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Myths & Facts about the Common Cold

Common cold limits the things you can do. You find yourself doing tasks with more effort and a longer time before it is accomplished. This communicable disease is a virus that spreads from one person to another through air and close contact. Once it hits you, it becomes a struggle to be productive. You are definitely suffering from the common cold if you have a sore throat, headaches, body aches, and a runny nose among others.

We have been raised believing some myths about the common cold. Mothers nursed their children with a common cold through the years believing these myths. While their technique may be effective, it has no medical basis. These are some of the myths we have grown accustomed to through the years:

Rain can make you catch cold 

We were told that cold and rainy weather is a major factor for us to catch a cold. However, that is not necessarily the case. The virus causing the common cold can still make you sick during the summertime. 

Antibiotics can cure the common cold

Most people believe that antibiotics are the cure for the common cold. However, colds are caused by viral infections, not bacterial infections. Thus, symptoms associated with a common cold will usually last for a week and be gone soon after. If it persists after a week and you still have a cough with phlegm, fever and other symptoms, then you need to consult your doctor. 

Exercise can make a cold go worse

You can still perform your physical activities even though you have a cold, as long as you don’t have fever or difficulty in breathing. Cold symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat should not hinder you from exercising or playing sports. Several studies discovered that physical activity helps in opening nasal passages and relieving nasal congestion. However, physicians recommend mild to moderate physical activity. Additionally, they recommend assessing your body’s capabilities while doing exercises.

If you have cold symptoms, you are not contagious anymore

Here’s the truth – you can still spread cold to another person while nursing symptoms that come with a cold. The first few days that you are nursing this condition is the most contagious. Thus, it is definitely a must to be cautious not to spread the virus to any of your co-workers, family members or friends after catching a cold.

Wet hair can cause a cold

While it is true that wet hair can make you feel chilly, the cold weather is not behind a common cold. Again, viruses are responsible for you catching a cold. While our elders kept colds away by practicing this, there is no scientific basis for this claim. It is still advised to keep the body healthy to ward off diseases. 

A healthy lifestyle is key to keeping common colds and other diseases at bay. Eating healthily, leading an active lifestyle and getting an adequate amount of sleep helps in boosting your immunity!

 

Reference:

Collingwood J. The Common Cold: Facts and Myths. Psych Central. https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-common-cold-facts-and-myths/. Published in 2019. Accessed June 8, 2019.

 

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