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When should I talk to my doctor about my cold?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
A cold will usually go away on its own in about a week, but if your symptoms last for more than 10 days, you run a fever of 100.4°F or higher, or your symptoms are not relieved by over-the-counter medications, see your doctor. Complications of the common cold can include sinus infection, ear infection, strep throat, bronchitis, and even pneumonia. People with asthma, compromised immune systems, or other chronic conditions should be especially careful in monitoring their health and seeing a doctor if the cold appears to be severe.
Call your doctor about your cold when you feel you’re getting worse instead of better. Your symptoms should improve after a week or so. If you develop a fever (102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), shortness of breath, chest pain, a cough that produces phlegm, severe sinus pain, extremely swollen glands, ear pain, vomiting or any other symptom that causes you concern, you should see your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.