Nobody ever tends to associate the wonderful summer season with a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and being miserable with the common cold. The thought of winter usually conjures up an image of being down with a cold. So, is it possible to get a cold in the summertime as well? The answer is yes. Indeed it is possible to catch a cold in the summer. The common cold is caused by many different strains of the virus rhinovirus, which is present in the atmosphere at all times. Therefore, regardless of the season, it is possible for you to get a cold even in the summers. Let us see how this happens and how you can cope with it.
Summertime Cold – Yes, it’s Possible
One usually associates summer time with swimming, sunning, and lots of nice outdoor activities. No one tends to associate with the miserable common cold. However, it is quite possible for you to catch a common cold during summertime as well. Most people think that you only catch a cold during winters. Many also mistake a summer cold for issues such as allergies because they simply assume that since it’s not cold outside, hence it cannot possibly be a common cold. Contrary to what most people assume, the weather has no role to play in catching a cold. Catching a cold in the summers is exactly like catching a cold in the winters. After all, the common cold virus, rhinovirus, will still spread and infect people regardless of the weather.
The common cold is basically an upper respiratory infection and it can occur all year round. However, they are more prevalent in the winters, thus causing people to assume that they cannot get a cold in the summer months. The only difference is that different virus strains cause cold in summers and winters.
How to Distinguish Between a Common Cold & Allergies?
Many people assume that they are suffering from allergies instead of a common cold as they believe it’s not possible to catch a cold in the summers. It might be difficult to tell apart a cold from summer allergies. Symptoms of allergies usually include a more watery and runny nose with lots of sneezing, as compared to a common cold. However, by being aware of the common differences between the two, you will be easily able to tell them apart. Here are some of the major differences between a common cold and summer allergies.
- A cold will include other symptoms. While a common cold and allergies share many of the same symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and a sore or itchy throat, a cold tends to include some other symptoms as well. These include having a fever, sweating, and coughing. These symptoms are not common when you have a summer allergy.
- A cold clears up faster than allergies. Allergies tend to last longer. If your symptoms disappear within a week or two, this means you had a summer cold that has run its course. If symptoms last for longer than two weeks and refuse to go away, then you are likely suffering from summer allergies.
- You will experience the onset of symptoms differently. If you have a cold, then you will experience the onset of each symptom separately, at different times. This is different in the case of allergies, as all the symptoms will come on at the same time.
- Symptoms tend to fluctuate. If your symptoms change in severity, then this means that you have a common cold. In the case of a common cold, symptoms will start out as being mild, then worsen, and then again either return to being mild or disappear altogether as the cold runs its course. Allergies, on the other hand, will have consistent and persistent symptoms throughout.
- Nasal discharge is different between the two. If you are suffering from a cold, you will notice that when you blow your nose, the mucus will be thick and greenish to yellowish in color. However, in the case of allergies, mucus will be thinner in consistency and also be translucent in appearance.
- Travelling will bring about a change in symptoms. If you have allergies, you will notice that your symptoms tend to improve or worsen when you travel from one type of region to another. If you have a cold, changing your place will not have any impact on the severity of your symptoms.
How Long Does a Summer Cold Last?
Well, there’s really no difference between a winter cold and a summer cold, and a cold in the summertime will last just about the same time it does in the winters. A common cold generally lasts for around 10 days in total, with a marked improvement in symptoms around the seventh day. As compared to adults, a cold in children tends to resolve much quicker and will be better in about a week’s time. The time period also depends on your overall health, age, genetics, and other factors such as diet, exercising, etc. The better care you take of yourself, the quicker your cold will clear up.
If your cold is continuing for over two weeks, then it is time to go pay a visit to your doctor.
How to Cope with a Summer Cold?
The treatment for a common cold remains the same, whether it is summer or winter. Here are some common cold remedies that can help you recover from a summer cold faster and go back to enjoying summertime activities.
- Opt for an over-the-counter (OTC) nasal decongestant to get relief from a stuffy nose.
- You can also use a saline spray to help keep the mucus loose and irrigate your nose.
- If you have fever and body ache, then taking an OTC pain reliever such as Tylenol will help lower the fever and manage your pain as well.
- Use cough drops or throat lozenges to get relief from a cough and soothe a sore throat.
- Don’t take an antibiotic as colds are caused by a virus and antibiotics have no effect on them.
- Use lukewarm salt water to gargle. This will also soothe a sore throat.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep, giving your body time to heal and recover.
- Avoid strenuous exercise.
- Don’t smoke or consume alcohol – they will only aggravate your symptoms.
- Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated in the summer heat.
- If you don’t get relief within two to three days or you start wheezing, then consult your doctor.
On the other hand, if you are suffering from allergies, then you will find that taking some OTC antihistamine and a prescription nasal spray will provide relief.
While is there is no sure shot way of preventing yourself from catching a cold, regardless of what season it is, you can only try and reduce your chances of getting one by washing your hands, avoiding people who have a cold, getting plenty of rest, and taking good care of yourself and strengthening your immune system. Have a healthy lifestyle and follow a nutritious diet to remain healthy in both summers and winters.
- Fight Common Cold Naturally
- Common Cold Vs Flu: Differences Worth Knowing
- Rhinovirus Infection or Common Cold Virus: How Does it Spread, Symptoms, Treatment
- Can You Catch A Cold When You Already Have One?