ZocdocAnswersIf the mucous from my cold is clear does that mean I don't have to go to the doctor?

Question

If the mucous from my cold is clear does that mean I don't have to go to the doctor?

Got a bad cold a few days ago, but all my snot or mucous is clear. I think that means its not an infection or anything. Should I still have a doctor check me out or just wait it out?

Answer

Colds, as you know, are causes by common viruses which are more of an annoyance for most people than they are a real threat. A common cold will often take up to a week to run its course, so if you are having mucus, congestion, and the like for just a few days, you can probably expect to have them for some while still. You are also absolutely correct that most colds do not need to be seen by a doctor. If you don't have very high fever, if you are not vomiting or having abdominal pain, if you do not have any significant shortness of breath, and if your mucus is clear or white these are all encouraging signs. However, at any point, if you become concerned or if you feel that things are not clearing up as quickly as they should, you can always schedule a visit with your primary care doctor. In the meantime, you should get plenty of rest and take lots of liquids to stay hydrated. If you have significant congestion or cough, you can use over the counter cold medicines for that, and you can take over the counter pain killers as needed as well.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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