Cold symptoms: ‘Man flu’ can be treated effectively to speed up recovery
Common colds are a frequent occurrence at this time of year thanks to dropping temperatures.
Symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, cough, sneezing, slight aches and low-grade fever.
Despite misconceptions, men are more likely to battle on with their ‘man flu’ at work than women, according to a new survey.
It was found that 40 per cent of men still worked, compared to 36 per cent of women.
Research by decongestant oil brand, Olbas, also discovered that two in five men will still go into the office, while one in five will continue to work from home.
This was often because men feared judgement from their bosses, with ten per cent worried about being penalised if they called in sick.
Cold symptoms: Research has found men are more likely to keep working through illness
Although we may think men are the weaker sex when it comes to bugs and viruses, men are tougher than perhaps their partners give them credit for.
“Although we may think men are the weaker sex when it comes to bugs and viruses, men are tougher than perhaps their partners give them credit for,” said Dr Roger Henderson, GP and Olbas ambassador.
“‘Man flu’ is a myth! It is the same influenza virus that affects both men and women. Although, women often recover more quickly from flu than men, leading to the notion that men are exaggerating their symptoms.
“In fact, it may be that hormonal influences affect the immune response and so men and women can appear to react slightly differently to the same cold or flu virus.”
Worryingly, many men do not appear to know how best to deal effectively with cold symptoms.
Researchers found that as many as 15 per cent believed that having an alcoholic drink would help.
Dr Henderson reveals the things men should and shouldn’t do to relieve their illness.
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Cold symptoms: Signs include a runny nose, sore throat and sneezing
DON’T – Make your home a hot-spot for germs
As comforting as it can be to bury yourself under the covers all day with the heating turned up and the curtains closed, cutting yourself off from the outside world will only create the perfect breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
By opening your windows and letting fresh air run through your home will help chase them away. This is the same with your body, getting fresh air in your lungs will make a beneficial difference.
DO – Steer clear of spooning or sleep in separate beds
Bedtimes can be the most contagious time for couples as this is when they are in closest proximity and therefore most at risk of catching their partner’s cold.
Congestion and subsequent coughing is often at its peak during bedtime due to mucus building up when we lie down to sleep.
Our bodies will cough to break up this congestion, in turn spreading the contagious germs into the surrounding air. It is therefore a smart idea for couples to sleep apart when their partner’s cold is at its peak.
DON’T – Place your toothbrushes together
One that can often be forgotten, keeping your toothbrushes separate. When you are bogged down with a cold or flu it is worth getting yourself a new toothbrush. Germs can live on the wet bristles for a few hours up to a few days.
This moist environment provided by a recently used toothbrush is particularly hospitable to such pathogens. Or, simply placing it into boiling water will do the trick of sanitisation.
Cold symptoms: Avoid affection to recover quicker, says an expert
DO – Clean up your act
Once the cold has passed, give the house a deep clean. Some cold and flu viruses can live on skin and other things a sick person might touch – such as doorknobs, remote controls, mobile phones, car steering wheels – for up to eight hours.
For couples living together, it would be hard to avoid touching all those things.
DO – Avoid affection
Kissing, cuddling and hugging can be one of the easiest ways for a cold and flu virus to be passed on to your partner.
As tempting as it can be when feeling under the weather, avoiding these affectionate habits to avoid becoming a bad bacteria love affair.
This is one of the most common ways to prolong illnesses when in a relationship.
DON’T – Share food and drink
Avoid eating off each other’s plates, you might not be sharing cutlery but it will transfer saliva form your mouth onto your plate of food. So, if your partner leaves some food don’t be tempted to finish it off.
This is the same with drinks, avoid drinking from the same bottle or glass and be sure to clean everything with boiling water to prevent the spread of any viruses within the kitchen.