A fan makes a cold worse

Cold in summer

How dangerous is drafts?

Dangerous phenomenon in summer: In overheated suburban trains or non-air-conditioned offices, you long for a cool breeze. But if you then expose yourself to drafts, you will quickly get sick: Colds and tension in the neck, shoulder and back area can be the result.

Air draft: the body cools down

Opening the windows and doors initially cools down. At the same time, the body is quickly hypothermic by the steady and shallow draft: the skin's cold receptors do not react to the draft, the body gets used to the changed temperatures and does not initiate any defensive measures. As a result, those parts of the body where the air occurs cool down.

If the air hits the throat, it lowers the temperature in the pharynx. The mucous membrane dries out and can therefore no longer act as a protective shield: viruses that have already been absorbed are now made easy for the weakened immune system. The result is a cold.

Muscle tension occurs for the same reason: the cold receptors do not react to the draft, so the blood flow is not increased. Due to the poor circulation, the muscles below cool down and the muscles can become tense: So you have "got yourself a train".

Drafts in air conditioners and fans

Many find air conditioning in the office pleasant. When it is very hot outside, the offices like to cool down extremely. Here too, especially with older models, there can be a permanent draft, which you often only notice when you have long been cold.

Especially when it is over 30 degrees outside, it is advisable not to set the air conditioning colder than 20 degrees. In addition, one should not constantly switch between cooled and non-cooled rooms, because that puts a strain on the circulation.
Fans are only useful for short-term use from a sufficient distance. Here, too, a steady, gentle draft of wind can quickly become dangerous, it has the same effect as the constant flow of wind from outside.

How can you protect yourself from drafts?

The easiest way is to simply avoid drafts. Since this is not always possible in overcrowded S-Bahn trains or in open-plan offices, the following motto applies: If you have one, put your collar up or cover your neck with a scarf.
In the car you should neither drive sweaty with the window open, nor turn up the air conditioning fully and turn the ventilation directly on yourself.

Correct ventilation is also of great importance: the rooms should be properly ventilated in the morning and evening - but during this time it is advisable to leave the room or put on a cardigan.

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