Colds can be a nuisance. We feel bad, suffer through achy feelings for a few days, things get better, and we’re back on track. On the other hand, sometimes ‘colds,’ or symptoms that feel like a cold, can mean that something more serious is going on. It’s important to pay attention to what your body is telling you and should new, or different symptoms appear, it’s best to err on the side of caution and visit one of the Emergency Hospital System’s emergency rooms.
In general, the common cold is caused by any one of as many as 200 varieties of viruses, and doctors’ suspect there may be even more. Colds often begin with a scratchy throat along with coughing and wheezing. After a few days of feeling miserable, the cold subsides, and we get back to feeling normal. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea not to ignore a cold as it can indicate or lead to something much more serious.
There are a number of symptoms that might occur along with a cold that could signal to medical professionals that you may have a more serious condition. Some of these symptoms are listed below. As we move into the cold and flu season, if you catch a cold, remember these symptoms. Or, if a cold comes on, stop by one of our emergency rooms to ensure your condition is only a cold and nothing more serious.
See a medical professional at one of these situations arises:
- Your ‘cold’ goes away but keeps coming back. Sometimes this can indicate your immune system has been compromised and your cold has advanced to illnesses such as pneumonia, strep throat, or sinus infections. In these cases, the doctors in the emergency room can make a proper diagnosis and may prescribe antibiotics or other medications.
- Your cold is accompanied by a high fever. Should your cold be accompanied by a temperature of over 101 degrees, you should visit our emergency room. A high fever can be a sign of a strep throat which should be treated as soon as possible. If a strep infection is left untreated, it can lead to rheumatic fever and, even, heart damage.
- Your cold symptoms last more than four days. In many ways, cold symptoms mimic flu symptoms. If you have symptoms for more than four days, you may not have a cold but may have the flu instead. If you do have the flu, you should see a doctor who will prescribe the best approach for relief and recovery.
- You’ve just returned from a foreign country. Occasionally, international travelers will contract non-common illnesses as they travel but not show symptoms until they return home. If you develop a ‘cold’ after returning from a foreign country, you should see a physician who can evaluate your condition. In some cases, he may want to complete diagnostic tests to ensure your ‘cold’ is just a cold.
- Severe headaches accompany your cold. Should you have a severe headache along with a stiff neck and fever, you should see a medical professional immediately. These symptoms may indicate meningitis, a severe condition. On the other hand, should your headache be around your nose or eyes, it may be you have a sinus headache. In any case, a cold accompanied by headaches and fever should be evaluated by a doctor at one of the Emergency Hospital System’s emergency rooms.
Colds can be a nuisance, or they can be precursors of something much more serious. If you have a cold that concerns you, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice from the physicians at the emergency rooms of Emergency Hospital Systems. Our facilities are conveniently located in the Woodlands, Cleveland, Porter, and Deerbrook. We’re open 24/7/365 to see you regarding any medical emergency you may have. Our physicians can evaluate your cold and determine what treatment, if any, is needed. You can be confident we will be there for you when you need us. Our goal is to provide the highest levels of professional and compassionate care. Stop by or call, 281-592-5400.