Ask a Question

Is the common cold dangerous for seniors?

I'm 72 and every time I get so much as a sniffle my family freaks out and demands that I see a doctor. Of course the doctor can't do anything and I'm sure they think I'm a hypochondriac. I'm healthy and still active socially. I get my flu shot every year but I don't know how to reassure my family that I've had more colds than all of them combined and have survived all of them.
Status: Open    Mar 07, 2015 - 10:06 PM

Senior Health & Nutrition

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 answer

Expert Answers

Sep 21, 2015 - 10:14 AM

Seniors are at a greater risk to develop complications from a cold, however if they are in good health, they usually don’t have to worry.

Seniors and other age groups, who have conditions, such as a chronic disease or are on medications that compromise their immune system, do need to avoid getting a cold. In other words, they need to avoid crowds and people who have a cold or flu. People who know that they have a cold or flu need to stay away from people who are at risk. In fact they too should stay away from groups. Stay home, if you have a fever.

You are right: the doctor is not going to be able to treat a cold because it is a virus. Overuse of antibiotics has lead to our current problem of antibiotic resistant organisms. Additionally, You also might have shared your germs with some people in the doctor’s waiting room.

If your cold or cough is not getting better after 10 or more days. which includes if you continue to run a fever or have chest discomfort, you should see a doctor. Pneumonia is one of the complications that you could develop, which can be treated. It is good that you have an annual flu shot. You also might want to have the pneumonia vaccine, every 5 years.

Keep up the good work with staying healthy and active.
Answer this question

Recently Active Members