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What Leads To Common Cold In Winter Season? Expert Shares Prevention Tips

Common cold is more likely to affect you during the cold weather. There are several factors responsible for it. Read here to know these possible causes and tips to prevent this.

What Leads To Common Cold In Winter Season? Expert Shares Prevention Tips

Common cold symptoms can be controlled with simple home remedies

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Common cold is a quite uncomfortable condition
  2. Strong immunity can help prevent common cold
  3. Vitamin C can help build immunity

For most regions of the world, the incidence of flu, the common cold and similar infections is known to increase in cooler months of the year. There are various theories regarding this. Cooler temperatures may slow down the clearance of mucous in your respiratory passages, allowing pathogens to penetrate the defence mechanisms. Air pollution levels worsen in most parts of the country in this weather. This is due to a combination of fog, trapping the pollutants, wind patterns and much more. Exposure to poor air quality irritates the respiratory passages causing inflammation and increasing your chances of contracting infections.

Common cold is almost always caused by rhinoviruses. Many are familiar with the means to protect from contracting it: wash your hands often for twenty seconds or longer; stay away from those who are displaying symptoms of cough and cold; and avoid touching your face and eyes.

Using a handkerchief or a tissue paper to sneeze or cough into and washing it or discarding it properly will also help reduce the chances of spreading the infection if you have caught a cold. Those with symptoms of a cold and cough should avoid meeting people. But it is important to remember that Covid-19 can mimic common cold. In the current scenario, it is imperative to follow all public health advice related to those demonstrating flu like symptoms (cough, cold and fever) until Covid-19 has been ruled out (either through a laboratory test or a clinical examination).


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Common cold with other flu-like symptoms need medical attention
Photo Credit: iStock

The possible role of Vitamin D in providing a protective effect against the common cold has generated some research interest. The evidence in support of this theory is inadequate to encourage supplementation of Vitamin D for this purpose.

Also read: Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Common Cold

There are various measures that individuals may take to reduce their chances of contracting respiratory infections and to keep their immunity levels optimum. There is some evidence to suggest that getting adequate (a minimum of eight hours) sleep for continuous periods of time provides increased resistance to rhinoviruses. Ensuring that these eight hours begin early brings added benefits. Reducing or avoiding the consumption of alcohol also has a similar effect although the mechanism is different. Stress and anxiety affect the immune system adversely making you more susceptible to infections. Physical exercise can induce a surge of good hormones which stimulates the immune system.

There is no cure or vaccine for the common cold caused by rhinoviruses. Conventional medicines and various options in alternative and complementary medicines help in reducing the intensity of the symptoms, sometimes to such an extent that the period of suffering may appear to shorten. The unnecessary use of antibiotics can build resistance in your body and make it more difficult to treat bacterial infections. The symptoms of the flu (caused by the influenza viruses) are like the common cold. However, there are symptoms of fever, body ache, headache and generally the symptoms of cough and cold are of a higher intensity.

Also read: Honey Is Better Than Antibiotics For Common Cold, Researchers Say; Know Other Home Remedies

If symptoms of what is believed to be the common cold persist longer than ten days, are particularly severe or are in very young children, it is best to seek a consultation with a medical practitioner. If you suspect that you have come in contact with someone who has Covid-19, it is important to rule out Covid-19 so that your care can begin at the earliest.


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(Dr. Kushal Banerjee, Consultant Homeopath, Dr. Kalyan Banerjee's Clinic, Delhi NCR)

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