At the peak of summer, being in an air-conditioned room is all people want. It is one of the few staples of modernity without severe and readily apparent downsides: all it does is make things cooler, while generating a soft and lulling noise.
However, some people call the feeling they get after being in an air-conditioned room for too long ‘air conditioning sickness’ — that cold, stuffy, weak feeling caused by remaining indoors under the influence of AC for a long period of time. In such scenarios, people often get the urge to go outside, take a walk and breathe fresh air to recover from the uneasiness caused by prolonged cold. This feeling is not uncommon. Although air conditioning is a boon for those who suffer from asthma and allergies, the incessant use of AC can wither our health and well-being as reported by the Huffington Post.
With their ability to recreate cold-weather conditions, air conditioners can produce the same kind of climatic environment one normally experiences in the winter cold and flu season. Some draw a line between these chilly conditions and summertime sickness, reasoning the technology that keeps us from over-heating. But, how much truth is there to that claim?
As it turns out, the question is more complicated than it sounds. While anecdotal evidence may lead to believe air-conditioning can make people sick, the science is clear: There is no reason to believe it is behind the mid-year cold.
Going from cold to the heat outside does not pose the same issues, since even more blood flows to the nose and throat during that process, making the white blood cells plentiful.
What can you do to lessen your risk of getting sick? Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to keep your nasal passages and throat moist, wash your hands often at work to keep viruses at bay and open up your windows when you can to take a nice deep breath of fresh air.
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