Common colds are never fun – they can leave you feeling sick, weak, and with a general feeling of malaise overall. Such symptoms are already bad enough to cope with during normal cold and flu season (which typically runs from November until April), but they can be exacerbated even more during summer months.
Compared to winter colds, which typically last about ten days and usually clear up on their own without any complications, summer colds often tend to linger, and it’s also not uncommon for patients to notice a recurrence. Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fever and body aches are also more likely to occur with summer colds. The question is: Why?
Below, Vancouver physician Dr. Ali Ghahary shares some insight on what makes summer colds feel worse and tips on how you can find relief.
One of the biggest reasons why a summer cold might feel worse is due to the fact that we are usually more active during warmer weather. While activity is a very important factor in staying healthy and something that Dr. Ali Ghahary strongly advocates, doing too much can also burn out your immune system – and with a burnt out immune system you are more susceptible to developing illness and less likely to recover as quickly as you would with a winter-time cold.
Air conditioning is something that can also have an impact on colds. While a little AC might feel refreshing during hot weather, it tends to make our noses and mouths dry, and dry environments are something flu and cold viruses thrive on, thus making symptoms feel worse.
So just how do you find relief for a summer cold? First and foremost, you need to rest! While you may not be the type of person who can stand staying home and would much rather be outside enjoying all the sunshine that Vancouver has to offer lately, it is important to not overexert yourself. Listen to your body and allow it the time that it needs to heal. There are still 78 days left of summer which means you have plenty of time left to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors when you’re feeling better!
While most colds simply have to take their course, there are certain things you can do to help relieve your symptoms. Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends drinking plenty of fluids – water, especially – to stay hydrated. You can also use over-the-counter products such as ibuprofen as well as decongestant nasal sprays. However, it is important to follow the directions carefully. Overuse of some of these products can result in the worsening of symptoms as well as rebound congestion.
If you’re still not finding relief or have any questions relating to your health, Dr. Ali Ghahary is happy to see patients on a walk-in basis at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby. You can get directions to the clinic and find his walk-in schedule by clicking here.