In summer, there's nothing more annoying than getting sick. Especially when cold symptoms appear, such as coughing, runny nose, sore throat and even fever. Contrary to what you might think, colds are not exclusive to winter, and they can also occur in summer, almost without warning.
This year, with one heat wave after another, air conditioning and fans have become our best allies. Whether in shops, restaurants, shopping malls, offices, public transport or even at home, it's almost impossible to resist the coolness produced by these devices.
However, incorrect use of air conditioning can lead to symptoms such as colds, laryngitis, pharyngitis and bronchitis. According to the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR), 20% of these ailments are directly linked to incorrect use of air conditioning.
“Air conditioning reduces the humidity of the environment, which leads to the drying out of the nasal mucosa and upper respiratory tract, causing irritation and inflammation,” explains SEPAR.
But the problem isn't limited simply to low temperatures caused by improper use of air conditioning. Sudden changes in temperature can also be the cause of these infections.
This is particularly true when moving from an air-conditioned area to the street, or vice versa. This is the origin of summer colds, often manifested by sneezing, nasal congestion and runny nose.
Experts warn against the mistaken belief that there is less risk of colds in summer. Extreme caution is therefore essential, especially for asthmatics, children and the elderly.
5 tips to avoid colds
Here are some simple tips to avoid colds during the summer:
1. Control the temperature in your home
Set your air conditioning to temperatures between 24°C and 26°C. And don't forget to check and clean the filters regularly. It's also important to maintain air humidity between 35% and 60%. Use a humidifier if the air in your home is too dry.
2. Avoid sudden temperature changes
Avoid situations where you move quickly from a warm to a cold environment, such as drinking iced beverages after being exposed to the sun or swimming in cold water after exercising.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking between 2 liters and 2.5 liters of water a day is essential to stay hydrated, especially in summer.
4. Carry a first-aid kit for your respiratory tract
Always have products available to treat the respiratory tract, such as physiological solutions, nasal sprays and aerosols. These products are particularly recommended for people with asthma or lung disease. Unfortunately, less than 40% of Spaniards have these products at home, according to the Pic Solution barometer.
5. Think ahead when traveling
When you go on vacation, don't forget to pack a first-aid kit. It's common to forget these products when traveling, and it's important to have the tools you need to quickly treat the first symptoms of a cold.
Be vigilant and follow these tips to avoid colds this summer!
I am a student and I am part of the editorial staff of thesilverink.com. I have the chance to enjoy writing, however, I also like to discuss all subjects and especially anything related to Science.