Cold season is upon us. Here are some interesting facts about the common cold because knowledge is power (although we realize that it may be “cold comfort” if you actually have a nasty cold).
- It’s not the cold virus that make you feel like garbage—it’s your own body that does that. The immune system detects the invasion of the virus, which generally attacks the nose and throat, and lets loose a torrent of white blood cells and other chemical defenders. They attack the virus and force it out of your body, which in turn is what gives you a headache, blocked airways, and other cold symptoms.
- An easy way to get a cold is to have close, physical contact with someone who has a cold. Tiny droplets of mucus on their skin is transferred to your skin, and then into your body through a passage, typically the nose or mouth. But those aren’t the only facial orifices you’ve got. A microscopic mucus droplet can and will enter your body through your eye.
- Oddly enough, one of the hardest ways to catch a cold: kissing. In one study, one 1 in 13 people contract a cold via a smooch.
- A stuffy, blocked up nose is perhaps the definitive cold symptom. But it’s not all stopped up because of mucus. A nose feels full because the nasal blood vessels are inflamed.
- By the time you’re 75 years old, you’ve endured an average of 200 colds, which works out to about two years of being sick.
- There is no one virus called “the common cold.” They vary from year to year, and as millions develop immunities, they mutate and return as another virus. In fact, scientists estimate that there are more than 100 different viruses commonly referred to as “the cold”—which makes curing it all the more difficult.