The common cold is one of the most ‘common’ kinds of conditions you can likely suffer from. If symptoms get worse you may have to get treatment from the doctor and it can become a long road to recovery. However treating colds does not have to be very difficult. Most people who suffer from this condition have some common symptoms with which you can identify if there is something which needs your immediate attention.

Now in this article, I want to specifically talk about what are the treatment options for a cold and how does it actually differ from a flu.

This will help you to analyze the condition and create a treatment process which is prone to provide you with results. You can identify the disease, do a proper diagnosis and make sure you follow a healthy diet and calculate the risks to understand how to combat this condition.

All of this will be looked into this article.

So let’s begin:

How is a Cold Different from Flu?

understand difference between cold and congestion

While the common cold and the flu tend to look very similar to one another as they have quite the same symptoms, but that is pretty much where the similarities reside. They are both respiratory illnesses. And both the viruses consist of same kind of side effects too. The kind of symptoms which are common in both kinds of illnesses include:

  • Having a runny nose
  • Sneezing frequently
  • Body Aches which come and go
  • General Fatigue which just won’t go away

However the difference that arises is that flu symptoms are actually more severe as compared to the symptoms you suffer with a cold. Also cold is something which causes major health conditions and can lead to even severe complications.

So how do you know whether your symptoms are depicting a cold or flu?

There are no ways to determine the same at home. You need to go to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

So now that I have given you a better picture of determining how does a cold differ from a flu. Let’s now look into the specifics of what makes up for the symptoms of a cold.

Cold Symptoms

Cold is a condition which takes a little time to appear, usually a couple of days. The symptoms won’t all appear altogether and suddenly. The cold symptoms look like the following:

  • congestion can happen
  • you will feel there is sinus pressure
  • runny nose will become common
  • stuffy nose can also take place
  • if the condition is too severe, you will also lose your sense of smell or taste
  • sneezing frequently can happen
  • there is watery nasal secretions
  • there are also some head symptoms that take place, including a headache
  • you will be coughing more frequently
  • swollen lymph nodes can take place
  • the whole body will be going through a few symptoms as well. These will be including feeling a general tiredness, having chills all over the body.
  • suffering from low-grade fever can happen
  • you will feel a slight chest discomfort too

So these are basically all suggesting how your cold is actually different than a flu. Now let’s talk about the duration of your cold.

How Long Does My Cold Last?

a cold can last for 10days

When it comes to how long does a common cold last, there is no one answer. It is actually a viral infection. And when it comes to viruses, they will have to run their course. You cannot really treat it with any antibiotics. When you talk about getting treatment, it actually relates to  getting treatment for the symptoms, but you cannot actually treat the infection itself. You will have to let it pass through the system for completion.

It usually stays on for 10days or so. And depending on your own condition and health, the symptoms and the severity will change.

If the symptoms do not disappear in 10 days then that means you will have to get a proper checkup from the doctor to determine whether it is some viral infection or pointing towards a serious illness.

Now let’s get into some interesting stuff. What to eat when I’m sick? Your diet can also matter and make a difference.

Foods to Eat when Treating Colds

When you are feeling sick, you will definitely not feel like eating. But then there are quite a few types which you should be consuming as they provide you energy. The following foods are really helpful when trying to recover and regain energy.  These include:

Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the age-old remedy. And it actually works great. This treatment works well not just for adults but also kids. The warm liquids are known to clear your sinuses. These help you to breathe well. You will also notice that there is salt in the soup which can actually irritate your throat so best is to consume as much of this liquid as you can. It has no side effects and will only help you to feel better with time.

Hot Tea

Warm drinks are sometimes the best remedy for your cold. You will feel extremely irritated but when you consume tea on a regular basis, it will make you feel even more better.  Add a little honey to it and you can fight against chronic cough. If you add a little ginger into it, you will also be able to control inflammation and it eases the congestion also.

But remember caffeine can actually have disastrous impact on your teeth. So it is best you don’t consume this drink at all.


This is what we call the healthy bacteria. It helps to give a major boost to your gut health. When looking into your gut health, you should look at how yogurt actually helps in combating these conditions. Yes this is also very good when you are treating a cold. You should be consuming yogurt often if you want a good and stable health.


You may be surprised to see this on the list but popsicles actually really help when trying to ease the pain you are feeling due to a sore throat. You should look into options where you can take on popsicles which come at the healthy side i.e. these are made up of natural juices, fruits and also yogurt.

What it all comes down to is that you should keep yourself hydrated. Whether it is by consuming hot tea or consuming popsicles. The most important thing is that you should keep yourself hydrated.

Now I want to look into into some of the best ways in which treating colds becomes accessible and effective.

Treating Colds for Adults

cold treatment in adults

When looking into ways in which you should be treating colds in an adult, you should make sure it is falling into two main groups:

Over the counter medicines

This will include different kinds of medicines which help to make your situation better. It includes decongestants, as well as different pain relievers. When talking about common cold, you can make use of either one of these medications or try to use a combination of them to get relieve.

Home Remedies

We have already talked about how home remedies can make a difference. This includes making use of gargling with saltwater. You should also be taking in plenty of rest and ensure you are hydrated properly.

There are also some herbs that you can make use of which will be effective in controlling the symptoms. If nothing else, they are effective in making the symptoms even less severe. For those who have certain medical conditions and complications, they should be speaking to their doctor before getting the proper treatment of the same.

Now let’s look into the cold remedies that work for children.

Treating Colds for Children

cold treatment in children

When it comes to combating the symptoms of a cold in a child, it is best that you don’t make use of cold medicines. They have more of side effects and can be extremely problematic in children, giving arise to complications as well.

So to ease the child’s cold symptoms, you should be looking into the following home remedies:


You should be taking in plenty of rest. A child with a cold would be highly cranky anyway. Also they have less energy so it is best that they stay at home and rest till the issue is cleared.


It is very important that your child get plenty of fluids while suffering from a cold. This condition can make you dehydrated quickly. So make sure you are drinking plenty of water as it will also help to keep energy level intact.

Salt Gargles

While it may be hard to do so in a child, you should aim to make your child gargle with warm water. It will instantly make them feel better. Also saline nasal sprays work great. They keep the nasal congestion area clear, allowing you to sleep better.

Warm Baths

Nothing will make you feel better than taking on a warm bath. It is the same for your child. Allow them to soak in the warm water, and they will too feel relaxed and calm. You need that so the recovery time actually shortens.


In this article we talked about how cold differs from a flu. We also looked into ways in which treating colds becomes accessible and provides quick results. This includes adapting certain home remedies and eating certain foods which are known to provide instant relief. We also looked into the symptoms of a cold and identified the cold remedies for a child and how they differ from an adult.