Influenza or flu is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. This disease is easily transmitted through the air when someone coughs, sneezes or speaks. The virus that comes out into the air is then inhaled by other people. People who have the flu usually complain of a blocked nose, coughing, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, weakness, fever, and chills.
Many of us avoid drinking cold drinks or eating ice during the flu season, arguing that we are afraid of colds. Is it true that drinking ice can make us more susceptible to flu?
Drinking ice reduces the ability of airway defense
Our airway has a defense to prevent infection. These defenses include producing mucus, ciliary feather movements, and coughing responses.
When a foreign object enters the airway, the mucus will function to trap the foreign body. After being trapped, the movement of the cilia will sweep away foreign objects and mucus to the throat. If there is a lot of mucus mixed with a foreign object, a coughing response will appear. The cough response then pushes the foreign object out so that there is no infection.
If we drink ice, the movement of the cilia will be disrupted due to the cold ice temperature.
Drinking ice makes the immune system decrease
In addition to the airway defense system, keep in mind that our body also has an immune system to fight infection. But when we eat ice, our immune system cannot work optimally because of vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction is narrowing or shrinking of blood vessels.
When blood vessels narrow, the blood flow will decrease and the cells of immunity that go to that place will also decrease. This causes a person's immune system to decrease and is easy to become infected.
Actually can drinking ice cause flu?
Keep in mind that the flu itself is caused by a viral infection, not because we drink cold drinks. Drinking ice can indeed increase the risk of getting flu because cold temperatures can make the airway defense system and immunity decrease. But, the occurrence of an illness is influenced by three things, namely the person's own condition, source of infection, and environment.
If the person's immune system decreases, for example by drinking ice, then the risk for flu is also increasing. Virulence and the number of flu viruses also play a role in the onset of illness. In addition, unhealthy environments such as exposure to cigarette smoke can also increase the risk of developing flu.
What should be done when it's flu
When you have the flu, you should rest enough, drink lots of water, don't smoke, and don't drink alcohol. You can also take drugs that can relieve your flu symptoms. But if you feel your symptoms are burdensome until you find it hard to breathe, immediately consult your doctor for further therapy.
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