Coughs and Colds

How do we get coughs and colds?

 

Coughs and Colds

It's the time of year when we see a lot of coughs and colds. A common expression is I've "caught a cold". How exactly do you "catch" a cold? Why do some people seem to get away with not getting it? Is a cold due to a shortage of tissues? Is a cough due to a shortage of cough medicine?

These questions might seem silly, but we often reach for the medicine cabinet when a cough or cold arises.

What causes a cold?

The common cold is caused by a virus. These organisms are airborne, so it is important to teach youngsters to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing so not to spread these organisms. Another common way to get a cold is from someone sneezing into a handkerchief and then shaking your hand without washing it. Likewise if someone were to sneeze into their hands and then touch something e.g. pen, which you then picked up hours later and then rubbed your nose or mouth you could become infected with that cold virus.

Why do only some get the cold and not others?

We are all exposed to airborne organisms everyday that could make us sick. If our bodies are functioning properly it is designed in a way that may protect us from many potential illnesses. If our protection system is hampered somehow, then our body might not be able to fight off the infective agents and we feel the symptoms of a cold.

Our protection system

The first line of defense against airborne organisms is our nose and mouth. The nose has a lot of tiny hairs which help "filter" the air we breathe, our mouth have our tonsils which also help to filter air before it reaches our lungs.

To help fight off infection our immune systems react by releasing "good" organisms so that our bodies become a battle ground. The production of mucus and its colour can help your diagnostic physician determine what kind of organisms has entered your body. If the immune system is not functioning properly or at full capacity the "bad" organisms may overcome the "good" organisms and infection has the opportunity to set in.

The common cold usually causes no real problem in the long term; however it may last for up to two weeks. Antibiotics are no use as these are for bacterial infections not the cold which is a viral contaminant.

Can Chiropractic help?

Because chiropractic's aim is to help the nervous system to function at its best it may well have a significant effect on how well our immune system is working.

If our immune system is working at its full potential then you will have a better chance of fighting off colds and infections.

If you or your child suffers from constant coughs, colds and sore throats why not see your chiropractor. They might help prevent future infection or help you to recover more quickly. You may have less time off work and/or school.

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos | Source

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