INDIANA — As the cold weather sneaks in do you feel a slight sniffle in your nose or dryness in your throat?
Dr. Anthony Zabel with IU Health says there some truth to a cold being connected to a change in the weather because your health is impacted by everything in the environment.
“There’s a percentage of the population that actually carries common viruses that cause the common cold in your nose all the time,” he said. “When your physical nose gets cold blood vessels constrict, and your immune system is less able to get into your nose to help to keep those viruses well controlled.”
He says you can also catch a cold from being out in the cold air too long, or you may have winter allergies that stem from turning on the furnace for the first time and blowing dust and mold into the air of your house.
His advice is to keep your nose covered if you’re prone to catching a cold when you’re out in the cold for too long or reach out to your doctor if you start developing common cold symptoms.
“If you’re having regular cold symptoms, maybe a little bit of a scratchy throat and some sniffles, it could be indoor allergies, it could be a different viral infection, or it could be coronavirus,” Dr. Zabel said.
He said your doctor may have you take a coronavirus test, but if it comes back negative you’ll at least know if you can return to the workplace and how to manage your symptoms.
One way to manage those symptoms is a remedy you’ve been using for years: chicken noodle soup.
“Chicken soup actually does make you feel better if your sick,” he said. “Whether it’s the warmth of something warm in your throat to soothe a sore throat, it is a comfort food, which can pick up your spirits overall.”
He said other natural remedies you can take is Zinc or vitamin C to help prevent or recover from an infection. Rest, a well-balanced diet, and keeping the stress low can also help fight off a common cold.