The sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and yet you have a cold. Your Covid-19 screening test is negative. Most likely it’s just a summer cold.. How to diagnose, prevent and treat it quickly? We take stock.
The common cold refers to upper respiratory infections : rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose) and rhinopharyngitis (inflammation of the nose and upper pharynx). It is essential to clearly identify your symptoms before becoming alarmed. Summer or winter, they remain the same:
If you feel itchy eyesor if it is swollen, it is most likely allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
If you experience body aches or fever.It could be the flu. In which case, consult your GP to confirm the diagnosis and avoid any risk of contagion.
How long does a summer cold last?
Usually, cold symptoms remain mild and can last from 7 to 14 days.
Spontaneous evolution is usually favourable, but if your symptoms suddenly get worseor does not improve after two weeks, seek specialist advice.
Why do you catch cold in summer?
The Covid-19 pandemic has overshadowed many winter viruses (rhinovirus and influenza in the lead). Despite the increase in temperatures, they can resurface in summer for several reasons:
The lifting of barrier gestures
The resurgence of winter viruses is explained in part by the gradual lifting of certain barrier gestures, particularly wearing a mask outdoors. The return to a dynamic social life (multiplication of large concentrations and festive events, more crowded public places, etc.) also causes a certain promiscuityconducive to the spread of viruses.
A less efficient immune system
With the winter of 2021 being placed under the sign of Covid-19, our immune system, previously trained to fight winter viruses and to deal with many pathogens, has gone several months without being exposed to them. Therefore, he lacks training and could then they need more time to reactivate against the simple viruses responsible for nasopharyngitis.
“Frequent exposure to various pathogens primes or stimulates the immune system to be ready to respond to that pathogen,” said Dr. Paul Skolnik, an immunovirologist and chair of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (United States), in New York Times (source 1). And to continue: “If you haven’t had these exposures, your immune system may be a little slower to react or not respond as fully, which leads to increased susceptibility to certain respiratory infections and sometimes longer or more prolonged symptoms“.
Annotate : the stress it can also trigger a drop in immune defenses, hence, a more acute sensitivity to cold viruses.
Summer cold: blame the air conditioning?
The use of air conditioning systems and fans. during the summer period it can also be the cause of a summer cold. Significant changes in temperature cause heating of the mucous membranes: blood vessels dilate when it is hot, and constrict when it is cold. When suddenly going from a cool environment to a cold environment, the contraction and expansion phases they multiply and we become more susceptible to viruses.
Not to mention the fact that Air conditioning systems spread viruses. in all rooms.
The common cold usually disappears spontaneously: the virus is eliminated naturally by the body. Some medications can relieve uncomfortable symptoms:
- Paracetamol relieves fever and headaches.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, should not be used without medical advice: they are not recommended for pregnant women and contraindicated from the sixth month of pregnancy.
- You can also bet nasal washes with sea water.
Beware of vasoconstrictor decongestants, available in nasal form (by prescription as Rhinofluimucil) or orally (over-the-counter as Actifed Cold, Dolirhume, etc.). They can have side effects such as persistent headaches and, in some cases, even cause adverse cardiovascular or neurological effects.
What remedies for colds in summer?
From more “natural” solutions They also help to overcome summer colds:
- Dry or wet inhalation of essential oils (radiated eucalyptus, pine, etc.). Taking into account that these essential oils should not be used in pregnant women, children under 6 years of age and in case of asthma. These oils can also be applied on the skin, in chest massage, to free the nose and bronchial tubes (pour 2 drops diluted in a teaspoon of vegetable oil).
- propolis nasal spray can also be useful to combat the feeling of nasal congestion.
- Some the so-called “grandmother’s remedies” have also proven their worth: infusions made with thyme, lemon and crumbI, for example, are always effective. AN chicken soup seasoned with onion, garlic and chili can also be effective.
What habits to promote healing?
To recover quickly, pay attention to your lifestyle :
- limit sources of stress;
- do not overheat your room;
- stay well hydrated (1.5 liters of water per day);
- wash your hands well to prevent the spread of germs;
- blow your nose and throw away used tissues to limit the risk of contamination.
Can you swim with a cold?
It is possible to play sports when you have mild symptoms, but it is best to refrain. On one hand for save your strength and preserve their immune defenses, on the other hand to limit the risk of contaminationbut also for prevent symptoms from getting worse it already exists.