The first signs of a cold in an adult

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 16.06.2019

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The collective concept of many respiratory diseases is a cold. Consider its first signs, methods of their treatment and prevention in children and adults.

Most often, cold symptoms occur in the autumn-spring period, when the weather is bad and the body is weak. 

Causes of common cold in adults

Two factors are necessary for the development of the disease - contact with the infection and weakened immunity. The reasons for the latter can be unhealthy diet, emotional overstrain, adverse environmental conditions, bad habits, chronic diseases. Infectious agents in 90% of cases are viruses that are transmitted by airborne droplets.

In some cases, a cold infection goes unnoticed, because of which the patient misses the opportunity to eliminate them at an early stage. During this period, these symptoms occur:

  • Tickling and sore throat.
  • Cough seizures.
  • Tearing.
  • Headaches.
  • Low-grade body temperature.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Increased fatigue.

After 2-3 days, the above symptoms begin to increase and the cold catarrh is delayed for a long period of time. When carried on the feet or cold is cured, there is a risk of complications. This can be otitis, sinusitis, sinusitis, bronchial asthma and more. Therefore, it is very important to timely detect the signs of the disease and their correct treatment.

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First cold symptoms

General and muscular weakness, stuffy nose, headaches, sneezing, sore throat - the first days of a cold occur with such symptoms. They last about 2-3 days, gradually progressing. As the disease state develops, a cough, runny nose, and increased body temperature appear.

To prevent persistent worsening of general well-being and the development of complications, treatment should begin when the first signs of an impending disease appear. To do this, it is necessary to conduct immunotherapy, that is, strengthen the body. Plentiful drink and balanced nutrition, bed rest will be useful.


Sneezing is the first sign of a cold

The unconditioned reflex, aimed at removing their body of the virus, mucus, allergen or other irritant - is sneezing. Most often, this phenomenon indicates a cold infection.

Sneezing occurs due to the penetration of the virus into the body through the nasal passages and irritation of the mucous epithelial cilia. The patient feels itchy in the nose, there is a reflex contraction of the muscles of the nasopharynx and respiratory system and irritation and mucus come out of the nasal cavity under pressure. That is, sneezing can be called a protective mechanism of the body, which prevents further penetration of the virus, eliminating it mechanically.

If this catarrhal symptom occurs very often and causes significant discomfort, then you should wash your nose. For the procedure suitable means such:

  • Solutions based on sea salt.
  • Medicinal infusions.
  • Vegetable and vegetable juices.
  • Warm water.
  • Antiseptic solutions.

The selected agent is instilled into a couple of drops in each nostril, and then thoroughly blown out, removing mucus and irritant in a natural way. Many washing solutions dry the mucous membrane, which is very effective in allergic rhinitis.

During sneezing, you should not cover your nose with your fingers, because of this, the infection will not be brought out, but will fall into the paranasal sinuses of the nasal cavity and ears. It is because of this that the most frequent complications of the common cold arise - sinusitis, otitis. It should be borne in mind that in time for sneezing, bacterial agents, along with saliva, scatter by several meters. Therefore, in order not to infect others, you should cover your mouth with a handkerchief.

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What to do on the first day of a cold?

So, if the cold has nevertheless arrived, then everything must be done to prevent its further development. The first thing that doctors recommend for symptoms of indisposition is proper rest and sleep. Due to this, the body uses more resources of the immune system to combat the problem.

  • Drinking plenty of water will be helpful. For the treatment of suitable warm teas, berry fruit drinks, decoctions of wild rose and black currant. You can drink tea or warm milk with honey, purified water.
  • With regard to nutrition, priority should be given to dairy products, lean meat and chicken broth, vegetables and fruits. From alcohol, fatty, sweet, salty, smoked is better to refuse. In the early days of the disease is not recommended to smoke, because this habit leads to the spread of infection.
  • If you have a sore throat, you can do rinsing and steam inhalation. If nasal breathing is impaired, then washing with isotonic solution will help. Also, do not forget about the regular ventilation of the room and minimal contact with the environment until recovery.

Such simple recommendations allow you to cope with the disease at the first signs.

How to treat the beginning cold?

