The common cold makes most people feel miserable for a few days, but then goes away on its own. However, for people with chronic medical conditions, catching a cold is more likely to lead to serious health problems. Here's a look at some of those conditions and how they can be aggravated by a cold.
You can take all the precautions in the world, but sometimes the flu sneaks around your defenses. So what do you do when someone in your house has the flu -- or even swine flu?
To give you an idea, here's a countdown of five average days with the flu. Keep in mind that this rundown is based on a typical case of seasonalflu. There's still a lot we don't know about swine flu. But so far, its symptoms seem to be pretty similar to those of common seasonal flu viruses.
For people with heart disease, catching a cold poses a potential danger. While the cold itself usually isn't a danger, cold complications such as lung infections make it difficult to take in oxygen as efficiently as a person should. This makes the heart work even harder to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This extra demand on the heart can be quite serious for those with heart disease and colds.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis affect about 15 million adults in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control. Both medical conditions, which are usually caused by long-term smoking, are marked by obstruction to airflow that interferes with breathing. Symptoms of emphysema and chronic bronchitis worsen with the common cold.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) kills or damages cells in the body's immune system, making it more difficult to fight infections such as the cold virus. People with HIV/AIDS are also more likely to get cold complications such as pneumonia.