Common cold , also known simply as a cold , is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose .The throat , sinuses , and voice box may also be affected.
Causes — The most commonly implicated virus is a rhinovirus
- Insufficient sleep
Transmission — The common cold virus is typically transmitted via airborne droplets (aerosols), direct contact with infected nasal secretions, or fomites (contaminated objects).
Hand-to-hand and hand-to-surface-to-hand contact seems of more importance than transmission via aerosols
Symptoms –The typical symptoms of a cold include
- Cough ,
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Sometimes accompanied by muscle ache, fatigue
- Headache , and
- Loss of appetite .
- The color of the sputum or nasal secretion may vary from clear to yellow to green
A cold usually begins with fatigue, a feeling of being chilled, sneezing, and a headache, followed in a couple of days by a runny nose and cough. Symptoms may begin within sixteen hours of exposureand typically peak two to four days after onset.They usually resolve in seven to ten days, but some can last for up to three weeks.
Prevention — hand washing , face masks;Zincsupplements may help to reduce the prevalence of colds. Vitamin Csupplements do not reduce the risk or severity, though they may reduce its duration. Gargling with water useful.
Management and treatment — Management of cold includes
- Getting plenty of rest,
- Drinking fluids to maintain hydration, and
- Gargling with warm salt water.
In allopathic there is symptomatic treatment for muscle pain, fever, nasal congestion cough, etc. antibiotics cannot work in viral infection.
The common cold is generally mild and self-limiting with most symptoms generally improving in a week. Secondary bacterial infections may occur resulting in sinusitis, pharyngitis, or an ear infection.
Homoeopathic treatment — There is so many medicines which are very effective in cold according to their causes, symptoms and it differs from person to person according to their individuality. Homoeopathic physician must be consulted for proper treatment of cold and to regain your immunity level faster.
- Lycopodium has complete stoppage of the nose night and day, with some discharge, which may be excoriating. Dryness posteriorly and discharge anteriorly is also characteristic of Lycopodium.
- Arum triphyllum — Under Arum all the secretions are acrid, and there is a discharge if ichorous fluid from the nose; the nostrils and lips are sore. There may be a discharge from both nose and eyes which is yellow and acrid. There is thirst, but drinking causes pain. The nostrils are sore, and there is constant desire to bore the finger into the nose. The nose may be completely stopped up, and at the same time there is a fluent acrid discharge. Drowsiness and an inclination to sneeze accompany.
- Euphrasia — . Like Allium cepa it has a copious, fluent discharge from nose, and copious lachrymation, the latter being most acrid, excoriating the cheeks, and being so profuse as to keep them wet all the time. The character of the discharge, from the eyes excoriating, from the nose bland. Euphrasia is often well indicated in the coryza which precede measles, when there is acoughwhich sounds decidedly measly. Eruptions on the wings of the nose.
- Allium cepa — . The discharge is profuse, thin and acrid, with great smarting in the nose and eyes, profuse lachrymation which here is bland, while the opposite condition obtains in the nose, acrid nasal discharge. Under Allium the edges of the eyelids burn and the eyes are red and sensitive to light. The nasal discharge is thin and flows constantly, excoriates the upper lip, and there is prolonged sneezing. A peculiarity of Allium is that the discharge ceases when the patient goes into the open air, but returns when entering a warm room again. It is a drug which should be given early, and if there be a splitting laryngeal cough, causing the patient to wince and crouch with pain, it is all the more indicated.
- Arsenicum — is especially useful in winter colds where there is a thin, watery discharge from the nostrils which excoriates the upper lip, yet in spite of this fluent discharge the nose feels stopped up. There is a dull, throbbing frontal headache and sneezing, photophobia, and contrary to what one would expect, the sneezing does not relieve in the slightest and the irritation continues as before and is worse on going into air. Arsenic iodide may be found indicated when burning in nose and throat is marked.. The cold of Arsenic always settles in the nose, that of Phosphorus in the chest. The Arsenic patient is chilly and wants to be near the fire all the time; the nose burns both externally and internally.
- In Belladonna there is more cerebral excitement and swelling in the throat is a prominent symptom. China has headache with pains, worse in open air, not better, as in Aconite. Ferrum phosphoricum is very similar to Aconite and may be used when the onset is less sudden and violent and when there is no anxiety and restlessness.
- Aconite — When the attack comes on suddenly after an exposure to a cold, dry wind, with chilliness, followed by fever, Aconite will be the remedy. It should be administered just as soon as the patient realizes that he is taking cold. There is as yet no discharge, but from the congestion the nose is swollen, hot, and dry and stopped up, and this stoppage is apt to change from side to side; there is tingling and burning in the nose and a throbbing frontal headache; there may be sneezing also. These symptoms are all better in the open air.
- Gelsemium — In the early stages of cold in the head. Fullness of the head, hot fever and chilliness with a watery, excoriating, or bland discharge from the nose and sneezing. Colds brought on by warm weather especially useful in spring and summer weather.
- Nux vomica — The first stage of ordinary cold in the head may be met by Nux vomica, when it is brought on by damp, cold weather, or from sitting on damp, cold steps; associated with sneezing and stuffed up feeling in the nose. The nose is dry, there is very little discharge, the eyes water, and there is scraping in the throat, and dullness and oppression about the front sinuses; it should be given as soon as dryness and tickling in the nose begins; the nasal passages are alternately free and obstructed. These symptoms are worse in a warm room and better in the open air. It is of little use after the cold is established. Another symptom indicating Nux is a fluent coryza during the day and a stuffed up sensation at night.
- Mercurius — There is a profuse coryza which extends to the frontal sinuses, burning in eyes and nose, acrid discharge, violent sneezing, and tendency to perspiration which aggravates.. Kali iodatum has great distress in frontal region, worse at 3 A.M. Mercurius is especially aggravated in damp weather and the coryza is worse by heat of stove room; nose is sore; wiping nose is painful. The Mercury discharge is thin mucus, not thick as in Pulsatilla,
- Pulsatilla — It is more indicated in an advanced stage of cold in the head, what is known as a ripe-cold, hence it should not be given at the beginning of a cold, for it is never indicated. There is no sneezing or excoriating discharge with Pulsatilla. The discharge is thick, yellow, muco-purulent, and, above all bland, but the keynote of this remedy is a sensation of wetness in the nose.. This remedy alone will cure more sinusites than any remedy because it is more often indicated. Thick, yellow, tenacious mucus in posterior nares, more distinctly yellow than Kali bichromicum and profuse.. Drosera suits the last of colds with a cough coming on by fits.
- Kali iodatum — Thin, excoriating and very profuse, scalding discharges from the nose and coryza, which involve the frontal sinuses and antra; with profuse, watery discharges, call for this remedy. The eyes smart, lachrymate and become puffed. The throat is irritated and the nose is apt to be red.
- Kali bichromicum. Discharge tough and stringy, sometimes extending to throat, causing choking. It often follows Aconite well, catarrhs involving whole respiratory tract. It is a frequently indicated remedy in chronic nasal catarrh, hypertrophic rhinitis, first fluent acrid coryza relieved by warmth, then tough, stringy, discharge; wants to blow nose; no discharge; feeling of dryness in nose.
- Dulcamara — Dry coryza renewed by slightest exposure, worse after getting wet, in the open air and at night. It suits especially phlegmatic constitutions, those who take cold when the weather changes to a lower temperature, and so it becomes of great use in nasal catarrhs and influenzas of autumn. Colds which come on from change of weather and gradually involve the whole respiratory tract may indicate Dulcamara. “Cold sores” may accompany the colds