While medical science is yet to find a cure for common cold, there’s no dearth of quick fixes on social media.
By Tej Kumar
It’s that time of year again when runny noses and sore throats are a common occurrence. While medical science is yet to find a cure for common cold, there’s no dearth of quick fixes on social media. A viral video on YouTube (with 386k+ views) claims that “applying acupressure on your nose will get rid of your cold instantly”. (Archive link).
To understand the basis of this claim, First Check did a keyword search to find relevant scientific studies. We found that the effectiveness of acupressure is currently not well documented for any condition. “This is in sharp contrast to the many claims made by the proponents of this therapeutic modality,” notes a study.
Dr Aravind Sai Kalinga, a consultant pulmonologist based in Hyderabad, India, concurs with the view. “Acupressure may give symptomatic relief from the cold, but it cannot treat the cause of the disease,” he says.
Common cold is caused by many types of viruses; rhinoviruses are the most common cause. The virus enters the human body through one’s mouth, eyes or nose. The virus then spreads through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes or talks.
While clinical effects of popular treatments like acupressure are currently uncertain, there is some preliminary evidence to suggest that it could be used as complimentary treatment along with medication.
As things stand today, the best way to deal with common cold is to drink plenty of fluids and get adequate rest. Over-the-counter medicines and alternative therapies may help ease symptoms, but they will not make your cold go away any sooner.