The cold (viral rhinitis, acute rhinitis) is a common infection, with several episodes a year, mainly from the fall and until the end of spring. Even with a good lifestyle ( physical exercise , meditation , winter nutrition , balanced sleep , …), it is sometimes difficult to miss. This infection is not to be taken lightly and can have serious consequences. Aiming especially at the nasal cavity (the nose) and throat, the cold is caused by a virus (rhinovirus). Viral or acute rhinitis affects people of all ages and causes sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose (nasal congestion).

In the majority of cases, the symptoms disappear on their own in about a week, but this contagious disease may require consultation with a doctor. The medical treatment of a cold is essential for babies, young children and the elderly or frail because of a risk of respiratory failure. If symptoms persist and become complicated (sinusitis, otitis, fever, sweating, chills, headache, persistent coughing, wheezing, etc.), the cold should be treated regardless of age.

On the other hand, mental health and mental well-being are important throughout life, and the influence on our physical health is not anecdotal. In a reassuring social context and surrounded by our loved ones, it is always easier to face small daily ills or more serious diseases. And according to the results of a research published in 2017, cold symptoms are more noticeable when people feel lonely.

To have a cold is not a joke, even if today we can treat this infection perfectly. It’s embarrassing and tiring, not to mention the possibilities that the infection can get worse. However, having a cold if you are alone can actually be worse, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Health Psychology .

Suffering from a cold is pretty boring, but if you are alone, you may feel worse. The study found that people who feel lonely are more likely to report that their cold symptoms are worse than those with stronger social networks. Loneliness puts people at risk for premature mortality and all kinds of other physical illnesses. Until today, nothing has been done to consider the influence of loneliness on an acute but temporary illness to which we are all vulnerable, such as colds.

The researchers made a distinction between solitary and real feelings of social isolation. This study focuses on the quality of relationships, not quantity. You can be in a crowded room and feel very alone. This perception is what seems to be important when it comes to cold symptoms.

To carry out this task, it was necessary to find isolated people, then isolate them and give them a cold. A total of 159 people between the ages of 18 and 55, of whom almost 60% were men, were assessed for their psychological and physical health, receiving cold-induced nasal drops, and quarantining for five days in rooms. ‘hotel.

Participants were rated in advance on a scale about their loneliness and social network. They were followed during and after the five-day stay. After adjusting for segments such as demographics, gender, age, season, depressive effect, and social isolation, the results showed that those who felt lonely were no more likely to have colds than those who did. who were not. On the other hand, those who were screened in advance for their loneliness level and who were infected reported greater severity of symptoms than those recorded in previous studies used as controls. The size of the social networks (social relations) of the participants seems to have no impact on their state of health.


Previous research has shown that different psychosocial factors such as “feeling rejected” or “feeling left out” or having strong social connections with other people make people feel worse physically, mentally and emotionally.

The effect may be the same for those under other types of stress. Every time you have an illness, it’s a stressor, and it probably would happen. A predisposition, whether physical or mental, may be exaggerated by a subsequent stressor. In this case, the phenomenon or cause that causes subsequent stress increases the disease, such as the loss of a loved one or the announcement of breast cancer.

Finally, what makes this study so novel is the tight experimental design, it is a particular predisposition – loneliness – that interacts with a particular stressor. Physicians should consider psychological factors when admitting on a regular basis. This would certainly help them understand the phenomenon when the person gets sick.

Researchers believe this is an important public health issue, particularly because of the economic burden associated with colds. Millions of people are off work every year because of a cold, and it’s often related to how they feel, not necessarily how they are affected by colds. The results are also an incentive to be more socially active and take care of those around you. Social relations are precious. If you build these social networks – the real networks, not Facebook or Instagram, which are just digital mirages, tools where friendship only has the name – by constantly working on them and your relationships, when you get sick it may be felt less importantly and treatment is much better

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