Myths and Facts about Common Cold

Sep 17, 2009
The common cold is one of the most wide-spread illnesses among adults and children. There are many misconceptions surrounding treatment and prevention of common cold. Here are the most common myths and facts about common cold.

You should eat more during common cold

There is no evidence that during common cold you should eat more than usual. In fact, many people experience loss of appetite during illnesses and they should not force themselves into eating more. What to eat when you have common cold? The best advice is to eat light food, including fruits, vegetables and soups. Traditional chicken soup may also be quite helpful during cold because it can relieve sore throat and stuffy nose.

Wrap up in warm clothes during common cold

Many people believe that wearing warm clothes during common cold will protect them from catching cold or make them recover quicker. However, warm coat will not save you from cold, because you catch cold when you come in contact with the virus. Also waking out with damp hair won't make you more vulnerable to cold.

Cold weather leads to cold

In spite of the fact that many people usually catch common cold in the fall and winter months, it is not the cold weather that causes the cold. The reason why many people catch cold during fall and winter months is because people spend more time indoors in close contact to each other. This makes you more susceptible to cold virus.

You should stay in bed when you have common cold

Despite the common belief, there is no need to stay in bed wrapped in a warm blanket and skip your daily activities. Exercising during cold also won't make your condition worse. Staying at home is reasonable to lower the risk of transmitting the cold virus to others. If you feel tired and have other symptoms like muscle ache, it is better to have a rest rather than work anyway.

You should take lots of vitamin C during common cold

Many people think that vitamin C can treat common cold. However, studies showed that an increased intake of vitamin C is not associated with better recovery from cold. Specialists say that vitamin C may have some anti-inflammatory effect, it does not make a big difference whether you take vitamin C or not during common cold.

Cover your mouth with hand during common cold

While it is highly recommended to cover your mouth and nose if you have a common cold, using your hand for it is the worse thing to do. This is because coughing or sneezing into your hands spreads germs further from hands to other people and things you touch. The best way is to cover your mouth is to cough into a handkerchief or your sleeve if you do not have one.

You should treat common cold with antibiotics

Many people get overly concerned about even mild symptoms of common cold and believe that antibiotics will help them cure common cold. In fact, antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses which cause common cold and flu. It is not only ineffective, but even more harmful to treat common cold with antibiotics because bacteria build up a resistance to these medicines and if the bacterial infection occurs, it will be harder to find the proper treatment for it.