Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Common Cold Specialist

Patricia G. Gao, MD

Primary Care Physician located in Glen Burnie, MD

The common cold is typically harmless, although it might not feel that way. Astoundingly, Americans suffer from more than 1 billion colds every year. Dr. Patricia G. Gao is a primary care physician skilled at effectively treating numerous health problems, including the common cold. Dr. Gao serves the residents of Glen Burnie, Maryland at her private practice.

Common Cold Q&A

What is the common cold?

The common cold is a contagious upper respiratory infection. Viral infections cause approximately 80-90% of common colds. More than 200 different kinds of viruses can cause the common cold.

What are the risk factors associated with the common cold?

Kids younger than the age of 6 are at the greatest risk for succumbing to common colds. This is especially the case if they spend time in daycare settings. If you have a weakened immune system, your odds of getting the common cold increase. Smokers are more likely to get common colds than those who don’t smoke. Both kids and adults get more common colds during the fall and winter months. However, you can succumb to a common cold any time of the year. Being around many people increases your chances of getting this ailment.

What are the symptoms of the common cold?

The uncomfortable symptoms of the common cold include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Slight headache
  • Mild body aches

What are the complications associated with the common cold?

If left untreated, the common cold can cause inflammation and infection of your sinuses, causing a condition referred to as sinusitis. The common cold can also trigger an asthma attack. If the viruses or bacteria that caused your common cold enter the space behind your eardrum, you can suffer an acute ear infection. Other infections associated with this ailment include strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis, and croup.

How is the common cold treated?

You should always resist the temptation to take an antibiotic too early in the course of your illness. Antibiotics don’t effectively treat cold virus. They shouldn’t be used unless you have an underlying bacterial infection. Dr. Gao treats your symptoms early in the course of your sickness. If necessary, she adds an antibiotic later. If you have a common cold, rest well and drink plenty of water. Wash your hands frequently. Whenever you need to sneeze or cough, cover your nose or mouth with your sleeve. Never sneeze or cough into your hand.

If you feel miserable due to a stubborn, common cold, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gao at her office.


We accept the majority of health insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see yours listed or have any other questions.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Assurant Health
Bankers Life and Casualty Company
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield Choice
Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal
Blue Cross Blue Shield Horizon
Care Improvement Plus