“Some of the most common early common cold symptoms include things like a runny or stuffy nose with clear secretions. And you can have green or yellow discoloration, and that doesn’t mean it’s something else, it’s just the body clearing the infection. Most commonly it’s clear. You can also have things like a sore throat, ear pain, headache, sneezing, or a fever. Or remember a fever is a lot more common in children than adults, and it’s usually low grade. Another symptom that we can sometimes see is cervical lymphadenopathy, or basically the lumpy bumpy stuff that’s in our necks. And that’s nothing to worry about. It usually means that the body is just doing its job by killing the infection as the lymph tissue rids the body of the infection.
There are certain times though that you should see a doctor. So remember a common cold usually lasts about two to 10 days. Sometimes it can last up to two weeks, which is a long time to linger. That’s really when you should contact your doctor and figure out if it could be something else. Also if you are immunocompromised, pregnant, at a young or older age, or have a weakened immune system because of a chronic underlying medical condition, those are reasons you should contact your doctor to make sure there’s nothing else that you need to do. What we really want to talk about are other things that can mask the common cold, because so many symptoms overlap. So somebody can have seasonal allergies, but usually they would have more itchy, watery eyes, a lot more sneezing, and it would be environmentally related. Sinusitis or chronic sinus infections and acute sinus infections can also appear like a common cold, but usually that causes more pain and pressure in the sinus area.
And even tooth pain. Throat infections that are bacterial related can also kind of mask common cold, but that usually doesn’t have all the other common cold symptoms, it is typically presenting right in here in your throat. And then don’t forget the other things like influenza and COVID. A lot of those symptoms overlap as well. But the biggest difference is the severity. Usually people with flu or COVID have a higher fever, body aches, chills, and feel a lot sicker. And even with COVID, you can have a loss of taste and / or smell. So if you’re having a hard time telling the difference, make sure that you contact your doctor so you know the best steps to take.”