Having a cold during the summer season is pretty weird, right? However, it’s more common than you think it is. A lot of people catch a cold during the summer season and suffer because they have to experience the symptoms in the hot weather. No amount of cold drinks, vacations to cooler climates or ice cream can ease the stress of the hot summer months. A summer cold is discomforting and irritating, so it’s important to know more about its causes, symptoms and treatments. If you want to know more about this, keep reading this article!
Summer Cold: What Is this Condition, and What Causes It?
The summer cold, or the common cold, is also known as the viral rhinitis. This ordinary cold is actually among the most common infections people can get. It is mainly an upper respiratory tract infection and can be caused by various virus families. The family of viruses responsible for about 40 percent of colds is known as rhino-virus, and it actually has about 100 distinct virus types.
Since the common cold can be caused by a number of viruses, it has not been possible to create a simple treatment for the condition. The summer cold must not be mistaken for influenza, which might make you even more ill for a longer period of time. Influenza has more severe symptoms and may result in hospitalization or lead to serious health conditions like pneumonia.
If you suddenly catch a cold in summer, it feel exactly like if you caught a cold in the winter. Some people may think that the summer cold is actually other issues, like allergies. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have cold weather to get a cold. The virus which causes common colds may still spread just as easily in hot weather.
Symptoms of Summer Colds
The typical symptoms of the condition are pretty well known among average people and physicians. Just over 50% of patients start by noticing a painful throat, followed by congestion of the nose and sinuses, a runny nose and sneezing. These symptoms are usually accompanied by a cough, hoarseness and fever, which may last longer than the initial signs by a few weeks. However, fevers are quite rare in the common cold.
Some of the less common symptoms of a summer cold include:
- Post-nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Reduced appetite
- Body aches
- Watery eyes
- Stuffy nose
These symptoms may last for a longer period of time if you concurrently develop a viral type of bronchitis. This occurs when the same virus passes the infection to both the inner and upper airways. Aside from bronchitis, the congestion caused by the common cold may create various conditions for other illness, sinusitis being the most common. Patients who have respiratory tract complications, like asthma, may experience more severe symptoms that may last for a month or more.
How Is it Transmitted?
The summer cold, or the common cold, is transmitted through direct contact with infected excretions or contaminated surfaces, or by inhaling the airborne virus after an infected individual coughs or sneezes. A healthy individual who makes direct contact with various secretions may subsequently acquire the infection, often by touching their infected hands to their nose, mouth or eyes.
Treatments for the Summer Cold
Even though it is possible to improve the symptoms of the summer cold through medical therapies, they don’t usually help treat, shorten or prevent the condition. It is advised to keep yourself comfortable by getting as much rest as possible, drinking a lot of fluids and treating all the symptoms. Some of the best treatments for the summer cold include:
- Zinc lozenges: these are beneficial in shortening the duration of the symptoms.
- Antihistamines: these are beneficial in relieving watery eyes or a runny nose
- OTC remedies: these medications contain decongestants, which relieve congestion and stop the secretions. They may also be used to stop the cough, which is triggered by mucus in the throat.
- Inhaling steam: doing this with or without essential oil can help temporarily relieve nasal congestion.
- Warm salt: gargling this may help soothe the throat.
With proper care, attention and treatment, you may be able to get rid of your summer cold with just a snap of a finger!