If you leave a cold without treatment, then it, like any other disease, can lead to various complications. In order for this not to happen, therapy must begin when the first symptoms appear:

  • Increased body temperature.
  • General weakness and lethargy.
  • Nausea.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Headaches.
  • Nasal congestion and sore throat.

The first step is to increase the drinking regime. Warm liquid washes away pathogenic microorganisms from the mucous membranes and accelerates their excretion. Also, drinking plenty of fluids helps prevent dehydration of the body at elevated body temperature and increased perspiration. To speed recovery, drinks and foods with ascorbic acid will be helpful.

An important role is played by bed rest. Because of this, the body can use all its energy potential to fight viruses, and not to perform other processes. A cold on his feet often ends with serious complications.

For the treatment of adults from drugs can take symptomatic action means: Coldrex, Ferwex, Theraflu. To enhance the protective properties of the immune system, interferon-based drugs will be useful: Arbidol, Antigrippin, Kagocel, Cycloferon, Ergoferon. In case of a rhinitis, washing with isotonic solution or vasoconstrictive drops will help: Naphthyzinum, Galazolin, Nazosprey. Paracetamol-based preparations are suitable for reducing body temperature.


How to treat the first cold symptoms?

Treatment of the early stages of a cold should begin with an increase in the defenses of the immune system and further symptomatic therapy. You should not rush to the pharmacy for medication, because the cold can be cured without them.

In the first days of the disease, it is necessary to adhere to bed rest so as not to infect others and not provoke a sharp development of the disease. It is also recommended to use a large amount of warm liquid, vegetable decoctions and infusions.

If there is a sore throat, then rinse with tinctures and decoctions of chamomile, sage, calendula will help. When coughing and stuffy nose, steam inhalations are effective. In the diet should be easily digestible foods.

What to take at the first sign of a cold?

Any disease in the early stages is well treatable. This also applies to colds. The sooner their treatment is started, the lower the risk of developing complications. For both adults and children, therapy should consist of abundant warm drinking, bed rest and a balanced diet.

For headaches, high fever and runny nose, you can use drugs based on Paracetamol. For pain in the throat, topical medications with antiseptic and antimicrobial properties are used: Septefril, Falimint, Sebidine. Rinse with a decoction of sage, coltsfoot, chamomile will be effective.

Also, do not forget about vitamin therapy to strengthen the immune system. If at the first symptoms of discomfort to take ascorbic acid, the duration of the disease will decrease. Vitamin C in combination with retinol affects viruses and bacteria, increases the protective properties of the immune system. Take vitamins should be no longer than 3-5 days.

What should an adult take at the first sign of a cold?

The offseason and the cold season is a period of colds. Most often, the disease state is connected with hypothermia. There is itching and burning in the nose, sore throat, increased tearing, sneezing, coughing. Against this background, a runny nose and headaches quickly appear, the general state of health worsens. It is also possible to increase body temperature to 38 ° C and above.

At the first signs of discomfort, you must adhere to these rules:

  • If possible, do not leave the house, if there is a temperature, it is better to rest in bed. Ventilate the room often and do wet cleaning.
  • Drink more fluids. Juices, compotes, decoctions based on wild rose, chamomile, linden, raspberry, black currant will be useful. Strong tea or coffee is best replaced by warm milk with honey.
  • In the diet should be well digestible food, preferably dairy products, vegetables, fruits, low-fat broths.
  • If your nose is stuffed up, then drops based on saline solutions will help - Aquamaris, Salin. The washing solution can be prepared independently by diluting a tablespoon of salt in a liter of boiled water and adding a few drops of iodine.
  • With pain and sore throat will help warm drink and rinse. For rinsing using antiseptic solutions: Furacilin, Miramistin. You can also use a solution of a teaspoon of salt, iodine and soda in a glass of water.
  • Inhalation with the essential oils of coniferous plants helps to relieve nasal breathing.
  • To enhance the defenses of the immune system, you can take drugs with interferon.

If the disease develops quickly, is accompanied by fever and poor health, then before going to bed you can take Fervex, Pentaflucin, Coldrex, or another combination remedy for symptomatic treatment of the common cold.

