Its called the common cold because, well, its all too common. About one billion colds occur each year in the United States. Colds are the number one reason people visit doctors, too. But, even though they happen so frequently, there are still a lot of myths about colds that you may still believe. Knowing the truth about them could help you to protect your aging relative from colds and treat them when they do occur. Below are 5 myths about the common cold and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Getting Cold Can Cause a Cold

Truth: For years, people have held to the idea that when a person is out in the cold, it could cause them to catch a cold. Despite the name, colds arent caused by exposure to low temperatures. Yes, colds do happen more in the winter, but it doesnt have as much to do with the temperature as people think. Colds are actually caused by a virus. The reason more colds happen in the winter may have something to do with being cooped up indoors with other people so that the virus spreads more easily.

Myth #2: Taking Zinc or Echinacea Reduces the Length of a Cold

Truth: Scientists have studied the effect of both these substances on cold viruses. At best, the results of studies are mixed. Some studies show that echinacea or zinc have anywhere from modest to miraculous results. However, an equal number of studies show theres no benefit at all. If you decide to try echinacea or zinc to treat your aging relatives cold, check with a doctor first. Some supplements can interfere or interact with other medications.

Sick Woman.Flu.Woman Caught Cold. Sneezing into Tissue. HeadacheMyth #3: Antibiotics Can Fight a Cold

Truth: Antibiotics are effective against bacteria. Colds are caused by viruses. Taking antibiotics can actually worsen colds since they may kill good bacteria in the body, making it a better place for the virus to thrive.

Myth #4: You Can Sweat Out a Cold

Truth: Piling blankets on your aging relative to make them sweat isnt likely to help get rid of a cold. Instead, youll just make them uncomfortable. This myth probably comes from the desperation most people feel when nothing they do gets rid of a cold. However, if being covered by an extra blanket makes the older adult feel better, go ahead and cover them up. It wont do any harm.

Myth #5: Starve a Cold, Feed a Fever

Truth: Youve probably heard this phrase, or perhaps its oppositefeed a cold, starve a fever. Either way, its not accurate advice. Depriving your aging relative of food or making them eat too much wont impact a cold. Instead, focus on making sure they get enough liquids to prevent dehydration. When they do feel like eating, offer warm, nutritious foods that are easy to swallow.

Senior care providers can help your older family member when they have a cold. Senior care providers can make them warm soup and drinks. A senior care provider can also make sure they have everything they need, like tissues, on hand so they dont have to get up. Senior care providers can even ensure older adults get plenty of rest by taking care of household tasks, so they dont have to.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Burnsville, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.