Why is my cold lasting so long?

The average cold lasts about three days to two weeks, so if your cough isn't going away, it could be because the cold medicine isn't cutting it. COVID-19, allergies, pneumonia, sinus infections and acute bronchitis can last for weeks—or sometimes months— rather than days.

Why is my cold lasting longer than usual?

If your cold lasts much longer than two weeks or keeps coming back, allergies, sinusitis, or some other secondary infection may be the culprit. "Fever is an important sign," says Norman Edelman, MD, senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association.

How long is too long for a cold?

If you or your child has a cold, there's usually no need to see your GP as it should clear within a week or two. You only really need to contact your GP if: your symptoms persist for more than three weeks. your symptoms get suddenly worse.

What does it mean if a cold doesn't go away?

Your cold has become a sinus infection

If your cold symptoms haven't cleared up after 10 days, but instead persist without improvement, your cold may have morphed into a sinus infection. Sinus infections happen when fluid builds up in the air-filled pockets in the face (sinuses), which allows germs to grow.

Whats the longest a cold should last?

The common cold often follows a timeline and can last up to 3 weeks. Symptoms can take 1 to 3 days to develop, peak at 1 to 3 days, and last up to 10 days. Colds usually go away on their own, so you don't need to see a healthcare provider. But over-the-counter (OTC) products can help with your symptoms.

How to tell the flu from a cold

How do you get rid of a lingering cold?

Cold remedies that work
  1. Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. ...
  2. Rest. Your body needs rest to heal.
  3. Soothe a sore throat. ...
  4. Combat stuffiness. ...
  5. Relieve pain. ...
  6. Sip warm liquids. ...
  7. Try honey. ...
  8. Add moisture to the air.

How do you know if a cold is viral or bacterial?

You may have developed a bacterial infection if:
  1. symptoms last longer than 10 to 14 days.
  2. symptoms continue to get worse rather than improve over several days.
  3. you have a higher fever than normally observed with a cold.

Why is my cold not improving?

The average cold lasts about three days to two weeks, so if your cough isn't going away, it could be because the cold medicine isn't cutting it. COVID-19, allergies, pneumonia, sinus infections and acute bronchitis can last for weeks—or sometimes months— rather than days.

Why is my cold getting worse not better?

If your symptoms don't improve or they start to get worse, let your doctor know. You might have a bacterial infection that needs treatment with an antibiotic. Fight cold and flu symptoms all year round with Amazon Basic Care. Save your tissues — shop popular products to calm your cough and congestion.

Why are colds so hard to get rid of?

There are at least 200 different viruses that can cause the common cold. That's why it's so difficult to develop common cold treatments. A medication or vaccine that works against one virus might not have any effect on another virus.

How long should you let a cold go before seeing a doctor?

“If you are reaching the 10-day mark of a cold and are not feeling any better, you should see your doctor,” says Christine Kirlew, M.D., an internal medicine physician at Piedmont. “Most cold viruses last seven to 10 days, so if it lasts longer than that, it could be a bacterial infection and require antibiotics.”

What are the 5 stages of cold?

The stages of a cold include the incubation period, appearance of symptoms, remission, and recovery.

How is RSV different from a cold?

RSV can infect anyone, but is most dangerous in infants and the elderly. Its symptoms are similar to those of the common cold. They tend to run their course with only mild intensity in adults and older children. In infants and elderly, symptoms tend to be more severe, and can include fevers and wheezing.

When should I be worried about a cold?

For adults — generally, you don't need medical attention for a common cold. However, seek medical attention if you have: Symptoms that worsen or fail to improve. Fever greater than 101.3 F (38.5 C) lasting more than three days.

How do you tell if you have a cold or a sinus infection?

Clear, watery mucus is usually a sign of a cold. A sinus will often cause mucus to become thick and green or yellow in color. If you experience nasal discharge that is colored and have a difficult time blowing your nose, you may have a sinus infection.

Can a cold turn into something more serious?

Though a bacterial infection can cause pneumonia, it more often results from another viral infection, such as a cold or flu. Pneumonia's symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, vomiting and diarrhea. It can become severe and lead to lung abscess or respiratory failure.

What foods make colds worse?

4 Foods That Will Make Your Cold Or Flu Worse In An Hour
  • Soda, juice, and other sugary stuff. magdalena kucov/shutterstock. ...
  • Dairy. xefstock/getty images. ...
  • Alcohol. leslie thomson/getty images. ...
  • Refined carbs. Jamie Grill/getty images.

How do you know if it's more than a cold?

It might be more than a cold if you're experiencing some of these common symptoms:
  • A fever above 101 degrees. ...
  • Severe body and muscle aches. ...
  • Constant headaches or migraines. ...
  • Extreme fatigue, weakness and exhaustion. ...
  • Chest discomfort or a severe cough.

What happens on day 4 of a cold?

Day 4: Mucus may turn yellow or green (this is normal). Sore throat improves, but coughing begins. Days 5-7: Energy and congestion improve. 1 week+: Cough usually tapers off after a week, but can take up to 3-6 weeks to fully resolve.

Why is my cold getting worse after a week?

If symptoms get worse, rather than better, after 3-7 days, you may have acquired a bacterial infection. These symptoms can also be caused by a cold virus other than a rhinovirus.

Does taking cold medicine prolong a cold?

But evidence that using drugs to reduce the fever prolongs flu or a cold is much less conclusive. Virtually every alternative and conventional medicine (with the exception of anti-virals for flu) appears to have no significant impact on a cold's duration.

Can a cold turn into pneumonia?

If left undiagnosed or untreated, a common cold can develop into something more severe, like pneumonia.

How do doctors test for cold?

No lab tests exist to diagnose colds—a quick physical exam or self-check is usually all that's needed—but there are several available to test for flu, including rapid tests that can be done in a clinic.

Will a bacterial cold go away by itself?

Even without antibiotics, most people can fight off a bacterial infection, especially if symptoms are mild. About 70 percent of the time, symptoms of acute bacterial sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.

How do I know if I need antibiotics?

Testing. A lab test is the only ironclad way to determine if you truly need an antibiotic. A physician can collect a sample of bodily gunk (whatever you can cough up or blow out of your nose) or take a throat swab. In general, a culture, in which bacteria are grown in the lab and tested, can take a day or two.