Common Cold

Sapna Singh, MD -  - Primary Care Physician

Hackensack Primary Care

Sapna Singh, MD

Primary Care Physician located in Hackensack, NJ

The symptoms of the common cold affect millions of adults in the United States every year. You can’t stop coughing and find it hard to sleep because of a stuffy nose. At Hackensack Primary Care in Hackensack, New Jersey, Dr. Sapna Singh can properly diagnose a cold and ensure you don’t have a more serious condition. She also helps you manage your symptoms, so you can go about your day and get a good night’s sleep. To learn more about treating the symptoms of the common cold, schedule an appointment online or by phone.

Common Cold Q & A

What are the symptoms of a common cold?

A common cold is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract. It is the result of a rhinovirus that spreads through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The virus enters through your eyes, nose, or mouth, and can spread from hand-to-hand contact with an infected person or virus-contaminated objects.

It is usually a harmless condition that resolves within a few days. Adults can have 3-4 colds each year without any complications.

Common cold symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild body aches
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Throughout your cold, you may experience persistent fatigue. Nasal discharge may become thicker and change from clear to green. This indicates the cold is running its course and doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infection.

When should I see a doctor?

In most cases, you can rest at home and drink plenty of fluids while your cold works its way through your system. However, if your medical conditions are compromising your health or your immune system, you should seek Dr. Singh’s advice for properly treating your symptoms.

Schedule an appointment at Hackensack Primary Care if you experience a change in your cold symptoms that include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever greater than 101.3° F
  • Fever lasting more than five days
  • Severe pain in the head or throat

The common cold can cause other medical complications, such as strep throat, pneumonia, ear and sinus infections.

What treatment options are available for the common cold?

Dr. Singh can diagnose the common cold by your symptoms. If she suspects you have an advanced infection in the ears, sinuses, or chest, she may order diagnostic tests.

There is no treatment for a viral cold and antibiotics are only effective on bacterial infections. In most cases, Dr. Singh suggests plenty of rest and fluids to restore your energy. To alleviate symptoms, she may recommend over-the-counter cold medicines including pain relievers, cough suppressants, and nasal decongestants.

You can also gargle with saltwater to relieve a sore or scratchy throat. For severe nasal congestion, Dr. Singh may recommend saline nose drops.

Schedule a consultation online to find out more about treating the common cold or call the Hackensack Primary Care office directly.