Common Cold Myths
Common cold myths are about as widespread as the common cold itself. One of the most common myths involves the weather, and its role as a so-called cause of colds. There is no evidence that you can get a cold from exposure to cold weather -- or from getting chilled or overheated. Other cold myths are related to the use of vitamin C, echinacea, or antibiotics to prevent colds. There is no clear evidence that any of these common cold myths have any truth to them.
Common Cold Myths: An Introduction
With such a common disease, there are bound to be many common cold myths related to the causes, prevention, and treatment for the common cold.
Some of these common cold myths are related to:
Common Cold Myths: The WeatherOne of the oldest common cold myths concerns the weather's impact on your chances of getting a cold. There is no evidence that you can get a cold from exposure to cold weather -- or from getting chilled or overheated.
Although colds are not related to the weather, people are more likely to get colds during the colder months. There are thought to be a couple of different reasons for this. During colder weather, people are inside more and in closer contact with people who might be contagious. Also, cold weather may make the inside lining of your nose drier and more vulnerable to viral infection.
Common Cold Myths: AntibioticsAnother common cold myth is that antibiotics can be used to treat the common cold. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but the common cold is caused by a virus. Therefore, antibiotics will have no effect on the organisms that cause the common cold.
Antibiotics can be used to treat complications of the common cold, such as bronchitis, sinusitis, or ear infections, but these complications are rare.
Overuse of antibiotics has become a very serious problem, leading to a resistance in disease-causing bacteria that may render antibiotics ineffective for certain conditions. In addition, you should not use antibiotics "just in case," because they will not prevent bacterial infections.
(Click When to Call the Doctor for a Cold or Flu for more information.)