All posts tagged: useless cold medication

What really happens when you’re sick

What really happens when you’re sick

This is an edition of The Wonder Reader, a newsletter in which our editors recommend a set of stories to spark your curiosity and fill you with delight. Sign up here to get it every Saturday morning. When you’re suffering from a cold, the situation might seem perfectly clear—your nose is stuffed. But the truth about what’s happening to you is a little more complicated. For starters, the nose is actually two noses, which work in an alternating cycle that is connected to the armpits. In a new article, our Science writer Sarah Zhang explains what’s really going on in your body when you’re congested. There’s something oddly empowering in understanding how colds work, even if the knowledge won’t cure you. Today’s newsletter will help you get to know the inner workings of your body when it’s not at its best. On Colds Everything I Thought I Knew About Nasal Congestion Is Wrong By Sarah Zhang Start with this: You really have two noses. Why Has a Useless Cold Medication Been Allowed on Shelves for …

It’s the Best Time in History to Have a Migraine

It’s the Best Time in History to Have a Migraine

Here is a straightforward, clinical description of a migraine: intense throbbing headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise, lasting for hours or days. And here is a fuller, more honest picture: an intense, throbbing sense of annoyance as the pain around my eye blooms. Wondering what the trigger was this time. Popping my beloved Excedrin—a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine—and hoping it has a chance to percolate in my system before I start vomiting. There’s the drawing of the curtains, the curling up in bed, the dash to the toilet to puke my guts out. I am not a religious person, but during my worst migraines, I have whimpered at the universe, my hands jammed into the side of my skull, and begged it for relief. That probably sounds melodramatic, but listen: Migraines are miserable. They’re miserable for about 40 million Americans, most of them women, though the precise symptoms and their severity vary across sufferers. For about a quarter, myself included, the onset is sometimes preceded by an aura, a short-lived …