First aid for colds

The first thing that doctors recommend when treating respiratory diseases is home / bed rest. This allows you to prevent infection of others and fully implement all further treatment recommendations. The patient should provide plenty of drink and adjust the diet.

For cleansing the nose is better to get drops with isotonic solution, rather than vasoconstrictor agents that are addictive. You can gargle with antiseptic solutions of Miramistin or Furacilin. Steam inhalations with boiled potatoes or essential oils will also help. Before bed, you can take a warm bath with eucalyptus essential oil or make a foot bath with an extract of coniferous plants, mustard.

In most cases, the above recommendations help to overcome the discomfort with its early symptoms. If the disease lasts more than 4 days, accompanied by increased body temperature and a rapid deterioration in general well-being, you should immediately seek medical help. The doctor will prescribe a comprehensive treatment that will quickly eliminate the unpleasant symptoms and the root cause of the common cold.

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Inhalation at the first sign of a cold

One of the popular means for the treatment and prevention of irritation of the mucous membrane of the oropharynx for colds is inhalation. They are carried out with the help of special devices - inhalers, nebulizers. The therapeutic effect is achieved through the penetration of the drug into the inflammatory focus, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract and other organs and systems.

Benefits of inhalation therapy for early cold symptoms:

  • The direct effect on the area is inflammation.
  • The drug is not absorbed into the systemic circulation and does not cause adverse reactions to other organs.
  • The ability to treat patients of all ages.
  • High penetrating power.

For inhalation, you can use these tools:

  1. Essential and natural oils - effectively and gently affect the mucous membrane. May cause allergic reactions, so before using them you should consult with your doctor. Oil concentration should be no more than 5%.
  2. Saline solutions - sodium chloride 0.9% softens and cleanses the mucous membrane of the nose and oropharynx in contact with harmful substances and allergens. The use of 2% hypertonic solution cleanses mucopurulent deposits.
  3. Alkaline solutions - a solution of sodium bicarbonate 2% liquefies sputum and creates an alkaline environment in the focus of inflammation. Inhalation effectively removes mucopurulent discharge from the nasal cavity.
  4. Mucolytics - dilute sputum and contribute to its discharge. Acetylcysteine, Mukomist, Lasolvan, Pulmocort are used for inhalations. The dosage of the drug and the duration of therapy are determined by the doctor.
  5. Bronchodilators - expand the lumen of the bronchi and bronchioles, facilitate breathing and prevent the development of broncho-obstructive syndrome. For the treatment most often used such tools: Atrovent, Berodual, Berotek, Salbutamol.
  6. Anti-inflammatory drugs - reduce the inflammatory process, reduce swelling of the mucous membrane, alleviate the painful condition. When conducting inhalation, you can use the following solutions: Rotokan, Eucalyptus, Propolis, Calendula, Malavit.

Inhalation spend 1-1.5 hours after eating. Within an hour after the procedure it is not recommended to eat, talk, go out. Ready solution should be stored in the refrigerator no more than 24 hours. Before use, the solution is warmed to room temperature.

If you use multiple drugs at the same time, then you need to follow the order. The first to use bronchodilators, then vasospasm, mucolytics and anti-inflammatory. The duration of treatment depends on the severity of the painful symptoms and is 3-7 days.

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What to drink at the first sign of a cold pregnant?

The treatment of colds in pregnant women requires special attention. This is due to the rapid deterioration of general well-being and the progression of painful symptoms. Because of this, there is a risk of complications for both the expectant mother and the baby.

First of all, it is the threat of spontaneous miscarriage or premature birth, inflammatory complications for the woman, exacerbation of chronic diseases, as well as a significant increase in the risk of blood loss during the birth process. The disease is also dangerous for the child: intrauterine growth retardation, oxygen starvation, intrauterine infections.

