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When A Cold Turns Bad: 3 Signs You Need To See A Doctor

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There is no cure for the common cold, so going to the doctor usually won't do you any good. However, many serious illnesses start out as colds, which means that your cold can get ugly pretty fast. If your cold takes a turn for the worse, you will ultimately have to see a doctor in order to get better. But how can you tell when you need medical intervention or another day of rest? Following are three signs you need to see a doctor about your cold.

High and Prolonged Fever

While a mild fever is not an uncommon cold symptom, a high and persistent fever could be a symptom of something far more serious, such as a bacterial infection. If you have a fever that is higher than 102 degrees, you probably have something more serious going on, or you may have a secondary infection to go along with your cold.

Children tend to have higher fevers when they're ill, so look for a fever greater than 103 degrees in children. Any fever in an infant is troublesome. For this reason, you should always have any baby less than 3 months of age checked out if they have a fever. 

Persistent and Prolonged Symptoms

Cold symptoms usually only last for about a week or up to 10 days. If your symptoms linger beyond 10 days, you may have another condition, such as a sinus infection, that requires treatment with antibiotics. Allergy symptoms also tend to last longer than a week, so if your symptoms linger, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies. However, it's always a good idea to have a doctor determine whether you're suffering from allergies or something else, something that requires medical intervention.

Severe Pain or Pressure

Severe pain or pressure located in the face and forehead may indicate that a sinus infection is present. Pain or pressure in the chest may point to another condition, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. If you have severe pain or pressure anywhere in your body, you should see your doctor right away.

If you have a common cold, your doctor can't do much about it. You simply have to wait it out. If you have something a bit more sinister, though, you need your doctor. That's why it's so important to monitor your cold symptoms and see your doctor as soon as you think something else may be going on. To learn more, speak with someone like Gulf Shores Family Medicine.