Does it seem like this time of year you and everyone you know are dealing with a sore throat, runny nose or trying to get over a cold? Colds and other viruses do tend to be more common in the winter months. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case. However, new research seems to indicate that colder temperatures may have something to do with it after all.
New Study Shows Connection Between Cold Air and Immune Response
A study published in December of 2022 found that colder temperatures killed off a large amount of virus and bacteria-fighting cells within the nostrils, known as nasal epithelium-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs).
Specifically, researchers discovered that “These potent antiviral immune defense functions mediated by TLR3-stimulated EVs were impaired by cold exposure via a decrease in total EV secretion as well as diminished microRNA packaging and antiviral binding affinity of individual EV.”
While additional research is needed, this study offers compelling evidence that cold temperatures can impact your ability to fight infection.
Spending More Time Indoors Increases Your Risk of Getting Sick
Cold temperatures do more than kill off virus-fighting cells, they tend to keep us indoors as well. During the winter we spend much more time inside, whether gathering at someone’s house, coffee shop or restaurant. During this time, we are breathing, talking and laughing in close proximity to many other people, making it easier for the cold and other viruses to spread.
Can You Prevent Catching a Cold?
While you can’t always prevent catching a cold or other virus, you can take steps to minimize your risk of getting sick. These steps include
- Washing your hand regularly with soap and warm water
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible
- Keeping your distance from others who are coughing or sneezing
- Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces in your home
What To Do if You Constantly Feel Sick?
Most times, you can get over a cold with a few days of rest at home and plenty of liquids. However, if you find yourself dealing with symptoms like a chronic cough, persistent sore throat or nasal congestion that interferes with your ability to go to work or meet friends at Vintage Bar and Grill in Abington, make an appointment with a medical provider as these could be signs of an ENT problem such as chronic sinusitis that needs further treatment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Pinnacle ENT today.