Home Health Does cold make you cold?

Does cold make you cold?

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Does cold make you cold?

Il cold it is often associated with the cold, a so-called “blow of air”, but in reality it is aviral infection and therefore its onset is linked to the presence of a virus.

The link with the cold however it exists: with the lowering of temperatures, in fact, the activity of our immune system decreases and we are more exposed to the action of viruses.

We talk about it with Dr. Giovanni ColomboHumanitas otolaryngologist and head of Humanitas San Pio X otolaryngology.

What are the causes of a cold?

Il cold is a viral pathology affecting the upper respiratory tract, with particular involvement of the naso and of golacaused by over 200 different viruses of which the most common are the rhinovirusand which is transmitted through contact with a cold person.

The infection is mainly transmitted by by air; the virus spreads through tiny drops of nasal secretion or saliva emitted through coughing and sneezing or simply speaking. Many cold viruses last up to 18 hours outside an organism, so an environment can remain infected for a long time; on the other hand, on average, a cold person is more contagious in the first three days in which they develop symptoms.

They run a greater risk to contract a cold:

  • children under the age of sixespecially if they attend kindergartens and preschools;
  • people with a fragile immune systemfor example due to a chronic disease or even a mild deficit of the immune system;
  • people who smoke.

What are the symptoms of a cold?

Usually, i cold symptoms they manifest themselves a few days after the infection.

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Among the most common, we indicate:

  • nasal respiratory obstruction;
  • sore throat;
  • sneezing;
  • presence of mucus;
  • cough;
  • hoarse voice;
  • feeling unwell;
  • tiredness.

In some cases, symptoms can be added fever, headache and muscle aches, reduction or loss of smell and taste. They are not uncommon irritations to eyes and ears.

This symptom picture tends to be more intense in the former two or three days, and then fade and resolve completely within 7-10 days. The cough can persist for two to three weeks.

In children under five, cold-related ailments can remain for up to 14 days.

Flu and cold they have similar symptoms, however there are some differences.

First of all they are caused by different viral agents which can cause in both cases nasal symptoms associated with headache and fever and in the case of influenza also widespread symptoms such as muscle pain and asthenia so intense that it can hinder normal activities.

Complications of the cold

The cold usually clears up on its own without any particular aftermath.

Sometimes, however, the infection can spread to the lower airways, ears, or sinuses and cause complications, such as:

  • sinusitis for bacterial superinfection with the characteristic presence of yellow-green secretions, lasting over 10 days and also associated with facial pain;
  • otitis media: particularly common in children under the age of five, it is a middle ear infection whose symptoms include earache, high fever above 38 ° C and hearing loss;
  • lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia with persistent cough and shortness of breath.
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Colds: greater risk indoors

During the colder months, it is important to stay pay attention to air quality that you breathe. Often a lot of time is spent indoors, in shared environments with other people, and this increases the risk of contracting respiratory diseases.

The cold air that enters from the outside, in fact, is less harmful to the health of the respiratory tract than the stale air that is inside.

Adenoviruses and Rhinoviruses, which need temperatures below the internal temperature of the human organism to reproduce (between 36 and 37 ° C), spread through the air and can survive outside the human body for up to 18 hours.

To prevent contagion it is important wash your hands often e use the mask in particularly crowded places, such as public transport.

How is a cold treated?

The cold usually resolves spontaneously in 5-10 days, therefore it is possible to manage the symptoms independently, resorting to drugs such as painkillers and antipyretics to lower fever where present e decongestants to reduce nasal obstruction.

Being caused by a virus, and not a bacterium, antibiotics have no effect on colds but are indispensable in cases of complications with bacterial superinfection.

Il rest and isolation are the best ways to help the body heal, while preventing the virus from affecting other people. Those who are cold should therefore work from home, ventilate the rooms often, avoid crowded places such as public transport, cough and sneeze in the inner part of the elbow joint and, if it is really necessary to go out, it is advisable to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth. .

Visits and exams

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