Good advice is cheap for colds – everyone has a tip to prevent coughs and runny nose. But not every recommendation actually helps.
A cold nose, a scratchy throat and maybe even a headache: colds are high season in autumn and winter. Prevention is the best way to avoid catching a cold. However, many popular half-wisdoms are ineffective. Here are the ten most common misconceptions:
Myth # 1: Changes in temperature cause colds
Temperatures fluctuate greatly in the transition period. Well packed, we leave the house in the morning and sweat in the afternoon sun. So we take everything off and cool off without even realizing it. We don’t catch cold because of the differences in temperature, but because the cold weakens our immune system. The common cold itself is caused by viruses that attack our mucous membranes in the nose, throat, and lungs.
Myth # 2: Cold feet are to blame for my runny nose
Did you have cold feet all day despite warm socks and socks and lined boots? This could be a sign that a cold is coming. The cold feet are not the cause of the disease, but a symptom, because the infection means that they have less blood supply.
Myth # 3: Vitamin C prevents colds
Even those who are optimally supplied with vitamin C can catch a cold. This is the conclusion reached by the independent scientific network Cochrane Collaboration when evaluating numerous studies. Only the duration of the illness is shortened slightly. But too little is not good either: Vitamin C deficiency weakens the immune system.
The best home remedies for a cold
Whether in the subway, in the office or in the supermarket – people cough and sneeze everywhere. In autumn, the cold wave usually hits us with full force. Anyone who feels the first scratchy throat can contain the budding disease with these home remedies.
Myth # 4: The flu is just a bad cold
Please do not confuse them! In the case of a flu-like infection, i.e. a cold, viruses attack the respiratory tract. A runny nose, sore throat and cough are the most common symptoms and are not bad. Influenza is caused by other pathogens and is a serious illness that can result in high fever, joint pain and nausea, among other things.
Myth # 5: A cold is over in three days
The popular saying goes: “A cold comes three days, stays three days and goes three days.” In this case he is right. A flu-like infection begins with a scratchy throat, runny nose and cough, and tiredness sets in after a few days. On average, a cold lasts seven days, with or without treatment.
Myth # 6: Colds can sweat out
A visit to the sauna can make an incipient cold considerably worse because the germs multiply quickly in the hot air and only really stimulate the infection. The heat can also put a strain on the weakened body’s cardiovascular system.
This really helps children against coughs
From October to March our mother’s heart is on constant alert: Many children torment themselves with coughing attacks all winter. What really helps against it? Dr. Uwe Mellies, Senior Physician in Pediatric Pneumology at the Essen University Hospital, has advice.
Myth # 7: Exercise does no harm if you have a cold
Like the sauna, exercise should be avoided when a cold is looming. If you jog through the park with a cold, you can almost wait to get really sick. In addition, he puts excessive strain on his cardiovascular system, in the worst case it can lead to myocarditis.
Myth # 8: Antibiotics cure colds
The all-purpose weapon antibiotics does not help at all with the common cold. Influenza infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria, against which antibiotics are used. Colds are also not cured by the medication, only their symptoms are alleviated.
Myth # 9: Flu vaccination also protects against colds
Many believe a flu shot also prevents colds. But influenza is caused by completely different types of virus than the flu. A flu shot has no effect on the cold virus.
Myth # 10: Always hand to your mouth when coughing and sneezing
In the past it was always said: “Put your hand over your mouth when you have to cough or sneeze!” It is now known that the common cold can fly up to five meters, so that bystanders are not protected from infection. In addition, if you cough into your hand and then hand it unwashed to someone else or touch something with it, you leave behind the corresponding viruses. Better: Cough or sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue.
More tips on colds and flu:
The causes of a cold
For which people does the flu pose a particular risk?
The symptoms of a cold