Colds are so common that it is often difficult to avoid infection. The common cold can be caused by any of a group of viruses or influenza. It is spread by droplets or secretions which contain a virus.
What causes a cold?
You pick up the common cold when infected droplets enter the nose or throat, fingers infected with the secretion come into contact with the mouth or nose. This is why it is important to avoid contact with coughs and sneezes from an infected person.
Colds are caused by viral infections.
A cold usually involves viral infection of the upper respiratory system, including the nose, throat, eyes, and chest. Common symptoms of the cold are sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes. The symptoms are caused by your body’s immune system’s response to the viral infection.
No cure for the common cold.
The common cold is usually a mild illness and lasts only two to six days. While there are certain home remedies for the cold, there is no scientific evidence that any of these actually help cure the common cold. For example, some individuals use Echinacea to treat the common cold.
It is likely that home remedies help treat the symptoms of the cold, as there is no known cure for the common cold.
How to treat a common cold.
Generally, the symptoms of the common cold can be treated with analgesics to relieve aches and pains, warm drinks to sooth a sore throat, and steam or menthol inhalation to relieve a stuffy nose.
A cold may become worse or last longer if a secondary infection occurs in the throat or, chest, or inner ear. Antibiotics do not treat a cold, but may be beneficial in treating secondary infections. If a cold persists or secondary infection begins to manifest it is important to consult a doctor.
Why the body does not build immunity to the common cold.
There is a short period of immunity following a bout with the cold, but it is short lived. Whichever virus has caused your cold does not enter the bloodstream, therefore, the body does not have time to build up an immune response. It is also a problem for the body because there is not one single virus that causes the cold. It may be caused from one of several viruses.
Most people suffer from over 200 colds during a lifetime. Thankfully, as you get older you do not catch a cold quiet as easily reducing your battle against the cold and secondary infections as you age.
Common Cold, Causes and Symptoms, medicinenet.com
Common Cold Symptoms, Mayo Clinic
Understanding Common Cold Basics, WebMD.com