The common cold is a viral, air-borne infection caused by a virus called the Rhinovirus, which is one of the main common cold causes.
Common Cold Causes – How The Viral Infection Occurs
When you catch a cold, the common cold symptoms usually occur due to your body’s inflammatory response to the viral infection.
Viral particles enter your body through the air or when you come in contact with a person who is already infected. These particles then attach themselves to the epithelial layers of your upper respiratory tract. In response, your body’s defense mechanism secretes substances called cytokines and causes an inflammation.
Also, the epithelial lining of your upper respiratory tract secretes a lot of thin liquid called mucus, as part of a mechanism to throw the viral particles out. The irritation of the nasal membrane in response to the inflammatory cytokines causes you to sneeze, and this expels more viral particles.
Apart from the Rhinovirus, other important viruses that cause a cold include the Adenovirus, Coronavirus, Human Parainfluenza virus, Human Respiratory Syncytial virus, Enterovirus, and the Metapneumovirus.
Common Cold Causes – What Triggers The Infection
Common cold got its name from its frequent occurrence in the cold weather that prevails during the winter and monsoon seasons. But there is no scientific literature to support this occurrence.
Quite a few viruses that cause the common cold appear frequently during cold weather, and as a result of this, the occurrence of this condition increases during these seasons.
The transmission of viruses is further increased in humid weather, because such weather ensures that the virus-carrying droplets are easily dispersed and stay in the air longer.
Interesting Discoveries About Common Cold Causes
A few studies state that psychological stress often increases susceptibility to the common cold, as it suppresses the resistance of people towards infections.
When stress exceeds your ability to withstand the cold, a psychological stress response is triggered, altering your immune function and increasing your susceptibility to the common cold and other infections.
In a certain clinical study, it was noted that psychological stress increased the rate of infection, in turn raising the risk of acute infectious respiratory illness.
This means that the when you get a common cold, your body’s capacity for resistance varies with your stress levels and not with your differential exposure to the viruses that cause the infection.
Primary common cold causes such as stress, lack of sleep, and malnutrition affect the body’s immune system (defense mechanism), and increase an individual’s susceptibility to the infection. It is important to maintain a stress-free lifestyle with adequate sleep and nutrition to counter and prevent this condition. Regular checkups and common cold treatment advised by your physician can also help.