It often starts with a scratchy throat before becoming a coughing and sneezing fit that includes a runny nose and plenty of congestion. But what causes the common cold? If you find yourself coughing and sneezing more than you would like, learn about the reasons behind this illness below. You may want to make an appointment with your local immunology center to address the symptoms and receive treatment.
Factors that Cause a Common Cold
Exposure to Infected People
Working or doing anything else around one or more people infected with the rhinovirus, coronavirus, or parainfluenza greatly increases your chances of contracting a cold. The rhinovirus alone accounts for up to 40% of colds. The latter infects the body by entering your mouth, nose, or eyes through droplets in the air after an infected person sneezes, blows their nose, or coughs. Confined spaces, such as an airplane, can cause symptoms to emerge faster. Using doorknobs or touching other surfaces a person with cold germs handled, and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose also increases your risk. Healthy hand washing practices help protect you.
Weakened Immune System
If your immune system is weakened for any reason, such as from another acute illness or a chronic condition or disease, your susceptibility to cold viruses increases. Many other factors depress the immune system and increase your cold vulnerability, including alcohol, tobacco, poor diet choices, lack of exercise, excessive stress, and not enough sleep. Health experts at immunology centers provide treatments as well as lifestyle recommendations that boost your immunity so your body can fight viral strains effectively.
Children under the age of 6 are more likely to get colds because their immune systems are still developing. Decreased resistance to colds is also common among the elderly, who may have other health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and renal insufficiency. The immune systems of older people are often weaker, so they have a greater risk of infection without lifestyle changes and immunology treatments.
If your immune system isn’t as healthy as you would like or you are dealing with an autoimmune disease, visit Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC. Serving Long Island, New York City, and the Tri-State area, this state-of-the-art immunology center offers traditional and modern treatments such as regenerative cell therapy to provide patients with the best care possible. Call (516) 759-4200 to schedule a consultation or visit the center online for more information about their autoimmune diseases treatment options.