Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is a Head Cold & How Long Does it Last?

Head cold is nothing, but a common cold with the symptoms being more focused in and around the facial and head region; hence the name head cold. Head cold is characterized by inflammation in sinuses and ears with symptoms such as earache, temporary deafness and sinus headaches. A head cold often lasts between 7 to 10 days. The symptoms of the head cold can be managed at home without the need for medical attention.

What is a Head Cold?

What are the Causes of Head Cold?

The viruses which cause a common cold are responsible for causing head colds too. However, in a head cold, the symptoms are more intense in the sinuses, face and head.
The cold virus can be present on surfaces such as table tops, door handles and in the air in droplets where the patient can contract the virus of the head cold. After the appearance of the symptoms, you can differentiate whether you have a common cold or a head cold.

What are the Symptoms of Head Cold?

In a head cold, the nose and sinuses are primarily affected by the cold virus. The pattern of the head cold is the same as a normal cold, the difference being that the symptoms of head cold are more pronounced in the face and head region. The symptoms of head cold last for a week to 10 days and rarely there are any complications from head cold. There is increased risk of ear infections and sinusitis in patients suffering from a head cold though.

Other symptoms of head cold consist of headache, cough, sore throat, pain around the area of eyes, nose and head; pain in the ear and tiredness.

How to Treat a Head Cold?

There is no exact cure for head cold. The aim of treatment for head cold is to manage and alleviate its symptoms.

Rest & Fluids: It is also important to take plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids when suffering from a head cold.

Decongestants: As the head cold is more focused in the area of the sinuses and head, there is inflammation and congestion in the sinuses and the nose. So, treatment consists of nasal sprays which will help relieving a blocked nose.

Painkillers: Painkillers can be taken if the patient is suffering from a headache.

Echinacea: An Echinacea extract helps in treating the symptoms of a head cold. The Echinacea extract has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, which help in relieving the head cold symptoms. Echinacea also benefits the immune system. Alternatively, patient can also use Echinacea drops or tablets to relieve head cold symptoms. Echinacea combined with sage helps in relieving the sore throat.

Paracetamol: If the head cold is accompanied with fever and a sore throat then paracetamol can be taken.

Humidifier: A humidifier or a vaporizer can be used to ease the congestion in the nose and sinuses.

Gargling: If the head cold is accompanied with a sore throat, then gargling with warm saline water and sucking on lozenges helps. Drinking hot tea and soups also help in relieving the symptoms of head cold.

Does a Head Cold need Medical Attention?

Most of the times, a head cold does not need medical attention and it resolves with home care such as using decongestants, analgesics and antipyretics. However, if there is any development of complications from the head cold, such as worsening of asthma or sinusitis, then it becomes imperative to consult your doctor for treatment.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 5, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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