Everyone has suffered from the common cold and/or flu at some point in our lives. Some of us blame the cold weather and some even think you can only catch a cold once in one season. However, you will find that many of these beliefs are actually incorrect.
We are here to educate you and save the day, dispelling these 10 common misconceptions surrounding the dreaded common cold and flu. So, grab a tissue and prepare to blow away those old beliefs.
1.) Belief 1: You can treat a cold with antibiotics
Antibiotics won’t help you with a cold unfortunately as it’s a virus, not a bacterial illness. So, before you go popping those antibiotics, they could actually make your cold WORSE as it’ll continue spreading and the cold symptoms won’t go away.
You should never take antibiotics unless subscribed by a doctor. Your body will get used to the medicine which results in a weaker immune system. The medicine will only become less effective so don’t do it!
2.) Belief 2: A cold can turn into the flu
We’ll have you know that a cold and the flu are actually caused by different viruses so one can’t become the other. So, before you start being dramatic, here are the symptoms to help you stay sane.
Sore throat, headache, fever and runny nose. A cold comes on in 3-5 days. Your body temperature doesn’t rise when you have a cold. A cold is a pain in the butt.
Fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness. The flu strikes very quickly so be prepared for its WRATH. Also, if you have the flu your body temperature will rise to 100°F and higher. You don’t sneeze much during the flu, that’s just a pesky cold.
3.) Belief 3: You cannot treat a cold
Generally, cold symptoms should only last 3 days (since WHEN?! We feel like our cold’s last for YEARS)
BUT that doesn’t mean you should wait to treat symptoms of your cold using medicine, otherwise, it could go on for 20-30 DAYS.
4.) Belief 4: You should stay in bed ALL DAY
Here’s a fact to scare you, if you stay in bed all day with a cold, you have a chance of catching bronchitis or pneumonia. Your blood circulation will also decrease which is never a good thing. No, we don’t expect you to run a marathon but a short walk around the block will do you good, a bit of fresh air never hurt anyone.
5.) Belief 5: You shouldn’t take sick days if you only have a cold
Many people feel like using a common cold as a reason to take sick leave off work is inexcusable. However, the recovery process will be slower if you don’t have some time off to relax. Stay at home for 1-2 days before going back to work to recover quicker. Also, you are contagious for the first few days of a cold so it’s best not to go in and infect your colleagues unless you hate them of course.
6.) Belief 6: Cold air can cause colds
This one has blown us away. You can only catch a cold if you come into contact with the virus. It doesn’t matter if you are in a woolly hat or in a t-shirt, you’ll be fine if a little chilly. So, stop blaming the winter, the wind and the AC – they did nothing wrong! The only bad thing these things do is dry out the mucous membrane which makes it harder for the body to protect itself from viruses, but still, you’ll only catch a cold if someone gives it to you!
7.) Belief 7: You can catch a cold just once a season
Unfortunately, there are over 200 types of viruses that cause cold, so you can get sick twice. However, we do have some good news. After one cold, your immune system will have built up antibodies so it’s unlikely you’ll catch the exact same cold twice.
8.) Belief 8: If you go outside with wet hair you are just ASKING to get a cold
Similar to the cold weather, our wet hair cannot cause a cold or flu. It’s still not recommended though as the cold weather can weaken your immune system. Don’t panic if you have to run to the shops with wet hair though!
9.) Belief 9: A cold can be cured in 1 day
Some people just take as much medicine as possible and believe that they will be cured in one day. Not only is this stupid but it’s also dangerous. Your body needs its time to recover and drugs only relieve the symptoms, they also affect the heart with dangerous consequences. Think before you take a million pills, please!
10.) Belief 10: Get rid of all symptoms before resuming daily life
A cough and a runny nose can last for up to 4 weeks! So, don’t halt your entire life until they go, get back out there if you are feeling better! Just take some tissues with you…