Persistent Common Cold

A persistent common cold is defined as a cold that lasts longer than usual or keeps coming back. In Chinese medicine, this type of persistent common cold is associated with a lingering pathogen that has become trapped in the body. If neither the normal qi nor the pathogen can prevail, a type of unhealthy equilibrium is established, and the person continues to be unwell.

In general, acute exterior invasions run a predictable and self-limiting course, resolving within a few days to a week or two, and mostly responding well to timely treatment. If, however, the person is not robust, continues to push through the acute phase without rest, or receives inappropriate treatment, recovery may be hindered. The majority of people who present with a persistent cold or one that reappears as soon as their energy expenditure increases or they return to work are believed to have a lingering pathogen in the qi level or shao yang level. Symptoms can be quite diverse, but typically include fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, a persistent cough and sore throat, and sleep and digestive disturbances. Fever may also occur, but it is not a consistent feature.