How Long Does a Cold Last?

You can easily get a cold, especially when you are exposed to a virus. But how long does a cold last? Know everything related to colds here.

how long does a cold last

How long does a cold last?

Anyone can have a cold. It can be a baby or an old man. Considering this, a lot of people think this condition is most common. Not only is this ailment common with people of different ages, but you can also get it easily. What’s worse is that you cannot avoid it. What you can do, however, is treat it and prevent it from happening.

Learn more about colds below.


Although colds are very common, it does not mean that it will not have symptoms. You need to take note that some of the signs do not last for a long time. Some might appear for a few days, and the remaining days will have a different set of symptoms. If you are lucky, you will not even experience any of the symptoms at all. Below are the possible symptoms of colds:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Itching throat, nose, face, and eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion

Possible Causes

Of course, you will not have a cold if there were no causes. The important thing that you should know is that one virus will not be enough to give you cold. In fact, you need more than 200 viruses for you to have this ailment.

Also, you should not rely on the popular myth that colds are from the weather. Even if a cold temperature can spread more germs, take note that the weather is not responsible for your condition. So you do not need to be afraid of cold weather. It’s the viruses that you should stay away from.

How long will it last?

Research shows that colds can last for 7 to 10 days. In worse cases, it can go on up to 2 weeks. Symptoms occur two to three days after you have caught a cold. Experts believe that this period is the incubation period. All sicknesses have this period, but the duration will vary depending on the disease, cause, and severity.

There are instances wherein the cold is contagious. Most of the time, you can spread the condition when you cough or sneeze. There is also a chance for you to spread it through your saliva or mucus. To prevent the spreading of cold, you should remember that the most contagious period is after 4 days since you got the condition. You can still infect some people after 3 weeks so be sure that you are careful with your surroundings.

Be wary of children as they can easily be spread with the condition. But this does not mean that you should be careless with adults. You must avoid spreading the virus as each person’s immune system varies.


Unfortunately, there is no official treatment for this ailment. What you can do is to relieve its symptoms. You can take medications, but be sure that what you will buy will be prescribed by your doctor. This is to make sure that you will be getting a reliable medication for your ailment. This will also ensure that you will not have side effects.

Other than medications, you can simply rest and be hydrated. Others even recommend that you try a saline spray or neti pot. You may also find different home remedies that can help you get cured.


A typical cold should just last for a week. If it exceeds this, then your cold can be a symptom of a bigger ailment. And once the ailment is gone, make sure that you do everything you can do prevent it from happening again. After all, who wants to have a cold anyway?

Here are simple ways you can do to prevent from having colds.

Wash your hands

You can easily get viruses on your hands. This is because your hands are exposed to your environment. In everything that you do, you use your hand: opening a door or using utensils. So to stay away from viruses, be sure that you wash your hands frequently. Do not forget to use soap when washing your hands.

Disinfect your surroundings

As mentioned, viruses can come from your surroundings. So what you can do is wash your things properly using soap and water. You can even use bleach or vinegar if you want to.

Refrain from touching your face.

Admit it: you can’t resist touching your face. It can be extremely hard especially when you are already doing it for years. But you need to change that habit of yours. Touching your face with unclean hands could give your face more viruses that could lead to colds and other ailments.

Cover your mouth and nose

If you already have the condition, make sure that you do not spread it by sneezing or coughing. Always cover your mouth and nose whenever necessary. You can wear a mask if you want to.


It might be inevitable to prevent viruses from spreading. So the best way to prevent it is to be isolated for a while. You can stay at home to have enough rest. Do not push yourself to work or study because the condition might worsen. So take a rest. It will not hurt if you do.

There are still a lot of ways to prevent having a cold and even making sure that you do not share it with others. To summarize, you just need to keep your body healthy at all times. You can eat healthy food by focusing on vegetables and fruits. Exercising can be good for your body too.

Colds are a common ailment. Anyone can have it any time. There are also a lot of signs to indicate that you have a cold. Take note that there is a tendency that all symptoms will appear or maybe none at all. Once the signs appear, immediately head to your doctor for a checkup.

A common cold would last for 7 days. During this time, you must be sure to avoid other people to lower the risk of spreading the virus. It would also be helpful if you take a rest during that time and be hydrated.

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