Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

6 Reasons Why Your Cold Won’t Go Away

Font Size
A
A
A

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s hard to slow down for a mere case of the sniffles. Sure, you can try to work through it and hope you’ll feel better quickly. And sometimes that happens. But more often, those pesky symptoms stick around and leave you feeling sneezy and sniffly.

Colds usually last 3 to 7 days, but sometimes they hang on as long as 2 weeks. If you’re under the weather for longer than that, one of these things could be to blame.

Recommended Related to Cold & Flu

Exercising When Sick: A Good Move?

You have been so great about your new exercise routine, rarely missing a day since you started up again. Then all of a sudden you are waylaid by a cold or flu. What should you do? Should you skip the treadmill or forsake that Pilates class for a late afternoon nap? Will it be hard to get started again if you skip a day or two?

Read the Exercising When Sick: A Good Move? article > >

1. You Aren’t Getting Enough Rest

Sleep helps keep your immune system working like it should. Once you have a cold, you need to catch enough Zzz's to help your body fight off the virus. Take it extra easy during the first 3 days.

Too little shut-eye can also make you more likely to get a cold.  One study found that people who got less than 7 hours of sleep a night were nearly three times more likely to get sick than people who slept for 8 hours or more.

2. You’re Low on Fluids

When you’re sick, it’s easy to get dehydrated. A sore throat can make it less than fun to swallow.

A fever draws moisture out of your body. Plus, you lose fluid as your body makes mucus and it drains away. And that over-the-counter cold medicine you’re taking to dry up your head? It can dry the rest of you out, too.

So drink plenty of water, juice, or soup. A side benefit: All that liquid helps loosen up the mucus in your nose and head. Stay away from booze, coffee, and caffeine when you’re looking for things to sip though. They pull out more liquid than they leave behind.

3. You’re Stressed

When you’re freaked out about life, work, or whatever, it takes a toll on your immune system. You can’t fight off viruses as well as you should. That makes you more likely to get a cold, and once that happens, your symptoms are going to be worse. 

Ongoing stress makes your body less able to respond to cortisol, a hormone that controls your body’s response to threats like the virus that causes the common cold.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
 
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
cold weather
VIDEO
 
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Article
Boy holding ear
Slideshow
 
woman receiving vaccine shot
Article
woman with fever
Article
 
Waking up from sleep
Article
woman with sore throat
Slideshow