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Why do we get more colds in the winter?

Posted by Advanced Specialty Care on Dec 14, 2018 4:21:09 PM

Can you catch a cold from the cold? Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist at Advanced Specialty Care explains why the cold weather increases our chances of catching viruses!

child in cold

Most adults get 2-3 colds a year and children even more. It seems that the winter is the worst time for catching a cold. There are 2 main reasons for this. Firstly what we do in cold weather is very different from what we do in warm weather. Secondly our defenses against cold viruses don’t work as well in cold temperatures.

Our activities when it’s cold outside are much more likely to be indoor activities. The air we breath indoors is recycled as opposed to outdoors where it’s fresher. Also, indoor activities are more likely to be with a group of people in an enclosed environment. We catch colds from other people with colds. A group of people in an enclosed environment exposes you to a greater chance of exposure to a cold virus from one of them. Some of them have the cold virus in their bodies but are not exhibiting symptoms. Increased exposure to sick people equals increased exposure to cold viruses and therefore more colds.

Cold winter air is also dry and then when heated for our comfort, it makes the air even drier. Dry air inhaled through our nose will dry out the mucus in our nose. This mucus acts as a defense against cold viruses. It traps them and propels them down to our stomachs where they are killed. Since dry mucus doesn’t carry them through the nose as fast as moist mucus, the viruses stay in our nose longer. The longer the virus is in the nose, the more chance for it to penetrate the lining of the nose and start an infection.

Cold viruses of which there are over 100 types, reproduce better in colder temperatures. This also leads to more colds in the winter.

- Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, ENT

Jeffrey-Monroe-ProfileAt Advanced Specialty Care, our Ear, Nose & Throat physicians are available for adult and pediatric acute care on a same day, call-in basis at most of our locations in Fairfield and Litchfield County. We also treat problems of the head and neck, including ear infectionstonsillitissleep apnea, deviated septum, silent reflux and work side by side with Allergy & Asthma specialists, Audiologists and more. 

If you have questions about or would like to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient office locations in Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield or Southbury, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form.  

Schedule your appointment today!

Advanced Specialty Care is a multi-specialty private practice caring for patients in Fairfield County, CT for over 30 years. We are committed to the well-being of our patients. In addition to Ear, Nose & Throat, we have expertise in Head and Neck Surgery, Allergy & Asthma, Audiology, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and Skin Care and Hand Surgery. Our six, convenient Connecticut offices include, Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Southbury and Stamford.

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Topics: Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, Ear, Nose & Throat, Blog

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