Don’t Sweat a Summer Cold

The sun is shining and a sandy beach calls to you. Your vacation plans include BBQs, amusement parks, and summer baseball games, not a summer cold. Yet here you are, stuck inside and wondering why you’re feeling so rotten when the weather is so great.

Even worse, experts suggest summer colds often last longer and may occur more frequently. So how do you keep from sweating a cold when you should be enjoying the heat? Read on to find out:

5 Things That Make a Summer Cold Worse

There are several reasons why summer colds are actually worse. Luckily, a few of these can be mitigated by basic precautions. When dealing with a summer illness, here are some additional factors to consider.

  • It’s a different strain of virus: Three of the more common viruses that cause upper respiratory infections in winter are rhino-, corona- and parainfluenza. In the summer, we must also contend with enterovirus. Enterovirus spreads the same way as other forms of the cold: coughing, sneezing, and exposure to bio of an infected person.
  • Enterovirus is more complicated than other viruses: Typical colds can involve headache, hacking cough, congestion and low grade  fever. In addition to these symptoms,  enterovirus can lead to sore throat, rashes, and even diarrhea. Furthermore, enterovirus can last longer than more common viruses. Extra frustrating when you’ve got a full calendar of fun planned!
  • Air conditioning encourages infection: Air conditioning recirculates air, removing mositure, which in turn dries out your nose and throat, providing a more welcome environment for viruses.
  • People are less likely to take colds seriously in the summer months: Missing a few days of work isn’t too much of a problem for some people, but suggest taking a vacation from your vacation and many will choose to tough it out instead. This could lead to a longer illness and a greater chance that others will be exposed. Summertime can also mean an altered schedule, including reduced sleep and changes in diet.
  • Allergies confuse some sufferers: When flowers blossom and the trees are fully green, people are accustomed to suffering allergies. For this reason, many may mistakenly treat their colds with over-the-counter symptom relievers and allergy medications, as opposed to seeking medical advice.

Prevention Is Key

So how do you prevent an ill-timed infection from taking the wind out of your sails? The same things that stop a winter cold dead in its tracks are instrumental to maintaining your health when temperatures rise. The SOURCE suggests the following:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use hand sanitizer in public places, when handling shared items.
  • Keep your immune system energized with plenty of sleep.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Eat a balanced diet.

Additionally, those who tend to sit it out in the winter should ease into physical activities. Enterovirus is the only infection associated with strenuous exercise.  Keeping an eye on your mood is also a good idea if you hope to avoid sickness. Summer colds also tend to be more common when you’re suffering from low mood or depression.

If you do get sick, expect your immune system to be fighting for five to seven days, the average lifespan of a cold. Remember that antibiotics are useless against colds and should only be used when under the supervision of a physician.