Cold & Flu

Types of Cold - Causes, Symptoms & Home Remedies

Woman sneezing

Everyone, adults and children alike, is aware of what an onslaught of cold brings with it. It would have been hassle-free if we only had to deal with a runny nose. However, a cold is often accompanied by a slew of symptoms that can hamper your daily routine and have you confined to the bed. If you have been through a complete box of tissues and no amount of rest helps you function normally, it’s time for some effective home remedies. Instead of adhering to the oldwives’ method of treating a cold— “feed a fever, starve a cold”—it is advisable that you stick to the tried and tested ways used to treat cold.

Many families have used Vicks VapoRub, Vicks Action 500 Advanced, and Vicks Inhaler to treat cold, cough, and its various symptoms from a long time. Let’s take a look at how these two remedies help us get rid of cold.

Vicks VapoRub for Cold

Vicks VapoRub contains camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, all of which play a major role in providing multi-symptom relief. If you have a blocked nose, you can use Vicks Inhaler for the relief from nasal congestion. Another way to relieve a blocked nose or dry cough is to add two teaspoonful of Vicks VapoRub to hot water (not boiling) and inhale the vapors. This will help with providing relief from nasal congestion. But it is advised to not use Vicks VapoRub with an electric steam inhaler. This method can be used by adults and children above the age of six. You can also massage VapoRub on your chest, head, and neck to get relief from blocked nose, breathing difficulty, dry cough headache, body ache and muscular stiffness due to cold . Adults and children above the age of two can use this technique. Moreover, it is advisable to read the label before you use it. Visit your doctor immediately if the following cough and cold symptoms persist for over a week:

  • blocked nose
  • breathing difficulty
  • cough
  • headache
  • muscle stiffness
  • body ache due to cold

Vicks Inhaler for blocked nose

Did a blocked nose surface unannounced? You can stay prepared to tackle this nuisance by arming yourself with a Vicks Inhaler, which is a compact, effective, and economical way of getting quick relief from a blocked nose. In fact, it offers fast and ‘mobile’ relief from the nasal blockage caused by cold. You can use the Vicks Inhaler as often as needed. All you have to do is inhale the medicated vapours through one nostril while holding the other one closed. Ensure that you inhale it deeply to make breathing feel clear and cool.

Vicks Action 500 Advanced for Cold

Vicks Action 500 Advanced contains Paracetamol, Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride, Phenylephrine Hydrochloride and Caffeine Anhydrous that provides relief from headache, dry cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat pain, and body aches. You can take one tablet every four to six hours and it should not exceed four doses in 24 hours. In case the symptoms persist, visit your physician immediately and do not forget to read the label before using.

Now that you are well acquainted with how Vicks VapoRub and Vicks Action 500 Advanced help get rid of cold, let’s take a look at the different types of cold, their symptoms, and the other natural remedies for cold.

The Different Types of Cold

Understanding the different types of cold makes it easier for you to choose appropriate remedies to treat it.

A common cold

A common cold, also known as a viral cold, is an upper respiratory infection that is caused by a virus. You might be appalled to know that over 200 different viruses can cause the common cold. In fact, about 50 per cent of common cold is caused by rhinoviruses. When the virus overpowers the immune system and enters the body, it causes an infection. It attacks the mucous membrane that is the first line of defense. When this virus enters the cell, it takes control of the cell’s machinery and manufactures more viruses. This is how you fall prey to a full-fledged viral attack. 1, 2

Common cold symptoms

  • Cough
  • Blocked nose
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Body aches
  • Low-grade fever
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose or nasal congestion 3, 4


Very often, we tend to mistake the flu for a common cold. However, the symptoms of the flu are worse than that of the common cold and people diagnosed with the flu appear to be more ill and experience the onset of chills, fever, and headache. 5

Symptoms of flu

  • Congested or runny nose
  • A sore throat and a cough
  • Headaches or body aches
  • Chills and shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea (especially in children)6

Trachea cold

This type of cold, also known as bacterial tracheitis, is collateral damage caused by the common cold. Trachea cold usually affects children and causes a high-pitch sound when they breathe. Trachea cold is a sign of underlying serious infection and partial airway obstruction. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria can cause this type of cold. Other bacteria that can cause this type of cold include Streptococcus Pneumonia, Hemophilic Influenza, Moraxella catarrhalis.7

Symptoms of trachea cold

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Repetitive sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Nasal flaring
  • High fever
  • Deep severe cough 8

Chest cold (lung cold)

This type of cold occurs when the airways of the lungs swell and produce mucus in the lungs. This is what makes you cough uncontrollably. Chest cold, also known as acute bronchitis, tends to last for less than three weeks. Chest cold is usually caused by a virus and follows an upper respiratory infection.9

Symptoms of a chest cold

  • Mild body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Mild headache
  • Fatigue
  • Soreness in the chest
  • Coughing with or without mucus 10

Home Remedies for Cold


Traditional medicines make use of honey to treat cold and its various symptoms. Since honey possesses several antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it is used to treat the symptoms of a cold.11 Whether it is a common cold or cold caused by the flu, drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease the cold symptoms and provide relief.

Chicken soup

First things first, do not starve to get rid of your cold! Instead, prepare a bowl of tantalizing chicken soup, as it is one of the oldest natural remedies for cold. Research has proven that a bowl of chicken soup with vegetables does a commendable job of slowing the movement of neutrophils that are a common type of white blood cells. These are instrumental in protecting your body from infections. A bowl of delicious chicken soup will reduce the symptoms of upper respiratory infections with ease.12

Over-the-counter medicines (OTC medicines)

OTC medicines for viral cold have proven quite effective. OTC medications for treating cold mostly include nasal sprays and tablets that ease the symptoms of a common cold and flu and offer instant feeling of relief.13


Dry environments are quite conducive for spreading the flu. So, to create more humidity and reduce your exposure to this virus, add a cool mist humidifier to your bedroom. You can also consider adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to it to stimulate your breathing.Now that you are well acquainted with the common causes of colds and the various effective remedies to treat it, do not ignore it if the symptoms continue to persist. Visit your doctor immediately in case the symptoms worsen.