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Do fans cause coughing?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Maybe this is common knowledge in the US, but I never heard this idea until I came to Bolivia: That respiratory problems including sore throats and coughing are aggravated if not caused by ceiling fans. I had a nasty sore throat two weeks ago, and a housemate who is a nurse told me not to sleep with the ceiling fan on. It would make my sore throat worse, she said. I balked at first because I knew I get uncomfortably hot oftentimes without the ceiling fan, but I decided to give it ago. I honestly didn't notice any difference in my throat between sleeping with the fan on and the fan off.



Then today, at the daycare, half a dozen kids had fevers, and several of them were also coughing. The room was so hot and stuffy during naptime that I asked if we could please turn on the fans. The room leader said no, we better leave the fans off so the kids wouldn't cough as much. I thought the fans might help a bit with the fevers, but I didn't push it.



Have any of you experimented with ceiling fans when sick?
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post #2 of 9
I always seem to have a fan running. It gets way too hot in the deep south USA!



Anyways, I think it's *mostly* an old wives tale, but the dust that fans can pick up and/or the wind blowing directly on your face can make you cough more, especially if you're already sick... but in general a fan going in the room won't hurt you. My step-mom and step-sister won't sleep with fans on because they say it gives them a cough/sore throat, and maybe if you're prone to allergies it will, but I don't think in most of the cases it really affects it. Just don't point the fan right on you or the kid, take cough syrup if necessary, etc.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raefactor View Post

I always seem to have a fan running. It gets way too hot in the deep south USA!



Anyways, I think it's *mostly* an old wives tale, but the dust that fans can pick up and/or the wind blowing directly on your face can make you cough more, especially if you're already sick... but in general a fan going in the room won't hurt you. My step-mom and step-sister won't sleep with fans on because they say it gives them a cough/sore throat, and maybe if you're prone to allergies it will, but I don't think in most of the cases it really affects it. Just don't point the fan right on you or the kid, take cough syrup if necessary, etc.



It gets pretty dang hot in Bolivia, too! Both deep south USA and this part of Bolivia are considered to be sub-tropical.



I wonder if fans wouldn't aggravate the coughing if they were dusted on a regular basis, along with the other stuff in the room. Unfortunately, the walls are brick here, and the walls themselves tend to collect dust that can then be blown off.
"They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say '$#!±, it's raining!'"  Ruby, in "Cold Mountain"
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post #4 of 9
unless it's pretty cold, i always have the fan in my room going. always, always. i've never really paid attention to the fan/sick thing before. i just try to make sure to dust it regularly. of course i forget to.
post #5 of 9
Yeah, it's pretty much an old wives tale. Anyway, I'd prefer a cough to heat stroke! I have never, ever noticed this. For me, at least, fans and coughing are not related. Recycled air in those big air conditioners, in winter, in large office buildings though, seems to up the cold and flu rate. A fan blowing directly on sweating, exposed skin might cause a chill though.
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post #6 of 9
I've noticed that air con drys out my throat, I wouldn't think a ceiling fan would do that though.
post #7 of 9
I prefer a ceiling fan to air conditioning any day. I've never heard that ceiling fans cause coughs.
post #8 of 9
I don't like breezes when I'm feeling sick. I think it's because my asthma is triggered by cold, and if the breeze gives the illusion of coolness I'm afraid of having breathing troubles. I think it's just the association in my mind, though, not anything that actually happens to me.



Actually, I once had this monster of a virus where my throat was just filled with mucus. I was sitting in the car and suddenly I couldn't breathe. My first instinct (after coughing) was to turn the air vent from cool/neutral to warm. But once the warm air started blowing on me I had to turn it off. Then I got out of the car and started coughing like a maniac before I choked and died. So that breeze definitely did something to me, because I was screwing around with it on autopilot, but I only noticed it because I was barely breathing.
post #9 of 9
Maybe the fan dreis out your mucosa (throat etc.).
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