Do cold substances really cause common cold or respiratory tract infections?
It is not news that most Nigerians only fear cold substances when their health is involved. The sudden crave for cold drinks disappears no matter how hot the weather might be. They believe these things are the causes of their illness, mostly cold. There are so many untold information about this belief. The truths, lies and misinterpreted information.
When exposed to a cold environment also, does it cause a common cold? When we inhale dust particles, does it cause this same cold? If we were to judge based on our knowledge, most of us would say yes because we notice the coincidences. All the answers to these questions would be explained.
A variety of symptoms result from this, many of which are common to every individual; before the full manifestation of the virus’s impact, you may notice congestion in your nose, slight headaches, body weakness, sneezing more than usual. As it progresses, the symptoms get worse and may increase in number. Here, runny nose hits in full force.
Research and studies have shown the common cold to be associated to so many different types of viruses. More than two hundred different viruses can cause a common cold but studies have shown that the most likely virus to cause a cold is the rhinovirus. These guys, typically last in the human system for about seven to eleven days, usually a maximum of fourteen days. Once a person has contracted this virus, they would know. In medical terms it is called self diagnosis.
They are parasitic but not to the point of getting harmed- in most cases anyway. How did you contract it? What is causing you to sneeze then? Why is it every time you have taken a lot of cold drinks or exposed yourself to cold that you notice all these symptoms? Are there ways to prevent this? We shall look at this in stages. Firstly, how did you contract it?
It is a virus which means it is contagious. Contagious viruses are those micro organisms that can be transferred to another person or host through various means or channels. One of these means is the best way to contract this virus- airborne respiratory droplets. That is why it is advisable for people to cover up when coughing or sneezing. These droplets are very tiny that they can be absorbed by our skin pores therefore giving a direct channel for the virus to strike.
We also have a similar method of transmission but not airborne. This is contact with a contaminated surface. Same channel which is the skin would the virus enter through. The object can be anything as long as it is contaminated. Fun fact: A virus remains inactive until it enters a host.
Another way of getting a common cold is by saliva (kissing or shared drinks). The saliva is also a very good hideout for the virus. It can stay there for as long as it can and when it finds another host, it transfers. What is causing you to sneeze and cough?
You sneeze and cough because of the effects of the current virus. There’s a chemical in the human body that is called histamine. Histamine is normally released when your body detects something harmful, such as an infection. It causes blood vessels to expand and the skin to swell, which helps protect the body. Explains why our noses get swollen when we are down with a common cold. The redness is due to the constant friction impacted on the nose while trying to itch or blow.
Why is it every time you have taken cold drinks you notice a cold?
Science and technology has proven that microscopic organisms have an optimum temperature for growth and survival. Usually, the optimal temperature for the rhinovirus replication is between 33-35oC, which is about the same temperature found in the nose. Clearly, this temperature doesn’t look low. So why then do you get the cold? According to a new Yale-led study, the common cold virus can replicate itself more efficiently in the cooler temperature found inside the nose than at core body temperature. So the more we lower our body temperature through cold drinks or cold environment, the more power we give to the virus to replicate and get worse in our system.
Are there ways to prevent this? Definitely! So many technologically and scientifically proven ways. The technological ways would be through drugs such as antihistamines Eg. Cetirizine, loratadine, etc. Decongestants such as nasal drops or syrups. For the natural remedies, there is garlic, fruit juices, drinking plenty of water, frequent blowing of the nose, etc.