When to come in for a cold

ColdIt’s called the common cold for a reason. We usually get one every year, even multiple times a year. Children are like magnets for a cold virus and average 6-10 a year. Most colds will go away on their own within a couple of weeks but they can take a turn for the worse and require some extra attention. Here’s what to look for when determining if an office visit is needed:

  • Symptoms last longer than 2 weeks and keep getting worse instead of better or keep coming back again and again. Congestion and a headache that won’t go away could be signs that your cold has morphed into a sinus infection. A cough that won’t go away could indicate a more serious condition like asthma, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), bronchitis, or whooping cough.
  • Your fever won’t go away. For adults this is a temperature above 100.5. For children, a temperature over 103. Infants under 3 months should see a doctor for any fever over 100.
  • If you have trouble breathing or have chest pains, seek treatment right away. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or faint or have a severe headache that is unusual, make an appointment right away.
  • When it hurts so bad to swallow that it’s considered severe. This is a common sign of an infection.
  • Persistent or severe vomiting is keeping you from keeping fluids down. This will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • Simply moving becomes difficult due to weakness and severe aches. Your cold is more likely an evil flu.
  • Anyone with chronic conditions like kidney disorders, diabetes, heart disease, or hypothyroidism should be seen at the onset of cold symptoms to avoid possible complications with their chronic condition.

If you fall under these categories, call the office right away to schedule a sick visit. More than likely, Kathy or April will be able to see you same day or next day and can help determine the best course of action to get you back on your feet.