What is rhinopharyngitis?

Rhinopharyngitis, commonly known as the “common cold”, is a viral infection which causes inflammation of the nose and throat. This viral infection can be caused by a number of different viruses, most commonly rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, or adenoviruses.

Symptoms of Rhinopharyngitis

The symptoms of rhinopharyngitis include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever (rare)
  • Hoarse voice
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches

Symptoms typically last about 7-14 days. In some cases symptoms may be mild while in others they may be more severe.

Treatment of Rhinopharyngitis

Because rhinopharyngitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not effective. Treatment is often aimed at relieving the symptoms. Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatments may include:

  • Rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Nasal sprays or drops
  • Fluids for congestion and cough

In some cases, a doctor may prescribe a short course of steroids to reduce inflammation as well.

Preventing Rhinopharyngitis

The best way to avoid rhinopharyngitis or the “common cold” is to practice good hygiene; wash your hands regularly with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Additionally, try to avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, try to limit contact with others and wash your hands often.