How Long Does a Cold Last?

Coming down with a cold can dramatically affect your ability to conduct your daily responsibilities. A cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, including the throat and nose. At University Urgent Care, we can treat the common cold and flu for patients in Fort Worth, TX. In the winter months, colds and flu are prevalent. The symptoms of both can be confusing, and you can only be properly diagnosed with lab testing. This makes a trip to your local urgent care facility important when you have cold or flu symptoms. Our physicians are board certified in emergency medicine and are ready to quickly diagnose every patient with the help of our state-of-the-art, on-site laboratory.

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What are the symptoms of the common cold?

A cold can have three different tiers of symptoms, including:

Early symptoms: This is when your throat becomes sore or scratchy, and you begin to feel fatigued. These symptoms usually last a few days.

Peak symptoms: Some common symptoms are a runny or congested nose, watery eyes, sneezing, headache, cough, and low-grade fever. These peak symptoms last 2 – 3 days.

Late symptoms: Usually nasal congestion will be the last symptom to be resolved and can last up to five more days. A lingering cough may also occur, too, which can last for weeks in severe cases.

How long does a cold last?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most adults can suffer from a cold for 7 – 10 days. However, children may experience cold symptoms for up to two weeks. They are also more likely to have more colds annually, too. This is why it’s important to visit University Urgent Care as soon as you suspect that you or your child have common cold symptoms for quick treatment. Waiting to be treated can lead to the onset of a sinus or ear infection.

How to treat a cold

Our physicians assess a patient’s symptoms and learn more about their medical history to properly diagnose them. Next, we perform a thorough medical examination and any lab work to determine the cause of your symptoms.

At University Urgent Care, we treat the common cold in many ways, including:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal sprays
  • Salt water gargle
  • Electrolyte fluids

Our doctors encourage our patients in Fort Worth, TX to stay hydrated, which keeps the throat moist. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, which can dry you out. When left untreated, the common cold can lead to bronchitis.

When to see a doctor

While most colds resolve themselves in a week or so, there are some symptoms that warrant an immediate trip to our urgent care center, including:


  • Fever over 103 or that lasts longer than five days
  • Cough with mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Severe sore throat


  • A fever of 102 or above 100.4 in babies
  • Persistent cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Nasal congestion for ten days or more
  • Ear pain

Get cold treatment quickly in Fort Worth, TX

When you suspect that you or a loved one have a cold, it’s important to visit University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX quickly. Our highly trained medical staff can diagnose and treat any illness quickly so you can feel better fast. To schedule an appointment with our team, call our office today or schedule an online consultation from the comfort of your home. We are open seven days a week for your convenience. We serve the Frisco Heights, Tanglewood, Paschal, and TCU neighborhoods.

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