With colder weather descending upon the northern parts of India, many people will be staying inside, thereby increasing the chances they’ll contract and then spread the common cold. It means that, while many people will be excited about sharing the holidays with friends and family, the gifts they’re most likely to pass on to their loved ones could be a plugged nose, sore throat, and nagging cough. Given this situation, it’s a good idea for everyone to understand the common cold a little better, starting with the many misconceptions, or myths, out there. So, what little white lies about the common cold did you believe until today?
1. Your Cold was Caused by Chilly Weather
It’s tough to deny that the common cold often appears more frequently once the temperature drops and snow starts to cover the ground. But there’s little scientific evidence to suggest that the colder weather has much of anything to do with the emergence of colds in the home or workplace.
2. Being Wet in the Cold Can Make You Sick
Some people insist that heading out into the cold with something wet — like your hair following a shower — can significantly increase your chances of getting sick with the common cold. These same people tend to argue that, the wetter you are, the more likely you are to get sick.
3. Antibiotics Can Help
If you’ve ever had a particularly rotten head cold, like a very stuffed-up nose and a nagging cough that just won’t go away, you’ve probably wished for a fast-acting cure. Unfortunately, there really isn’t anything that can quickly end a cold, including antibiotics. And while it’s true that antibiotics can have a dramatic impact on many illnesses that share characteristics with the common cold, they can’t do much to stop an actual head cold.
4. Gobbling Vitamin C Helps
For generations, we’ve closely associated the intake of vitamin C and its sources — from citrus fruit to lozenges — with the common cold. And while getting enough vitamin C can help prevent a common cold from taking hold (by boosting our immune system), it can’t do a whole lot to fight a cold if it takes hold. In fact, there’s no research to suggest that shoving vitamin C into your body will do anything to alleviate the symptoms associated with a head cold.
5. Drinking Milk Worsens a Cold
This is a somewhat older and less popular theory, but some people believe that consuming dairy products, like milk or cheese, can actually make a head cold worse. As you might expect, there’s no scientific evidence to support such a wild claim because dairy products have absolutely nothing to do with the common cold, including the generation of mucous. In fact, you could drink a gallon of milk and wouldn’t notice any difference in how plugged-up your nose feels.
6. The Flu Shot Can Make You Sick
The arrival of cold weather is often accompanied by calls from medical experts to get the flu shot, which can help prevent influenza from taking hold and spreading throughout a local population. And because the flu shot contains tiny amounts of the virus that leads to the actual flu, many people believe it can blow up and cause a bad head cold in the person who received the shot.
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