When you come down with a cold, your first thought is that you wish it could go away immediately. A virus drains your body and it seems like you blow your nose for hours, yet you still see mucus in the tissues. Perhaps you rely on a few strategies when you feel sick, and it usually stems from advice that your parents, grandparents, or other wise people gave you as a child.
The unfortunate reality is that a lot of the old common cold advice you hold near and dear to your heart is usually more myth than fact. There is no sense in faulting the people who gave you this old folk wisdom, but you can learn to separate fact from fiction in this article. Read on to learn about some of the most common myths about catching or recovering from the common cold. We’ll also provide the real facts from health experts.
Myth: Feed A Cold And Starve A Fever
The fact of the matter is that you need to rest and hydrate when you fall ill. If you don’t have an appetite or you have a fever, continue to replenish the body with fluids, including water, herbal teas, and electrolyte-rich beverages. Soups are easily digestible and can also aid your hydration efforts. They also provide essential nutrients, and that warmth can aid your recovery efforts.
Myth: More Dairy Means More Mucus
According to health experts, dairy can make mucus thicker and it may upset your stomach, especially if you’re running a fever. Dairy doesn’t necessarily increase mucus, though. If you are lactose intolerant or have a sensitivity to dairy products, it may not be a conducive food to your recovery. Enjoying frozen yogurt or a frozen dairy product while sick may help some and harm others. This varies from person to person.
Myth: Antibiotics Treat A Cold
Researchers note that antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria, and colds result from viruses, according to physicians. Antibiotics work by killing or slowing the growth of all bacteria, both good and bad. They can treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat, ear infections, or bronchitis. They cannot, however, cure viral infections. In fact, they can actually cause dangerous antibiotic resistance if you use them too often or incorrectly.
Myth: Your Cold Isn’t Contagious Unless You Have A Fever
You don’t have to have a fever to pass your cold to other people. That means that you have very few symptoms and be very contagious. People became hyper aware of that during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many people contracted that virus and were asymptomatic. A cold can be dangerous a day before the onset of symptoms. Colds are usually the most contagious in the first four days after symptoms start. Although viruses can remain in the body for weeks after symptoms end, the chance of spreading infection lessens as time passes.
Myth: You Can’t Do Much To Prevent Colds
Do you gargle salt water, use a Neti Pot, or drink lots of fluids when you have a cold? Although these efforts may not prevent you from getting sick, they may help reduce the severity and longevity of symptoms. If you want to prevent colds, you have to take extra precautions against everything. Experts suggest that you wash hands with soap frequently, stay hydrated, get sufficient sleep, avoid other sick people, eat a balanced diet, and regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces. Taking these extra precautions can help keep you healthy during cold and flu season.
Myth: You’ll Catch A Cold If You Go Outside With Wet Hair
This old gem still gets passed around like a bad game of telephone. Going outside with wet hair will make you feel cold, but it won’t cause sickness or a cold. Health experts explain that viruses and bacteria cause illnesses, usually when you are in close contact with another sick person. If you live in a colder climate, take extra care to wear warm clothing to protect against the weather. There’s no need to get frostbite, people!