COMMON COLD (RHINITIS)

Definition:
Acute inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, generally caused by viruses, resulting in swelling which makes it difficult or impossible to breathe through the nose.

Causes / trigger:
Viruses transmitted via droplet infection or indirect contact (handkerchiefs, shaking hands, etc.). In the course of the illness a secondary bacterial infection may occur.

Symptoms / signs / effects:

  • Itchy nose, sneezing, nose feeling sore or obstructed, burning feeling in the nose
  • Nose becoming increasingly blocked, culminating in a watery secretion from the nose
  • "Red nose" and watering eyes
  • With a bacterial infection: a green-yellow tinge to the mucus from the nose (which is now thicker and contains pus)

Diagnosis:

  • Investigation of the patient's previous history and examination of the nose and pharynx.

Treatment:

  • Medication designed to reduce the swelling of the mucous membrane
  • Inhalation of NaCl, brine
  • Nasal solutions
  • Patients should take in plenty of fluids to make sure mucus remains watery
  • With a bacterial secondary infection administration of antibiotics