The assumption that one can get a cold by cold is traditionally widespread and holds until today. It can alone be triggered by the influence of cold, no cold. If you get a cold after a stay in a cold environment, a pathogen, such as a virus must also be involved. Colds from infection with a virus are especially common in the cold months, as the viruses have a better survival in cold air and the human immune system is weakened by cold and dry air.
Cold alone is not a direct trigger of a cold. Not every person exposed to cold gets a cold, and the other way around, people also get a cold, even though they have not been in the cold before. Therefore, a direct relationship that only the cold produces no cold without the presence of pathogens is a cold. A common trigger of a cold are rhinoviruses. These can best survive in cold, wet air. They are therefore supported by the cold in their functionality. About one fifth of all people have a constant colonization of the nasal mucosa with these rhinoviruses. With heat and a working immune system, these rhinoviruses are kept in check and no symptoms occur.
It is known from research that cold air has an inhibitory effect on the cleaning effect of the nasal mucosa. The nasal mucosa cleans the inhaled air and can also eliminate pathogens before they can trigger an infection. If the nose is now exposed to the cold, blood circulation is reduced and less immune cells reach the mucous membrane to ward off potential pathogens. The nasal mucosa is further weakened by drying out by the dry air that is typical of the cold. Drying makes them more susceptible to infections with, for example, rhinoviruses. Cold is therefore a favorable factor for the cause of a cold. Prolonged cold effects on the insufficiently protected body can also weaken the immune system.
In cold weather, the entire organism works slower and the immune system is affected. For this, however, intense cold is necessary and proper clothing can protect well against this effect. However, it can not be sufficiently differentiated whether the weakening of the immune system is really triggered by the cold or other factors also play a role. One of these factors is a vitamin D deficiency that can be caused by the low levels of solar radiation in winter. He also leads to a weakening of the immune system. An indirect connection between cold and a cold is to be found in the fact that people tend to stay in buildings during the cold season. Due to poor ventilation and sick people in the area, the cold can spread better and faster. The dry air through heating also plays a role in the susceptibility of the nasal region to infection.
For outdoor wear appropriate clothing should be worn. Above all, the middle of the body should be kept warm. In humans, staying in the fresh, if cold, air is even beneficial to the immune system. Heated rooms, which are a frequent location during the cold days, should be ventilated regularly to limit the spread of pathogens. In the sense direct contact with people with a cold should be avoided.
As a general measure, a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended. In addition, should be dispensed with alcohol and smoking in the best case and enough sleep can also protect against a cold act.
The term cold has a historical origin. Already in the old Rome the illness of the cold was connected with the stay in the cold. From this time comes the term of the common cold. For many centuries, the term has been handed down and even after it was revealed that the relationship between cold and a cold is not completely correct, the term remains common in common usage.