Can cold cause a cold? – DNA

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Recent research reveals how cold affects our nasal defenses, contradicting ancient beliefs about cold. Masks have become an effective tool in the fight against viruses.

Ciudad Juárez, Chih. (DNA/Employee)- Colds and flu are becoming more common as winter approaches, but are colds the real culprit of these illnesses? The advice to wear thick clothes to avoid getting sick has been the mantra for years, however, recent research challenges this idea and gives us a deeper explanation of the relationship between colds and the immune system.

A revealing study in 2022 changes the way we understand this phenomenon. The key isn’t the cold itself, but how it affects our body’s first line of defense: the nose. US researchers have found that a drop in internal nose temperature of just 5°C can significantly weaken our nasal walls. This weakening leads to the death of almost half of the beneficial bacteria needed to fight invading viruses.

Mansoor Amiji of Northeastern University emphasizes that although our defenses decrease with cold, the presence of viruses is crucial to the development of colds. This finding highlights the importance of exposure to viruses, in addition to low temperatures, as a determinant of illness.

Amiji said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the widespread use of face masks, a habit that not only prevents viral particles from entering but also keeps our noses warm, thus strengthening our internal defenses. This protective effect of masks, especially models such as N95 or KN95, provides an additional strategy for preventing the common cold and flu.

In addition to studying the effects of cold on our immune systems, mask use has evolved to become an effective barrier not only against COVID-19, but also against other respiratory pathogens. While science continues to find solutions, such as topical nasal medications to prevent a drop in nasal temperature, the use of masks is becoming a convenient and effective preventative measure.

The renewed focus on respiratory disease prevention prompts us to reconsider long-held beliefs and adjust our daily practices based on the latest scientific evidence. Dressing up in winter is still important, but keeping your nose warm and protected may be the real secret to avoiding a cold.

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