Does a patient who catches a cold have to see a doctor?
(02.21.2008)

Firstly, it depends on the severity of the disease. If the patient has only common symptoms such as a cough, sneezing, and his/her daily life is not influenced, they may wait for one or two days, then decide whether to see the doctor according to the change in the disease. If he/she cannot sleep comfortably, the appetite decreases and/or they become pale and tired, he/she must go to see the doctor.

Secondly, it depends on whether the patient has other symptoms in addition to the cold. Such symptoms as serious nausea or vomiting should be suspected to be reactions of a brain lesion (for example, meningitis). If a patient has a high fever and does not want to eat greasy food, combined with nausea and vomiting, etc, these could be suspected as reactions of infectious Hepatitis. If the onset of disease is very severe, the patient suffers from cold sweats and fever, the high fever over 39?C usually lasts without any sign of decreasing, the patient suffers from aching pains of the body and no appetite, and the people in the surrounding environment show the same symptoms, then it is probably influenza. If a patient demonstrates high fever persistently, complicated with dyspnea and breathing difficulties, a severe cough and cyanosis of the mouth and lips, then the disease should be suspected as pneumonia.

Cold viruses sometimes cause myocarditis. The symptoms are usually seen as follows: about one week after catching cold, the patient suffers from heart palpitations, chest distress, short breath, ambiguous aches in the precordial (chest) region and so on, especially when suffering from tachycardia (a heartbeat at more than 100 times per minute) and irregular heartbeats. A patient with these symptoms should see a doctor promptly.

Thirdly, babies, pregnant women and weak patients with chronic diseases should see the doctor when suffering from the symptoms of a cold.