Sign up for CNN’s Life, But Better newsletter to simplify and improve your well-being. CNN reports that cold air could damage the immune system in the nose and make people more susceptible to colds, the flu, and Covid-19 during the winter months. Scientists have found that a drop in temperature inside the nose can significantly reduce the number of helpful bacteria-fighting cells and viruses. This cold air effect is what makes us more vulnerable to respiratory infections during the winter.
According to a 2022 study, a drop in temperature inside the nose can lead to a 50% reduction in immunity responses, making people more susceptible to viral infections. Researchers discovered that when exposed to cold air, the production of extracellular vesicles – cells that help fight off viruses – drops significantly, and their effectiveness is reduced.
The study found that the number of extracellular vesicles released increased by 160% when under attack by viruses. However, exposure to cold air causes a significant decrease in the production of extracellular vesicles, which are responsible for protecting the body from viral invasions.
However, a solution has been identified. Dr. Benjamin Bleier suggests that wearing a mask is like wearing a sweater for your nose. This study has opened the possibility of developing nasal medications that can strengthen the immune system and protect against viral infections. So, staying warm and putting on a mask could be the key to keeping your immunity high.