The common cold may be caused by variety viruses such as the rhinoviruses and adenoviruses, influenzaviruses. More than 95 rhinovirus serotypes have been discovered in relationship to coryza yet there is still no effective treatment in orthodox medicine. Homeopathy, on the other hand, works directly on strengthening the immune system allowing it to overcome the virus and establish more immunity to it in the future. Not all colds, however, are caused by viruses in the first place. Some acute coryza may have other causes, such as the elimination of waste products, specific allergens or pollution.

The incubation period is usually 18 to 48 hour after exposure after which the onset is often rather abrupt. The symptoms often start with a scratchy, itchy, or burning throat, followed by sneezing, a clear watery discharge, and varying degrees of malaise. This may be followed by a hacking cough, laryngitis, tracheitis with substernal tightness and burning discomfort, and mild bronchitis in those who are susceptible. In the adult a cold is usually afebrile although it may cause a mild fever (100 to 102 F) in infants an small children. Complications include sinusitis, swollen glands, tonsillitis, ear infections, bronchitis, and secondary infections marked by purulent sputum.
A common cold usually follows four distinct stages that assist in choosing the correct remedies. The first is mark by the scratchy throat, clear
discharge, sneezing, and malaise. The second is marked by a white creamy discharge, less sneezing and a tight, hacking or tickling, itching, irritating cough. sore throats, and fever and chill. The third is marked by a yellowish discharge,, loose coughs, and pain in the chest. The fourth stage is marked by greenish or brownish discharges, the coughing up of lumps and plugs, and soreness deep in the lungs. After this fourth phase, the coryza may dry up and convalescence begun, or complication arise that continue toward a chronic state. Bed red and plenty of fluids is advised for those who are strongly affected.

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