You see, your's truly -- aka Ms. Diagnosis -- had the perfect topic to present for my first "Blank Stare Corner" article. I did say, "HAD", right? And...I intended to submit it in a timely way to the High Priestess of Blank Stare Corner. Welp. That was until this cold knocked me on my @$$. It was indeed a force to be reckoned with.
Consequently...I have been shamefully tardy with my contribution [blank stare]. In light of such, there has been a pivotal shift on my topic discussion at hand. In lieu of my intended entry, I will review Three facts and fallacies regarding the "Common Cold". Soooo...let's test your knowledge, shall we while I pop some Zinc Gluconate. Ready...set...GO!
True or False:
1. You can get a common cold by cold changes in weather temperature and not being dressed warmly enough.
You can catch a cold one of the following ways:
A person with a cold sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose near you. Alternatively, you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched something contaminated by the virus, such as a phone, a shopping cart handle, or doorknob. See how that works?
I can sense your skepticism. You want to know if that is true how is it we contract more colds in winter and rarely in summer?? Welp...it is because while it is not fully understood, studies have shown that hotter and humid air aren't as hospitable to cold viruses. Cold temperatures tend to be more favorable. In addition, colder weather forces us to be indoors more often, thus in closer proximity to germy individuals.
2. Antibiotics can lessen the duration of a cold.
The common cold, is caused by different viruses, the most common being strains of rhinovirus, coronavirus, and respiratory synctial virus. Viruses are treated with anti viral medication. On the other hand, antibiotics only work on bacterial infections. In fact, taking antibiotics when not needed or not as prescribed can do more harm than good [this topic to be discussed in more depth in a later blog].
I smell a naysayer once again. What's that you say?? You have gone to the doctor and gotten antibiotics and started feeling better in a day or so? No surprise. I am sure you did! It's because the virus ran it's course. You feeling better after starting the medication was purely a coincidence. Most colds last 5 to 7 days.
3. A cold may also lead to worsening of asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, and sinusitis.
Any cold lasting more than 7 days, accompanied by fever, sinus type headache, thick greenish phelgm [coughed up via the mouth or blown put via the nose], or a persistent cough requires a doctor's visit. This may be indicative of the need of anitbiotics as a bacterial infection may now be present.
Conversely, wheezing, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, or other respiratory distress requires immediate medical treatment to an urgent care or emergency room. This may be needed by 911, if necessary.