If you have a tickly throat and a runny nose, you may be coming down with a cold. No need to panic. Two to four infections a year is quite normal for adults. In children it is a different matter. Generally speaking, it is normal for children to have a cold, rhinitis, hoarseness or blocked nose up to eight times a year. Viruses are in peak season in autumn and winter in particular, and this is when there is the greatest risk of infection. Dry air from central heating, overcrowded public transport, sick children and colleagues – hardly anyone is immune to a cold with rhinitis. Even in summer you are not safe if there are viruses doing the rounds. The term “summer flu” or “flu infection” is often used to refer to a harm-less common cold. A “real” flu (influenza) is no laughing matter and you should always see a doctor if you suffer from it.
As the symptoms are similar, colds and flues are often confused. Unlike a flu, which usually comes on suddenly and severely, sometimes with a high tempera-ture, a cold tends to come on gradually. A “real” flu is, however, just as infec-tious as a cold. For some people a flu can pose a risk as it weakens the immune system considerably, and a flu can lead to infections of the lungs, heart muscle or brain or bronchitis. This poses a particular threat to the elderly, pregnant women or individuals with chronic diseases. If there are no complications, most of those affected stop running a temperature after a few days to one week. The cough, rhinitis and sense of weakness may persist for longer.
A cold is brought on by various viruses, of which there are now some 200 different types. As the viruses are transmitted by droplets, a second infection can follow on the heels of the first. Antibiotics do not help, however, and are only prescribed if there is an additional bacterial infection. This makes it difficult to estimate the time it will take for a cold with rhinitis to clear. Sometimes the itchy throat, the rhinitis and hoarseness are gone within only a few days, and sometimes they can persist for longer.
Colds are highly infectious. Not just from the time you actually have a cold and rhinitis, but probably before there are any symptoms. That is why it is extremely important to wash your hands properly. Whenever possible, if you need to sneeze, because of the droplet infection, do so into your elbow or use a tissue. Sneezing without covering your mouth or covering your mouth with your hand means that people near you are at great risk of infection. Assume that a cold is infectious for at least a week. If there is no improve-ment after seven days or if you develop a high temperature, it is essential that you seek medical advice from your doctor.
Inhalation therapy with PARI inhalation devices can help you prevent colds and ease symptoms. Nebulisation with our saline inhalation solutions is a perfectly natural way to clear and moisten your airways. Ideally, clear dirt, germs and pollens out of your nose on a daily basis with nasal douche and salt solution.
It is not only parents who are increasingly discovering inhalation therapy of isotonic inhalation solutions to prevent their children from catching a cold. As experts for inhalation, we have a wide product portfolio with products that are also suitable for colds and rhinitis, such as inhalation therapy with PARI inhalation devices.
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