What are the complications of Cold and Flu?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jul 13, 2011

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Quick Bites

Cold usually away goes on its own.
BronchitisIt is the complication of the mucous membranes of the bronchi in the lungs.
A painful and productive cough indicate pneumonia.
Ear infection is quite common after cold or flu.

Cold usually goes away on its own and does not require a visit to the doctor. Colds and flu typically last about a week but if your symptoms last longer than this and begin to change, then chances are that you have secondary infection. Sometimes it can also result in health complications like bronchitis, pneumonia, an ear infection, sinusitis and asthma attack.The occurrence of complications is common in younger children, the elderly and people who have weak immune systems.

cold and flu

Some of the common Cold and Flu complications include:


It is the complication of the mucous membranes of the bronchi in the lungs. Some of the common symptoms of bronchitis include cough, chest tightness, fatigue and mild fever and chills. Rest, drinking fluids and using a humidifier help relieve the symptoms. Over the counter pain medications are used to treat this complication.



A painful and productive cough indicate pneumonia. It can be dangerous at times for people who have high risk. It usually occurs after you have had an infection such as cold or flu. It is common in young, elderly and those with existing conditions.

Ear infections

Ear infections:

Ear infection is quite common after cold or flu. A cold can cause the fluid to build up and congestion behind the eardrum. Ear infection occurs when a bacteria or virus infiltrates the usually air-filled space behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be very painful. They are more common in children but adults can also get them. The treatment is based on the severity and the age.


Sinus Infection:

Sinus is an infection of the sinuses and occurs when mucous gets caught in the sinus cavities and gets infected. It is usually marked by the facial pain, bad headaches, fever, cough, sore throat, loss of taste and a bad breath. These infections can very painful and can affect people of all ages.

If you have cold or flu and the symptoms have worsened or have not improved even after two weeks then you should go consult your doctor.


Image Courtesy : Getty

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