Monday 29 December 2014

Don't forget your nose when you wrap up

The old saying to "wrap up in winter, don't get chills" is true if you want to reduce your chances of getting a cold. But don't forget your nose.

We naturally put on a jumper, winter coat or thick socks to protect the body – but our noses can remain exposed to the cold.

Research shows that becoming chilled can increase the incidence of colds by causing constriction of the nose's blood vessels, which provide white cells that fight viruses.

So, if it's a particularly bitter winter day keep your nose warm with a scarf to protect against the cold and flu virus.

Children in primary school get between seven and 10 colds a year, and women of child-bearing age also tend to suffer more because of their exposure to children.

Between the ages of 30 and 60 years we have experienced most colds and flu viruses and the incidences tend to fall off, said Prof Ron Eccles, Director of the Common Cold Centre at Cardiff University.

However, he said grandparents can suffer another peak in colds because of their contact with children. When people reach their 80s or 90s, the immune and respiratory systems decline so colds can often be the sequel to serious respiratory infections which require treatment with antibiotics, he told 'Healthy' magazine.

Diet is important in reducing the risk of cold and flu viruses and in speeding recovery, and a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables maintains the immune system.

He recommends garlic, which has anti-viral and antibacterial properties and can aid the prevention and treatment of flu.

Moderate exercise, three or four times a week, can help the immune system by moving the immune cells around the body.

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