Does the cold cause a cold? Local doctor explains

Does the cold cause a cold? Local doctor explains

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You can be sure you're going to feel the chill in the air when you walk out the door Tuesday.

But when we catch a cold, is it really fair to blame it on the change in weather?

One Myrtle Beach doctor said it is not necessarily the change in our temperatures during this time of year that has you "under the weather."

One Myrtle Beach resident said, she does believe the weather makes you sick. "I also do think that when it gets colder we will get sick just because you're outside, it's cold, you might not have a jacket on, your ears may not be covered," she said.

Another resident said that's not true. "I think that's an old wives' tale - it's actually bacteria and viruses that make you sick, and not actually the cold weather," he said.

Dr. Vance Vandergriff with South Strand Internists  & Urgent Care said, that resident is right: "Being cold is not the same as having a cold."

In fact, Dr. Vandergriff said the warm to cool temperatures often trigger sinus problems and allergies.

"I think a lot of time what happens with the fluctuation of weather, you might get some swelling in your sinus passages that can mimic those feelings of being sick and those are often time related to allergies as well," Vandergriff said. He added many times your conditions can worsen if you don't seek care early-on. "Now if those don't get treated that pressure sits there and fluid builds up and sometimes bacterial infections can occur as a result of that, so that's why its important try to get those symptoms treated early rather than waiting until its been there two or three weeks."

Vandergriff says as the temperatures get colder, we tend to spend more time indoors - we'll be around more people, which often makes it easier for germs, viruses, and bacteria to travel.

"Most of our parents are working, so they can't take time off when the kids get sick, so they send their sick kid to school, that allows other kids in the class to get sick, then they bring it home to their parents and it creates that cycle," explained Vandergriff.

There are a few things you can do to lower your chances of getting sick.

"You don't have to be a hermit and hide, just try to use good handing washing techniques, don't share your food and drink, and stay away from people who are really sick and give them chance to recover," Vandergriff said.

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