Viruses alone cause inflammation of the membranes lining the nose and throat, leading to symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, sneezing or coughing. Studies show that having a cold does not increase the chances of having a cold. If the cold virus is already in your body, however, catching a cold can cause symptoms, but not because you’ve been exposed.
This “drafts” myth, which says we can catch a cold from drafts, comes with many other similar myths. For example, there are people who believe that you can get the flu when you go out in the cold without a thick coat, when you go out with wet hair, or when you sit by an open window. But there is no evidence of this.
You only get sick when you are exposed to the flu virus
The flu season, in fact, coincides with the cold, so people often associate the flu with a cold environment, through which the “current” passes, but these factors have absolutely nothing to do with each other, experts say. The discomfort that you feel in the throat in the morning or the sore throat can have different causes, which are not related to the traditional “current” that is created at home.
Although many people may think that leaving a window open can cause a sore throat, it appears the condition is more dependent on air quality, doctors say. Cold air coming in through an open window can help people breathe better, except when the air is very dry, American specialists say.
And fans can dry out the air in the room, but their soothing background noise can lead to better sleep. Specialists suggest that if we opt for a fan, we should turn it in the opposite direction. Even so, it will circulate the air in the room while emitting that background noise, which isn’t bothersome.
Common problems related to the environment in which you sleep
The most common reasons why sore throats occur in the morning are dry air (especially in winter) in the sleeping room, mouth breathing, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Other culprits are dehydration, hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or the onset of a cold.
So, if you consider the environment you sleep in and the symptoms you face, you will discover ways you can get rid of that sore throat, stinging sensation in your throat. For example, you can opt for a humidifier if you suspect the air is dry in the room you sleep in, especially since this tends to be a frequent problem during the winter.
Drinking more water can also help, especially before bed. And if you breathe through your mouth, ask your doctor for advice, because the specialist can recommend the best nasal sprays, which can unblock your airways. And if you’re dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease, there are pillows that can help you sit better, but the key to success is a healthy diet and weight control.
Exposure to cold and humidity by itself will not cause you infections, even when you have been in the current. But the chance of developing a cold or flu increases during the winter months (which start in September and last until March or April).
The best way to avoid an infection is to limit exposure to the viruses and bacteria that cause them, regardless of the weather. This means staying away from infected people, keeping your hands away from your eyes and nose, washing your hands often (especially during the cold season), and cleaning surfaces that may be infected with bacteria or viruses with a disinfectant, writes winchesterhospital.org.