Here's How Long Your Cold Could Really Last

As hard as you try, sometimes you just can't avoid catching a cold. More than just a nasal inconvenience, colds can be a real burden on your body, causing symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. Colds can range from mild to severe, though, and might last longer than you think. In an otherwise healthy person, a cold typically lasts seven to 10 days, but expect symptoms to linger if you are a smoker (via The Mayo Clinic). 

According to Healthline, there are three stages of the common cold, and you may be nodding your head in agreement when you learn the first stage is usually a sore throat. In this stage, you may also experience fatigue and a runny nose. During the second stage of a cold, you can expect your current symptoms to worsen and you may develop a cough, congestion, and a headache. The final stage of a cold is the beginning of the end as you will start to recover, with your symptoms diminishing and energy returning.

Can you shorten the duration of a cold?

Let's face it, no one has time for a two-week cold, which is why we will try everything from old wives' tales to trendy immunity boosters if they promise relief. But do any of these alleged remedies actually work? According to Medical News Todaysome research suggests there are four supplements that may shorten the length of your cold; zinc, echinacea, and vitamins C and D. Another treatment that is worth trying is homemade chicken soup, which proves not only to be good for the soul — but also for your cold (via CNN).

It is comforting to know that there are some other precautionary actions to take when trying to stay in good health. The Centers for Disease Control says one of the best ways to avoid getting sick is diligent hand washing and to avoid touching your face (via the CDC). Getting sufficient rest, eliminating stress, eating a nutritious diet, and exercising can also help reduce your risk of catching a cold (per OnHealth).