Generally speaking, the common cold tends to resolve itself a week after you first experience symptoms. It is possible for cough, congestion, or runny nose to linger, but this is completely normal. If you have more energy and symptoms are less intense, your cold may be improving. According to experts, a cold is a minor viral infection that includes the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
These symptoms tend to last about three to five days, depending on the person’s immune system and severity of infection. In the final days of your cold, most symptoms should have faded and your energy should be somewhat back to normal. A lingering cough or mild congestion is perfectly normal, but these symptoms don’t indicate that you are contagious. Below, we’ll indicate cold symptoms that may indicate that your cold is nearing an end.
What Symptoms Indicate That A Cold Is Almost Over?
Colds tend to last about a week or so and most people find that symptoms ease within seven to 10 days from the onset of the cold. After about a week or so, you should notice that your energy levels increase. You may also find that it is easier to complete daily tasks and work throughout the day without experiencing fatigue. Just because you have more energy and feel better, your runny nose or congestion may last for an additional week. In fact, health experts note that you can experience nasal discharge for up to 14 days. That is the immune system’s response to fighting the cold.
The Common Stages Of A Cold
Health experts break colds down into stages. Some people experience certain mild symptoms, while others experience more severe symptoms. This ultimately comes down to the person’s immune system and the virus they contracted. Most experts agree that it is common to feel the worst in stage 2, as opposed to stages 1 or 3. More about the stages of a cold below:
- Stage 1: Lasting one to two days, stage 1 symptoms tend to be mild. Most people report a sore throat, but fatigue, slight congestion, and mild runny nose are also common.
- Stage 2: Symptoms will normally increase by this stage (days three to five of your cold). You will typically feel the sickest during these days and can experience congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, body aches, cough, and fatigue.
- Stage 3: By this stage (about a week after symptoms started), your symptoms are usually much more bearable. Remaining symptoms tend to include light congestion, cough, or runny nose.
Can You Do Anything To Ease Symptoms?
One of the best things that you can do when you have a cold is to rest, but there are other home remedies that may ease symptoms. Certain things may or may not work for you, but the following general recommendations may help relieve cold symptoms:
- Using a saline rinse, such as a Neti Pot, to relieve nasal congestion
- Drinking herbal teas, such as ginger and lemon or peppermint, that soothe the throat
- Using a humidifier or diffuser with essential oils to help open nasal passageways
- Increasing your fluid intake, especially water and teas
- Sitting in a sauna or steam room to help clear your sinuses and activate heat shock proteins
- Sucking on throat lozenges to relieve coughing or general throat pain
- Alternating between cold and heat packs to help reduce inflammation
The symptoms of a cold will start to fade around day seven, and you should start to feel much better. Continue to care for yourself even as symptoms fade because you don’t want to plague your body with anything else. Should symptoms persist or even worsen after a week, you may choose to consult a doctor to discuss your situation.