Cold And Respiratory Infection


Common cold or upper respiratory infection refers to a viral infection affecting the nose and throat.

  • Several viruses can cause colds but rhinoviruses are the most common culprit.
  • Most people experience symptoms for an average of 7-10 days, though it may be longer in at-risk individuals such as smokers.
  • Symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure to the cold virus and may include a general sense of not feeling well as well as fever, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, body aches, or a mild headache, Sneezing, etc.
  • Risk factors include children less than six years of age, smoking including secondhand smoking, fall and winter, exposure to others with cold, and a weakened immune system such as during stress.
  • Complications of the common cold may include ear infections, sinusitis, asthma, and secondary infections such as pneumonia, strep throat, etc.


Environment/Lifestyle/ Diet

  • Eat foods rich in vitamin C (fruits and vegetables) and zinc (meat, nuts, cereals, seafood, and pumpkin seeds).
  • Eliminate all simple sugars
  • Do not smoke or get exposed to smoke
  • Keep active but do not overstrain
  • Avoid those with colds if possible
  • Reduce stress
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Consider a yearly influenza vaccine if at risk


  • Most over the counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestants may be used but have potential side effects.
  • Nasal ipratropium 0.03% for nasal congestion, 2 sprays in each nostril 2-3 times daily.

Other Diagnosis & Treatment Considerations

  • Moist air such as using a vaporizer and consider adding 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to the water, and inhale deeply for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Nasal irrigation with normal or hypertonic saline with a bulb syringe, nasal spray, or neti pot twice a day.
  • Supplements such as vitamin C, Zinc, Astragalus, etc. may be helpful.


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Carolina Integrative Clinic
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Fax: (919) 301-9349
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