Common Colds and Cold Weather

Have you ever heard of nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis or acute coryza? Probably not, but odds are you’re familiar with the symptoms associated with them; a sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing? Or better known as—the common cold. As the weather changes and the temperature drops, colds seem to follow.

Why is cold weather associated with the common cold?

It has been found through research the rhinoviruses, the most common cause for colds, actually thrives in colder temperatures. Your nasal cavity ranges between 33-35 degrees Celsius, which is slightly cooler than your body temperature, 37 degrees Celsius. As the weather becomes cooler, your body’s immune system becomes less defensive, creating the perfect atmosphere for the virus to spread. As the weather continues to cool down this winter, here are some tips to help you avoid getting sick this season:

  •  Cover your nose in extremely cold weather
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Practice good health habits (exercising, eating healthy foods)

 Whether you’re helping stop your own spread of germs, or are taking strides to prevent becoming sick, the above steps are all proactive ways to promote a healthy environment. If you or your family does suffer from illness this winter, the skilled doctors and staff at Alexandria Otolaryngology Associates are always available to help get you back on your feet.