Rest and chicken soup are good home remedies for the common cold, but if you or a loved one begins to experience uncommon symptoms, it is time to visit a local Arkansas medical clinic.
Many cold symptoms can be treated in the comfort of your home, but particularly unpleasant symptoms may have you asking, “When should I go to the doctor for a cold?” If a cold lingers for up to two weeks, it can lead to more serious health conditions, including pneumonia, bronchitis, or a sinus infection. If this happens, a doctor can provide treatment for these lingering symptoms to help you make a full recovery. Schedule an appointment with a local medical clinic in Arkansas if you experience the following five symptoms.
1. High Fever
Fever is one of the most reliable signs that you should go to the doctor for a cold. More than 40 conditions include fever as a symptom, but the common cold is not one of them. If you experience typical cold symptoms in addition to a fever, you may be suffering from the flu. Because certain strains of the flu can cause serious health complications, you may need to follow specific care instructions or take antiviral medications prescribed at a local medical clinic in Arkansas. If your fever reaches a dangerously high temperature of more than 104 degrees, you should always seek emergency medical care to prevent severe health repercussions.
2. Sinus Pain
A cold can cause excess mucus production, triggering constant irritation and the development of a sinus infection. The first sign of a sinus infection is pain across your nose and cheeks or above your ears and eyebrows. A sinus infection can worsen the congestion, headache, and fatigue you are already experiencing with your cold. Without treatment, the infection in your sinuses could become chronic and cause additional symptoms such as ear pain, fatigue, aching in your upper jaw, and nausea.
3. Chest Pressure
Cold symptoms leave your lungs congested with mucus, which can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia. Chest pressure or tightness can be the first sign that your cold has taken a turn for the worst. If the lung infection continues to progress, you might start to experience a persistent cough, breathing difficulties, and rapid heartbeat. If caught early, these symptoms can be treated at a local medical clinic so you can avoid a trip to the hospital.
4. Ear Discomfort
Ear pressure or pain is a warning sign that your cold is causing complications that should be treated by a doctor. As your cold progresses, you may develop fluid buildup in the middle ear, which can increase the risk of infection from bacteria or viruses. The discomfort will likely continue until you seek help from a medical professional. Failing to receive treatment could damage the structures in your ear and even cause hearing loss, so it is wise to seek care from a doctor immediately after noticing any ear discomfort.
Although a cold can make you feel “out of it” and relatively dazed, it should never cause outright confusion. If you experience difficulty putting your thoughts together or become confused by simple concepts, you should seek medical attention immediately. In many cases, the confusion is an indicator that your cold has progressed into pneumonia. This is especially true if you also experience a fever, chills, cough, or shortness of breath. The confusion could also be caused by other serious health conditions, such as Reye’s Syndrome, which requires immediate treatment.
If you experience any of these symptoms with your cold and need to visit a local medical clinic in Arkansas, contact ARcare to set up an appointment. Our compassionate, professional staff is committed to providing Arkansas residents with the best possible medical care.