Things You Didn’t Know About the Common Cold

By December 8, 2021 Uncategorized
cough syrup, thermometer, and tissues

If you have contracted the common cold, you may be familiar with the lethargy that can leave you on the couch for days, with cough syrup and tissues as your best friend! There are millions of common cold cases in the United States every year, but there are still some not-so-commonly known facts about the illness.

Common Cold Basics

The common cold is a viral infection spread through the air by coughs, sneezes, and physical contact. There are more than 200 viruses that cause the common cold, all bringing similar symptoms:

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Sore, scratchy throat
  • Congested sinuses
  • Runny and/or stuffy nose
  • Fever of up to 101.3 degrees
  • Fatigue

Each of these symptoms can leave you feeling unwell and lethargic for 7-10 days, but rest assured the common cold does not have long-term effects. Symptom management and self-care during your illness are what will help you recover most quickly.

Fast Fact: Sneezes Travel Fast

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many conversations about staying six feet away from others. That is because sneezes can travel 15 feet per second – about 10 miles an hour. Which means distance makes a difference! Whenever you feel a sneeze coming on, take a step back and keep away from others.

Sneezes also travel faster in cold air. When the humidity decreases, the droplets from sneezes stay in the air longer, making it easier for people to come in contact with them. Because drier air makes it easy for germs to spread, it may also be one reason why cold and flu season takes place in the dry, cold winter months.

Vitamin C Won’t Prevent It

Many people increase their orange juice intake, or pop vitamin C supplements, hoping to prevent a cold. Though vitamin C has many health benefits — including helping the body produce collagen for skin and bone health, and serving as an antioxidant — unfortunately it is seen as a placebo when it comes to reducing cold symptoms. A nice, cold glass of orange juice may soothe your sore throat, but research shows only 8% of adults experienced shortened cold symptoms with the help of the vitamin.

Reduce Stress and Alcohol Intake

Having too much stress in your day suppresses your immune system and hinders your ability to fight off infections — whether you have a cold or not. During cold and flu season, it’s even more important to take care of your mental health, practice stress relief exercises, and respect your mind and body’s limits.

When overstressed, you may turn to alcohol as a way to relax. But too much alcohol can actually weaken your immune system. Though a hot toddy with a shot of whiskey may feel like an old-timey comfort when you’re sick, it’s actually better to limit your alcohol intake and keep your immune system intact!

If you would like some tips on managing common cold symptoms, LifeBrite can help. We take care of our community like it is our own family – because it is! To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, visit us online or call 229-723-4241

Learn more about LifeBrite

Atlanta-based LifeBrite, led by CEO Christian Fletcher, operates LifeBrite Community Hospital of Early, LifeBrite Community Hospital of Stokes, and Lifebrite Laboratories.