Common cold

Upper respiratory infection - viral; Cold

The common cold most often causes a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms.

Throat anatomy

Structures of the throat include the esophagus, trachea, epiglottis and tonsils.

Cold symptoms

Colds are caused by a virus and can occur year-round. The common cold generally involves a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Other symptoms include sore throat, cough, and headache. A cold usually lasts about 7 days, with perhaps a few lingering symptoms such as a cough for another week.

Antibodies

Antigens are large molecules (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and some non-living substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles. The immune system recognizes antigens and produces antibodies that destroy substances containing antigens.

Cold remedies

Sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, sneezing, runny nose, fever, chills, and muscle aches are all symptoms associated with the common cold. Over-the-counter medicines for a cold only alleviate cold symptoms but do not shorten the duration of a cold. As always, drinking plenty of fluids and rest are most important for recovery from a cold.

Causes

Symptoms

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention