Pediatric Care Specialist

Loudoun Walk In Medical Center

Fuad Alykhan, MD

Internist & Urgent Care located in Ashburn, VA

Children under age six have the highest risk of developing the common cold, due to frequent exposure at schools and daycare facilities. But even healthy adults can come down with the common cold a couple of times each year. As an Internist and Pediatrician, Fuad Alykhan, MD can help all members of your family get back on their feet. If you’re experiencing symptoms of the common cold, come to Loudoun Walk In Medical Center in Ashburn, Virginia, for an exam. The clinic offers flexible office hours for walk-in visits.

Pediatric Care Q & A

What are the symptoms of the common cold?

The common cold is a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract, particularly your nose and throat. While harmless, a cold can certainly leave you stuck in bed for several days while you’re suffering through it.

Some of the warning signs that you may have a cold include:

  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • Cough or congestion
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Low-grade fever

If you have a cold, you might also have widespread body aches or even a mild headache. Some patients start frequently sneezing too, which makes it even easier for the bug to spread.

The common cold is highly contagious. If you’re showing symptoms, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and try to stay home so you don’t get others sick.

Can I prevent the common cold?

While you might not be able to stop every cold dead in its tracks, you can take several measures to lower your risk of getting sick this cold season. Some of the best ways to stay healthy include:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Use antibacterial gels and soaps
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
  • Sanitize common surfaces, including phones and keyboards

If you smoke, you’re not only more likely to catch a cold, you’re more likely to have severe colds than non-smokers, so it might be time to consider quitting.

How is the common cold treated?

There isn’t a cure for the common cold, but Dr. Alykhan can certainly help you manage your symptoms.

Since the common cold stems from viral infections, antibiotics won’t treat your illness. But Dr. Alykhan could order a blood draw to see what’s causing your cold. Antibiotics only work if a bacterial infection caused it, which isn’t normal.

To help manage fevers and body aches, Dr. Alykhan could suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Many patients benefit from decongestant nasal sprays or cough syrups.

The best things you can do when you start coming down with cold symptoms are to start getting plenty of rest and begin drinking lots of clear liquids.

If you’re experiencing cold symptoms, come in for an evaluation at Loudoun Walk In Medical Center and start treatment right away.