The common cold — its name alone reveals that this viral infection of the upper respiratory tract is perhaps one of the most common illnesses known to man.

Despite of it being very common, it still causes some very unfavorable symptoms, ranging from a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, malaise, headache to low-grade fever. To date, there is no single cure for the common cold as the virus responsible for it comes in many different forms, and also mutates quite quickly. There are, however, numerous drugs for dealing with the symptoms of this common yet very uncomfortable illness.

If you want to keep the common cold from striking, then avoid the following really common habits that, according to medical professionals, can make you at risk of having it:

Keeping the Hands Dirty

Especially when the cold season is here, just about any object or surface in public is teeming with the cold virus. It’s for this reason why you should always wash your hands with soap and water each and every time you turn a doorknob, press an elevator button or flush the toilet. It’s also a good idea to always keep a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your pocket or bag just in case washing your hands with soap and water isn’t possible.

Touching Your Face

Did you know that the cold virus can get inside your system by means of your nose, mouth and eyes? It’s exactly because of this reason why touching your face is a no-no if it’s the cold season. Even if you regularly disinfect your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face.

Going to Crowded Places

When the cold season is around, consider staying indoors more often. Doing so will help considerably reduce your odds of ending up with the common cold. Otherwise, you can easily come into contact with the cold virus if an infected person at the mall, theater or restaurant laughs, sneezes or coughs in front of you.

Sharing Personal Items

Just because you are indoors doesn’t mean right away that you are out of harm’s way. This is most especially true if a person that you are living with — your spouse, mom, sibling, etc. — has the common cold. Actually, you can end up with the upper respiratory tract infection, too, if you happen to use the infected individual’s personal items, such as a cup, glass, spoon, towel, t-shirt and pillows.

Having Unhealthy Eating Habits

One of the best ways to minimize your risk of getting down with the common cold is by making sure that your immune system is strong. It’s of utmost importance that you opt for well-balanced meals, and also consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods because the said nutrient is crucial for a bolstered immune system.

Smoking Cigarettes

Cigarette smoking is something can put you at risk of the common cold — and so many other health problems, too! It’s because it damages your air passages that are lined with mucus as well as immune system cells that trap and kill off microbes that enter your body via your respiratory system. Even if you are not a smoker, your risk of the common cold is still high if you are living with a smoker and you are inhaling lots of secondhand smoke.

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