicines, has quite a number of complications associated with it. Complications include asthma, strep throat, and ear infections. As such, it is necessary to learn how to prevent common cold complications.

    The common cold is a viral infection of one’s nose and upper respiratory tract, or the throat. The onset of a common cold case can be attributed to many viruses and illnesses. For the most part, it is harmless to the average healthy adult.

    For children, it is important to observe the symptoms and provide proper care. Those who are six years of age and younger are at greater risk of complications as their bodies are not yet fully equipped to deal with the harsh symptoms of a cold.

    The average period of recovery from a cold is anywhere between one week or ten days. This may depend on factors such as the age of the patient and whether or not he or she has an underlying medical condition.

    How to Prevent Common Cold Complications

    The first step in learning how to prevent common cold complications is to understand the general symptoms you can get while sick with a cold. Common cold symptoms include:

    • Stuffy nose
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Sneezing
    • Fever
    • The feeling of malaise, or a general discomfort or the feeling of being unwell
    • Congestion
    • Headaches
    • Body aches

    Aside from the usual symptoms you can expect from the common cold, there are a number of complications that vary in severity and should be observed and treated as soon as possible.

    Common Cold Complications

    Complications, though not particularly common, may give rise to more serious health conditions such as strep throat, bronchitis, and more.

    Common cold complications mostly occur in young children, elderly patients, and individuals with a weakened immune system.

    Asthma Attack

    Asthma attack is the most common out of the four complications. It is commonly triggered by colds, especially for young children. A common cold may cause worsening of asthma symptoms in patients who already have asthma. These include aggravated wheezing or chest tightness.

    Prevention of asthma complications associated with colds lies in knowing how to manage your asthma attacks and to seek professional medical assistance when symptoms flare up.

    Acute sinusitis

    Acute sinusitis may occur in both adults and children if the patient has been affected by colds for quite some time. Prolonged common cold cases may eventually lead to the infection and inflammation of the sinuses.

    Patients may watch out for acute sinusitis by closely monitoring the duration of their cold symptoms. If it persists for 10 days or more, you are at risk of having your sinuses infected. This can bring about a sore throat, taste and smell loss, ear discomfort, and other symptoms.

    Acute ear infection

    Acute ear infection, otherwise known as otitis media, happens when colds cause congestion behind the patient’s eardrums. This causes fluids to build up in that area. When this area of the ear is exposed to bacteria, ear infections almost always occur. Ear infections are more common in children than in other types of patients. They usually require medical attention once symptoms occur, including ear ache, nausea, and drainage around the ears. In cases of ear infection, immediate medical attention is required, especially for affected children.

    Strep throat

    Strep throat happens when people with a cold are infected with streptococcal bacteria. This occurs by being in contact with infected people or surfaces, or even by breathing in airborne particles that are infected. Though definitely painful and irritating, strep throat is usually prevented and treated by taking medication.

    Key Takeaway

    Although cold complications are not particularly common, patients may still take measures to prevent their onset. This may be done by maintaining general levels of health. Children, who may be more susceptible to cold complications, must have symptoms and possible development of complications observed.

    Learn more about the Common Cold here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Common Cold – Symptoms and Causes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605
    Accessed May 13, 2021

    Common Colds: Overview, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279543/
    Accessed May 13, 2021

    Facts about the Common Cold, https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/influenza/facts-about-the-common-cold
    Accessed May 13, 2021

    Common Colds: Protect yourself and others, https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
    Accessed May 13, 2021

    Common Cold, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000678.htm
    Accessed May 13, 2021


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    Written by Amable Aguiluz Updated Jun 21, 2021
    Fact Checked by Jeans Daquinag, MD
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