When the onset of early symptoms of the disease should follow these rules:

  • Ample warm drink and balanced nutrition. Useful natural decoctions and infusions with wild rose and black currant, as they contain a large amount of ascorbic acid, which has a beneficial effect on the state of the immune system. Recommended green tea with lemon, raspberry, honey. In late pregnancy, drinking plenty of fluids will help with edema.
  • For treatment, it is possible to carry out inhalations with eucalyptus essential oil, the vapors of which destroy pathogens and reduce swelling of the mucous membranes. When you sore throat inhalation is best done with soda solution, extract of chamomile, calendula, sage.
  • If a cold occurs with sore throat and sore throat, then rinsing with a solution of salt, soda and iodine, infusions of chamomile, calendula, eucalyptus is indicated. If you have a cold, you should regularly air and moisten the room. For washing the nose, you can use a physiological solution of sodium chloride.

In the course of treatment, it is contraindicated for pregnant women to soar legs and take hot baths, visit baths and saunas, use mustard plaster and any preparations based on licorice root. You should also not abuse honey and raspberries, as this can lead to an increase in uterine tone and the development of allergy in the fetus.

If the above methods did not help and the disease progresses, then after consulting with your doctor, you can use drugs.

  • High temperature - drugs on the basis of paracetamol. Ibuprofen, NSAIDs, Coldrex, Theraflu, Ferwex and other complex-acting agents are banned.
  • Cough and runny nose - in the first case, Mukaltin and Ambroxol will help, and in case of a runny nose Pinosol and Sinupret, the vasoconstrictor drugs are contraindicated.
  • Pain in the throat - solutions for rinsing based on such drugs are suitable for treatment: Chlorhexidine, Lugol, Miramistin, Ingalipt.
  • To improve the protective properties of the immune system, it is recommended to take Ocillococcinum, Viferon, Grippferon.

As for antibiotic therapy, they are not necessary in the early stages of the common cold. If the disease has caused a number of serious complications, then the doctor will decide on the appropriateness of their use. Expectant mothers are allowed macrolides, penicillin and cephalosporin preparations. Tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides and sulfonamides are prohibited.

How to stop the onset of a cold?

Headache, cough, fever and weakness are signs of a cold. A special medication that would eliminate the entire symptom complex does not exist. But there are several proven therapeutic methods that can stop the onset of the pathological process.

  • Chop a couple of cloves of garlic and mix with the same amount of honey. Take 1-2 teaspoons per day, washed down with warm water. The therapeutic effect of garlic is due to the high content of phytoncides in it, that is, natural antibiotics.
  • Tea with lemon and honey. The drink should be at a comfortable temperature so as not to burn the sore throat. Honey has bactericidal properties, envelops the mucous membrane and reduces painful symptoms. Lemon is an antiseptic, it supplies the body with ascorbic acid and normalizes metabolic processes.
  • Raspberry tea - to prepare an antipyretic and diaphoretic drink, pour 100 g of fresh berries, leaves, a couple of spoons of jam or dried fruit with 300 ml of boiling water and let it brew for 20-30 minutes. If desired, strain and take ½ cup 4-5 times a day. Raspberry contains salicylic acid, which is a natural aspirin. Berry increases sweating, accelerates the elimination of toxic substances from the body.
  • Take a liter of fresh milk, add to it 1/3 cup of honey, ½ teaspoon of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg extract. Mix everything thoroughly and put on a slow fire, adding bay leaf and a couple of black allspice to the milk. As soon as the mixture boils, it must be removed from the stove and allowed to stand for 5-10 minutes. The decoction supports the immune system and speeds up the healing process.

The above therapeutic methods are effective when the onset of early symptoms of the disease. But before using them should take into account the presence of contraindications. Honey is forbidden for people with diabetes. Lemon and garlic should be used with caution in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and raspberry is not recommended for hypertensive patients and people with lesions of the cardiovascular system.

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How not to get sick at the first sign of a cold?

One of the features of a cold is that it occurs at any time of the year. In order not to get sick should follow these rules:

  • Avoid cold, drafts and dampness. Dress according to the weather, do not be zealous with cold drinks and air conditioning in the summer.
  • Observe personal hygiene. Wash your hands before each meal and after visiting public places.
  • Ventilate the area regularly and do wet cleaning.
  • Temper the body, keep fit.
  • Take a multivitamin complex and stick to a balanced diet.
  • Rest and get enough sleep, avoid stress.

Very often, the first signs of a cold are associated with a weakened immune system. To improve its protective properties, timely treatment of any diseases, a balanced diet, and vaccination are recommended.

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