Here's How Long Your Cold Symptoms Might Last

The average adult can expect to catch about two or three common colds a year. You probably know what it feels like when you have a cold — you begin sneezing and coughing and develop a runny nose, sore throat, and body aches. There are around 200 viruses that cause the common cold, including rhinoviruses and coronaviruses, according to WebMD.

You can lessen your chances of catching a cold if you wash your hands regularly, keep your distance from people who are sick, and avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and face with dirty hands, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While there is no cure for a cold, there are some things you can do to make the experience a little less lousy. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest are important first steps. You can also use over-the-counter products, like cough drops and decongestants to help relieve symptoms (via Mayo Clinic).

Expect to feel bad for about a week

A healthy adult can expect to feel yucky for about a week, according to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care in Germany. While you may begin to feel better after a week, it can take longer for all of your symptoms to go away. The cough that usually accompanies a cold can hang on for much longer than any other symptoms. Generally speaking, it takes an adult about 18 days to fully recover from a cold. When it comes to children, it can take up to three weeks for a complete recovery.

While you typically wouldn't need to see a physician for a cold, you should consider paying your doctor a visit if you experience symptoms for more than 10 days or if any symptoms are severe or unusual. If your child is younger than three months old and develops a fever or seems fatigued, you should also see a doctor (via CDC).