Summer is nearly upon us! Between vacations, attending weddings, and visiting family and friends, you may be traveling a lot. Airplanes have revolutionized the way we travel, but they can be very troublesome if you’re suffering from a sinus infection or cold.

While it wasn’t always this way, today airplane air quality is tightly controlled. Modern aircrafts recycle about 50% of the air inside the cabin while 50% comes from outside. The risk of catching something that a fellow passenger has depends on how close the infected person is to you. Airflow is less likely to make a big difference if someone sitting next to you has a cough and the sniffles.

Plenty of over-the-counter medications promise cold prevention, relief of symptoms, and/or shortening the duration, but do they work? Pay close attention to a product’s claims. There are many products that will treat a cold’s symptoms. Homeopathic treatments and supplements do not undergo FDA regulations and so cannot claim to treat or cure any diseases.

Airborne is probably the most popular of these homeopathic supplements. When it first came out Airborne claimed to be a “miracle cold buster,” but after losing a 2008 class-action lawsuit that cost them $23 million, they changed their packaging to say that it “boots the immune system.” Taking Airborne or Emergen-C may very well help to stave off a cold from the standpoint that they offer multivitamins, but that’s about all you can count on.

There are more than 100 cold virus strains. The only way to build immunity to them is to contract one. A healthy body will be able to fight it off. It’s ok to take over-the-counter medications and supplements to treat the more troublesome symptoms, but lots of rest and fluids are your best route to recovery.

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