Some are old wives’ tales. Others are pieces of mangled trivia that get passed around and retold like gospel. If you’re ready to learn the truth behind some of the world’s most common medical myths, here are the real facts.
Myth: The cold makes you sick.
Contrary to popular belief, shivering in the snow doesn’t make you sick. While it’s true that things like the flu tend to flourish in winter, it’s mostly the result of humans congregating in small spaces and sharing more germs than usual. At the end of the day, the only way to catch a cold is to get it from someone else, and that has nothing to do with what the thermostat says.
Myth: You shouldn’t sleep if you’ve had a concussion.
Sleep is good for you. It’s one of the primary ways that human bodies heal! The fear of concussion victims going to sleep is founded on the idea that they might slip into a coma because of swelling or bleeding in the brain. While brain injuries are definitely serious matters, they won’t be cured by poking yourself awake on the couch every five minutes. If you think that you have internal bleeding from a concussion, go to a doctor to seek treatment, then rest.
Myth: If your teeth aren’t in pain, they’re healthy.
You might think that your teeth are in great shape because you don’t see any cavities or feel any twinges in your gums, but think again. There are plenty of dental conditions that can sneak up on you, and you won’t feel any pain until they’ve caused enough damage to become a problem. There are also general issues like weakened tooth enamel that can turn into something more serious if left untreated. To keep your mouth healthy, get a dental cleaning and exam at least once a year. Additionally, floss once a day and brush twice a day.
Myth: The color of your snot can determine your illness.
If your mucus is clear, you have a cold. If your mucus is green or yellow, you have a sinus infection. You might have heard this sage advice passed down from your grandma, but it simply isn’t true. Bacteria doesn’t color-code for anyone’s convenience, so whether your snot is perfectly transparent or covered in rainbows, if you’re feeling sick, it’s worth going to a doctor and getting checked out.
These are just a few myths that doctors hear all of the time. Some are harmless, but others can be detrimental to your health if you take them seriously or treat yourself with conventional wisdom rather than professional advice. Be careful about what you believe when it comes to your body.
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