Understanding the Common Cold

We’ve all had colds from time to time. We have all been miserable with blocked or runny noses, sore throats, itchy or watery eyes and fever. But what do we really know about the common cold apart from the fact that there is no cure?

Interesting Facts About Common Cold

Did you know that there are over 200 different viral varieties that could cause cold? This explains the fact that the average adult catches cold 2 to 3 times a year and children do so even more often. As we keep having colds, we may develop immunity to some strains of the cold virus. But yet other types of viruses will continue to attack and continue to make us miserable. It used to be thought that exposure to cold can cause one to ‘catch’ cold. However we now know that it isn’t low temperatures or other climatic conditions that cause a cold. It is infections that are responsible for colds.

common-coldSo why do so many of us ‘catch’ cold when we are exposed to cold? There is a theory that when the body feels cold or when the body temperature drops, this can make the body more susceptible to viral infection. Also there are several viruses that flourish during the cold weather, which is why we tend to ‘catch’ cold. One of the most commonly accepted reasons for catching cold during cold weather is that we tend to remain indoors when it’s cold outside. Being indoors means that viruses can spread more easily between individuals, causing infections to spread and multiply.

Is Common Cold Curable?

The old adage that if you take medicine for a cold it will resolve in a couple of weeks but if you don’t take any medicine it will last for 14 days is accurate. The fact is that antibiotics are quite ineffective against colds because most colds are viral. They will be effective only if your symptoms are being caused by a bacterial infection. So should you try and treat a cold? There is one view that treating the symptoms slows down the recovery process – i.e. the symptoms are there to fight the infection and we should let them do their job.

However cold symptoms can make you really miserable and drained of all energy. So it is a good idea to use medications and home remedies to keep the symptoms in control. Doing this also helps limit the spread of the virus – when you sneeze or expectorate less, you expose fewer people to the virus.

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