Acute viral rhinopharyngitis, or simply known as common cold, is the most commonly occurring disease in human beings. If you have ever wondered "how does the common cold affect your body?", read on to find the answer.
The irony of the cold flu virus is that despite being able to affect everyone and there being no known cure for it, it is hardly fatal! So, when it comes to this malady, prevention is always better than cure.
Understanding Common Cold
It is a contagious viral infection caused mainly by two types of viruses, rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. These viruses are present in our surroundings and attack you when your immune system is weak. The immune system may be weakened due to various reasons, such as exposure to rain and cold weather or lack of rest. The immune system may also be weakened while the body is trying to acclimatize to weather change.
Also, a vitamin D deficiency makes the human body prone to virus attacks. Thus, in these situations, the human immune system is weak and the body appears to be a safe haven for the virus. It mainly affects children, as their immune systems are not yet fully developed. They are also unaware about the causes and symptoms, leading to increase in the seriousness of the cold. Unfortunately, there is still no cure for the cold as there are far too many subtypes of rhinoviruses, and it is difficult to tell one from the other and develop a medicine for each one; while coronaviruses are difficult to artificially grow in virus-research labs.
The symptoms of cold are known to us all. You know that you’re getting a cold when your body starts experiencing chills. The other most common symptoms might be nasal congestion/discharge, coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat. If you are hit by a violent cold by the worst rhinovirus in town, you might even experience muscular pain and weakness, headache, loss of appetite, uncontrolled shivering, and extreme exhaustion.
The thing with the common cold is that once you contract it, your already weakened immune system is further attenuated. So, if the illness continues, the body becomes even weaker. Simply speaking, if the rhinovirus settles in your body, and likes it, it might call its friends for a stay as well. Thus, you become susceptible to other, more dangerous and complicated diseases, such as pneumonia and influenza, which at times can be fatal. It may also lead to sinusitis, bronchitis, hypothermia, strep throat, and otitis media. If you have chronic lung diseases already, such as asthma, there is a risk of the illness being aggravated, leading to frequent attacks.
Remember that prevention is the best way to go. Once attacked, there’s not much you can do about the cold, except rest and wait for it to go. The medicines available in the market only kill the symptoms but not the virus. For example, you have medicines to cure nasal congestion or headache, but no medicine that actually cures you completely from the cold.
Cold can be altogether prevented by proper rest, a vitamin-rich diet, and regular physical activity. Avoid smoking, as it does nothing to fortify your lungs against the disease. Clean your body properly so that if there are stray rhinoviruses on your body, you can get rid of them before they are inside. If the common cold does affect your body due to negligence of previous points, learn your lesson and try avoiding its recurrence.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.